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Gort strike late to spring surprise and topple All-Ireland champions Portumna

It’s their second Galway Senior Hurling title in four years.

Michael Cummins grapples for possession.
Michael Cummins grapples for possession.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Gort 2-13

Portumna 1-10

SUBSTITUTE WAYNE WALSH and Albert Mullins netted vital late goals as Gort caused a mild surprise to win the Galway SHC title at Kenny Park, Athenry.

Walsh’s opportunistic flick arrived second after All-Ireland champions Portumna had drawn level courtesy of a major of their own from Kevin Hayes.

Then, Albert Mullins decorated Gort’s success rifling the sliotar home following a sharp Gerry Quinn pass.

With Greg Lally and Aidan Harte outstanding early on Gort controlled large sections of the opening period departing at the break armed with a 0-9 to 0-5 advantage.

Inside Gerard O’Donoghue and Richie Cummins carried a potent threat as the underdogs snapped into the contest.

Though the teams were level at 0-3 in the 14th minute gritty Gort struck five of the next six points as Portumna were disturbed.

Centre back Lally was hugely effective as Gort, who created 19 scoring opportunities in the first half, went in four in front at the interval.

Portumna improved after the restart as a couple of Damien Hayes points provided a drop of inspiration, but Gort remained defiant.

By the three-quarter mark Gort led 0-11 to 0-9 before a splendid Joe Canning free trimmed the deficit to the narrowest of margins.

Gerry Quinn responded with a free for Gort as the match remained tight and tense as Portumna restored parity courtesy of Hayes.

But Gort finished with a flourish as Walsh and Albert Mullins grabbed goals to seal victory for Mattie Murphy’s team.

Scorers for Gort: Gerry Quinn 0-7 (7fs), Wayne Walsh 1-0, Albert Mullins 1-0, Richie Cummins 0-2, Greg Lally 0-2 (1f), Aidan Harte 0-1, Paul Killilea 0-1, Kevin Hayes 1-0.
Scorers for Portumna: Joe Canning 0-6 (4fs), Kevin Hayes 1-0, Damien Hayes 0-2, Ollie Canning 0-1, Ronan O’Meara 0-1.

Gort:

1 Gavin Lally

3 Tadhg Linnane

2 Mark McMahon

4 Michael Cummins

5 Aidan Harte

6 Greg Lally

7 Sylvie Og Linnane

18 Jason Grealish

8 Sean Forde

10 Michael Mullins

11 Albert Mullins

15 Gerry Quinn

14 Richie Cummins

13 Gerard O’Donoghue

12 Paul Killilea

Subs: 17 Conor Helebert for Grealish (47 mins), 20 Wayne Walsh for O’Donoghue (49 mins), 9 Niall Forde for Sean Forde (54 mins), 19 Jack Grealish for Albert Mullins (60 mins)

Portumna:

1 Joe Keane

2 Gareth Heagney

3 Conor O’Hare

4 Peter Smith

5 Owen Treacy

6 Martin Dolphin

7 Eoin Lynch

8 Leo Smith

9 Damien Hayes

10 Kevin Hayes

12 Ollie Canning

14 Joe Canning

11 Niall Hayes

17 Ronan O’Meara

15 Andy Smith

Subs: 13 Patrick Dolphin for O’Meara (55 mins)

Referee: Christy Brown.

Originally published 14 December, 15.11.

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