Galway Advertiser 2005/2005_11_17/GA_1711_E1_126.pdf 

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November 17 2005


Portumna prevail in hurling final spectacle
Portumna 3-21 Loughrea 3-14
A bumper crowd of more than 13,000 witnessed Portumna capture their second county hurling title in three years at Pearse Stadium, Salthill on Sunday. Perfect hurling conditions contributed to an excellent spectacle that included some truly amazing scores from both sides. Loughrea were aiming to bridge a gap of more than 60 years since their solitary title win in 1941. They had it all to do against the more experienced and fancied Portumna side, and this certainly seemed the case as the Shannonsiders registered five points to Loughrea's one in the opening 10 minutes. However Loughrea never panicked and eventually found their stride. Some fine individual points from Greg Kennedy and Nigel Shaughnessy, as well as goals from Johnny O'Loughlin and Kenneth Colleran turned the game on its head, giving Loughrea a six-points lead after 22 minutes. The whirlwind nature of the game continued. Portumna clawed their way back into contention through the inspirational Damien Hayes and Joe Canning. The champions of 2003 found themselves only a point in arrears at the break, 3-8 to 2-10. The second half saw the teams trade five points apiece in the opening 20 minutes, one of them a Joe Canning sideline cut as good as any that have graced the Salthill venue. Ultimately, however, it was the only goal of the second half, again from Damien Hayes, that settled this decider. The contest started brightly with the teams trading early points. Portumna struck first through Andrew Smith, but his opener was cancelled by a fine score from the Loughrea stalwart Nigel Shaughnessy. Portumna responded with four unanswered points, two from the stick of the lively Damien Hayes, who would go on to produce a man of the match performance. At this early stage the Loughrea defence appeared nervous and it seemed Portumna would capitalise with further scores. However on 11 minutes the industrious Johnny O'Loughlin began a move that culminated with Brendan Dooley unleashing an unstoppable effort past Ivan Canning in the Portumna goal. Loughrea dominated for long periods at midfield, but despite this, Joe Canning and Damien Hayes continued to cause havoc any time they got possession. On the quarter hour mark a defence splitting pass found Galway star Hayes and he made no mistake shooting past Nigel Murray. However Loughrea then hit back with two brilliant points from the experienced Shaughnessy before the most bizarre of goals on 18 minutes. O'Loughlin had gathered the ball at the second time of asking and let fly from the half way line. The ball bounced a yard out from the Portumna line, and possibly due to the glaring November sun, Ivan Canning misjudged as it flew past him into the net. Finding themselves a point in front and with their tails up, Loughrea seemed like a different team. Piling on the pressure to a retreating Portumna side, they added a brace of points to Loughrea's Johnny O'Loughlin comes under pressure from Portumna's Niall Hayes and Aidan leave a goal between the teams. Kenneth O'Donnnell in Sunday's county senior hurling final at Pearse Stadium. Colleran then added to Portumna's anguish when Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy he ran straight through their defence before With the game slipping from their reach Portumna were awarded a sideline cut 65 yards emphatically firing past Canning. Loughrea, leading by six points, had their large from the Loughrea goal and Joe Canning reached frustration seemed to set into the Loughrea camp contingent of supporters dreaming of the long into his bag of tricks and produced the most as Damien Hayes put five points between the awaited county title. On 30 minutes goalkeeper sublime point. He added a second point in as sides. Joe Canning added another point from a Canning made amends for his earlier blunder many minutes after the determined Kevin Hayes placed ball before O'Loughlin pointed from a free. Thereafter the break they sought never with a terrific point-blank save from Kenneth won a free. With Portumna level again, at 3-11 to 2-14, their materialised and after Portumna captain Eugene Colleran. The game surely would have taken a defence tightened up and scrapped for McEntee added a massive point from just inside different pattern had this one gone in. Canning's save inspired his side and it was everything. The room that Loughrea exploited in his own half, man of the match Damien Hayes Portumna who went on to finish the half stronger. the opening period disappeared and they were had the last word with an injury time point, Loughrea wingback John Dooley was shown restricted to long-range efforts. Johnny bringing his personal tally to 2-6 and leaving a yellow for his challenge on Damien Hayes leading O'Loughlin pointed one on 44 minutes to once final score of 3-21 to 3-14. Portumna: I Canning; M Gill, E McEntee to a free 30 yards out which Joe Canning pointed again hand Loughrea the advantage, but easily. This was quickly followed by a Damien Portumna raised the tempo again. After another (capt.) (0-1), A O'Donnell; E Lynch, K Hayes, T Hayes goal. After a great save initially, the keeper audacious Canning sideline cut went inches wide, Quinn; O Canning, D Canning; N Hayes (0-1), M was unlucky as he could do nothing to stop Damien Hayes pointed from an acute angle. A Ryan (0-1), L Smith; D Hayes (2-6), A Smith (0-1), fine effort from Eddie McMahon kept Loughrea J Canning (1-11). Substitutions: P Treacy for D Hayes' second effort finding the net. Loughrea's O'Loughlin should have done in front by the narrowest of margins, but it was Canning, G Heagney for Quinn. Loughrea: N Murray; T Regan, D McClearn, M better with the last chance of a pulsating first half Portumna who were hurling with more Kearns; J Dooley, V Maher (capt.), S Creaven; E from 45 yards out, leaving the score Loughrea 3- confidence and vigour. Yet Portumna missed two opportunities McMahon (0-3), N Shaughnessy (0-4); B Dooley (18 Portumna 2-10. Joe Canning continued for Portumna with the before Damien Hayes latched onto a Joe Canning 0), G Keary (0-1), J Maher; G Kennedy (0-1), J first score of the second period before Gavin pass after David Canning had created space and O'Loughlin (1-5), K Colleran (1-0). Substitutions: Keary restored Loughrea's one point advantage fired past Murray in the Loughrea goal. Joe K Daniels for Dooley, F Kerrigan for Maher. Referee: P Greene. when half back Eoin Lynch surrendered Canning extended the lead to three with another possession cheaply. The sides traded points until fine score on the half way line.

Captain Eugene McEntee lifts the Tom Callanan Cup after Portumna defeat Loughrea in the 2005 Galway Senior Hurling Championship decider at Pearse Stadium on Sunday. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

Connacht rugby youngsters seek two in a row
After their success over Ulster this week, the Connacht A side now seek two-in-a-row when they face their counterparts from Munster in Ennis on Monday (2pm). Conncht's emerging young talent, boosted with some more experienced players and featuring new signing Gavin Williams, were 15 - 6 winners over Ulster in Ballina on Tuesday. Having arrived from New Zealand on Friday, Williams played in the centre, outside partner Killiane Finane who captains the Connacht u-21 side. The New Zealander, who is the son of former All Black Bryan Williams, looked strong in possession and tackled well throughout, but it was No 8 Stephen Miller and outhalf David Slemen, just back from injury, who secured the victory with two tries after half time. Until then both sides had threatened in a stopstart first half, but two Gareth Steenson penalties had given Ulster the 6-3 lead at the break. Elsewhere it was some of the emerging talent from the province who stole the show. Daniel Riordan made numerous breaks throughout, while Mark Butler and Peter Durcan (before his firsthalf injury) performed well on the wings. Finane was another to shine, and his quick hands under pressure proved useful in unlocking the visiting defence. Up front captain Andrew Gallagher led the pack which was secure in the set piece - Miller scoring from a scrum five metres out. Slemen looked comfortable on his return from injury and he took his try well, finding a hole in the Ulster defence from the 10 metre mark. Connacht A: Daniel Riordan; Mark Butler, Gavin Williams, Killian Finane, Peter Durcan (T Tierney 38); David Slemen, Conor O'Loughlin; Ronan Loughney, Joe Merrigan (C Venter 40), Adrian Clarke (R Davies 59), Andrew Gallagher (Captain), David Gannon, Trevor Richardson (J Mullin 70), Philip Rowe (D McGowan 48), Stephen Miller. Ulster A: Scott Young (M Kettle 45); Paul McKenzie; Shane Stewart (D Cave 45); Glen Telford; Andrew Maxwell; Gareth Steenson; Reece Spee; Niall Conlon (P Marshall 47); Stuart Philpott; Simon Shawe (G Maxwell 40); Henry Head; Lewis Stevenson; Derek Hall (R Caldwell 50); Oisin Hennessy; Stephen Ferris (capt)

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