St Thomas 1-11
WHAT A DIFFERENCE 60 seconds can make, as this Galway senior hurling final turned in a minute in favour of St Thomas, who won the title for just the second time in their history.
Sean Skehill struck the crucial goal 14 minutes from time for the 2013 All-Ireland club champions, but seconds beforehand Gort’s Michael Mullins had a goal chalked out for a square ball at the other end.
In a game that was ruined by the strong wind and lashing rain throughout, both teams were fortunate to only have one man each sent off, with Gort’s Tadhg Linnane and St Thomas’ Gerald Kelly both shown straight red cards in added-time.
Playing against a stiff breeze on a very wet surface, St Thomas looked to be the sharper team from the off, but they struggled to show that dominance on the scoreboard.
Aiden Helebert gave Gort the lead in the fourth minute, but seconds later former Galway senior James Regan levelled matters from distance.
A Conor Cooney free was matched by one from Helebert as the sides were level at 0-2 each after ten minutes.
The freetakers soon exchanged frees again, but Gort goalkeeper Gavin Lally came to his side’s rescue after 16 minutes with a brilliant save to deny Sean Skehill.
Bernard and Darragh Burke did manage to open out a two-point lead for their side, but Gort hit the last three scores of the half, two of which came from Paul Killilea, to take a 0-7 to 0-6 lead at the break.
In a battle of the placed ball experts, Conor Cooney put St Thomas on the road to victory with three brilliantly struck frees from distance as they took over in the second half.
But after Michael Mullins’ goal was disallowed, and Skehill struck at the other end St Thomas’ eased to a second title in five years.
Scorers for St Thomas: C Cooney 0-6 (6f), S Skehill 1-0, B Burke 0-2, Darragh Burke 0-1, J Regan 0-1, B Farrell 0-1.
Scorers for Gort: A Helebert 0-8 (6f), P Killilea 0-2.
1 Patrick Skehill
2 Fintan Burke
4 Cathal Burke
10 Eanna Burke
12 James Regan
5 Shane Cooney
7 Donal Cooney
13 Bernard Burke
8 David Burke
11 Conor Cooney
6 Darragh Burke
9 David Sherry
14 Brendan Farrell
3 Sean Skehill
15 Kenneth Burke
19 Gerald Kelly for Darragh Burke (52)
6 Darragh Burke for Sherry (54)
17 Anthony Kelly for Sean Skehill (57)
22 Colin Fallon for K Burke (64)
1 Gavin Lally
2 Taghg Linnane
3 Mark McMahon
4 Michael Cummins
5 Pakie Lally
22 Greg Lally
6 Aidan Harte
7 Sylvie Og Linnane
9 Jack Grealish
10 Paul Killilea
11 Albert Mullins
12 Aidan Helebert
13 Richie Cummins
14 Michael Mullins
8 Jason Grealish
24 Gerard O’Donoghue for Killilea (33-35)
24 Gerard O’Donoghue for M Mullins (35)
15 Wayne Walsh for Greg Lally (48)
Referee: Leonard Fay (Athenry).
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