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Galway All-Ireland winner Niland hits 0-12 as Athenry win Connacht senior hurling title

Presentation College saw off Gort Community School this afternoon.

Evan Niland bagged 0-12 for Presentation College Athenry.
Evan Niland bagged 0-12 for Presentation College Athenry.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Presentation College Athenry 2-17
Gort Community School 1-16

Daragh Small reports from Pearse Stadium

EVAN NILAND SHOT 12 points as Presentation Athenry made it three Connacht Post-Primary School titles in a row beating Gort at Pearse Stadium.

With nine of the Galway minor hurlers that played in last year’s All-Ireland final, part of their ranks, the Athenry school were always going to be favourites.

Gort knew they needed to start brightly against the breeze and full forward Enda Fahy shot them ahead inside the first minute.

Niland hit back and slotted another free before Gort hit 1-3 in four minutes. Brian Mullins blasted the goal after a Jamie Prendergast delivery was batted down by goalkeeper Mark Fahy.

That gave Gort a 1-3 to 0-2 lead after 11 minutes and when Cathal Noonan pointed his second free they had a five-point lead.

But the reigning two-time champions were full of quality and they had the experience to get back into it.

A Cillian McDaid point began their fight back and Sean Loftus hit the back of the net in the 17th minute.

Sean Loftus celebrates at the final whistle Sean Loftus was captain of the Galway All-Ireland minor side last year and he hit the net today for Athenry Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Noonan and Niland exchanged frees before Athenry hit the next crucial score, Brian Concannon hammered home a goal after McDaid set him up.

Athenry had a comfortable five-point lead at the break, and Niland hit the first point on the resumption, his seventh free.

But the Gort hadn’t given up the fight, and when Enda Egan hit his second there was just a goal in it after 44 minutes.

Athenry continued to keep that gap until the end, and even though Egan’s third point left the scoreline at 2-16 to 1-16, Niland tapped over a late penalty to seal it.

Brian Concannon Brian Concannon hit the back of the net for Presentation Athenry today Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Scorers for Presentation College Athenry: Evan Niland 0-12 (0-10f, 0-1 ’65, 0-1 pen), Sean Loftus 1-2, Brian Concannon 1-1, Liam Forde, Cillian McDaid 0-1 each.

Scorers for Gort Community School: Cathal Noonan 0-8 (0-8f), Brian Mullins 1-1, Enda Fahy 0-4, Enda Egan 0-3.

Presentation College Athenry

1. Mark Fahy (Turloughmore)

2. Shane Bannon (Clarinbridge)
3. Ian O’Shea (Athenry)
4. Fionan Garvey (Abbeyknockmoy)

5. Andrew Greaney (Craughwell)
6. Jack Fitzpatrick (Killimordaly)
7. Cillian McDaid (Craughwell)

8. Stephen Parr (Athenry)
9. Sean Loftus (Turloughmore)

10. Patrick Foley (Clarinbridge)
11. Ronan Hardiman (Athenry)
12. Conor Walsh (Turloughmore)

13. Evan Niland (Clarinbridge)
14. Brian Concannon (Killimordaly)
15. Liam Forde (Ardrahan)

Subs:
19. Cian Salmon (Clarinbridge) for Walsh (39 mins)
18. Oisin Connolly (Castlegar) for Garvey (49)
22. William Corcoran (Clarinbridge) for Parr (54)
28. Aaron Martyn (Clarinbridge) for McDaid (61)
20. Mark Kennedy for Forde (63).

Gort Community School

1. Liam Byrne (Kinvara)

2. Darach Fahy (Ardrahan)
3. Shane Cosgrave (Adrahan)
4. Brendan Burke (Ballinderreen)

5. Stephen Fahy (Michael Cusacks)
6. Cianan Fahy (Ardrahan)
7. Shane Murtagh (Ardrahan)

8. Jamie Prendergast (Ballinderreen)
9. James Cronin-Rodgers (Kinvara)

12. Michael Lynskey (Ardrahan)
11. Cathal Noonan (Killanena)
16. Brian Mullins (Gort)

13. Mark Caulfield (St Thomas’)
14. Enda Fahy (Michael Cusacks)
15. Enda Egan (Michael Cusacks)

Subs:
17. Conor O’Shea (Kinvara) for Caulfield (37 mins).

Referee: John Keane (Galway)

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