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James Crombie/INPHO Canning scored 1-8 in Saturday's preliminary quarter-final (file photo).
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Joe Canning fires 1-8 to see Portumna into Galway hurling quarter-finals
Canning’s Portumna beat Craughwell 2-10 to 0-13 in Saturday’s preliminary quarter-final.

JOE CANNING’S FIRST season out of inter-county hurling is coinciding with a revival in his club’s fortunes and the former Hurler of the Year was the key figure as Portumna surprised Craughwell to advance to the quarter-finals of the Galway SHC.

Canning hit 1-8, with seven of the points from frees, as Portumna rallied in difficult conditions this Saturday afternoon in Loughrea to win this preliminary quarter-final by 2-10 to 0-13.

Portumna won all six of their Galway SHC titles in a glorious period from 2003 to 2013 — going on to win three All-Ireland club titles in that time — but have been in decline in recent years, flirting with relegation.

But they won all five games in Senior B — where only the top team advances to the knockout stages from the two groups in the lower grade — and are now in the draw for the quarter-finals on Sunday evening after a deserved win.

Goals from Ronan O’Meara and Canning left them level 2-3 to 0-9 at the break with Portumna having played with the strong wind.

But Portumna dug in after the restart and with Canning making the most of everything they created, they held on to win.

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Moycullen, the only dual senior side, bowed out when they were defeated by 0-17 to 0-10 by Cappataggle at Pearse Stadium.

Cappataggle laid the foundation in the opening half against the wind and rain at the Salthill venue when they led by 0-9 to 0-7 at the break and with Ja Mannion and Liam Collins leading the way, their progress to their sixth quarter-final in seven years was never in doubt.

Meanwhile, Ahascragh/Fohenagh, the home club of former Galway captain Padraic Mannion and his brother Cathal, secured their senior status for 2023 when they defeated Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry by 1-13 to 1-12, while last year’s defeated intermediate finalists Killimor will also be in top flight after they edged out neighbours Meelick/Eyrecourt by 0-13 to 0-9 in this season’s decider.


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