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Dublin: 5 °C Saturday 14 December, 2019

Cooney saves St Thomas against Portumna in Galway semi-final

Joe Canning hit 0-12 for Portumna yet was left frustrated at the final whistle. Loughrea, meanwhile, defeated Beagh.

Eyes on the prize: Conor Cooney was the late saviour for St Thomas.
Eyes on the prize: Conor Cooney was the late saviour for St Thomas.
Image: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

St Thomas 1-19
Portumna 0-22

CONOR COONEY RESCUED All-Ireland champions St Thomas with a late pointed free to help them grab a draw against Portumna in today’s Galway SHC semi-final in Athenry.

In a pulsating game played at Kenny Park, Cooney saved his side by hitting over his 11th point of the game late on to ensure these teams must replay next weekend.

It capped a stunning comeback for St Thomas as they trailed by six points during the second-half and needed a goal by substitute Richie Murray to propel them back into contention before Cooney’s levelling score.

Portumna had bossed the game for long stages with Joe Canning hitting 0-12 overall and Damien Hayes raising five white flags.

They lead by 0-14 to 0-8 at the break as they hit the last six points of the half without reply.

Portumna continued to be in a strong position during the second-half when they enjoyed a 0-18 to 0-12 advantage but St Thomas hung in contention with Cooney and the Burke brothers – Eanna, David and Darragh – all on target.

A brace of points from Canning looked to have sealed Portumna’s win as they lead by 0-22 to 0-18 before Murray pounced for the only goal of the game and then Cooney hit the levelling score from a free.

Loughrea 2-18
Beagh 1-11

LOUGHREA RAN OUT comfortable winners in this afternoon’s first Galway senior hurling semi-final against Beagh in Kenny Park, Athenry.

The result means Loughrea now advance to their seventh final in 11 years. But they have only won one of their previous six deciders – in 2006 against Portumna – and have lost three of the last four club hurling showpieces in Galway.

Their progression to this year’s decider was achieved by virtue of a dominant performance this afternoon and was aided by first-half goals from Johnny O’Loughlin and Johnny Coen.

The second goal arrived from Coen on the stroke of half-time and enabled Loughrea to lead by 2-8 to 0-4 at the break. Beagh fought hard in the second-half and did hit the net through Kevin Keehan but the gap proved too great for them to bridge.

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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