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Canning stars as Portumna knock out All-Ireland champions St Thomas

0-10 from Joe Canning helped his club win today’s Galway semi-final replay.

Portumna's Joe Canning (file photo).
Portumna's Joe Canning (file photo).
Image: Pic: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Portumna 0-18
St Thomas’ 2-11

ALL-IRELAND CLUB Champions St Thomas’ were defeated in a tense Galway SHC semi-final replay at Kenny Park, Athenry this afternoon.

Portumna had the guile and craft to carve out a deserved victory with Joe Canning occupying a leading role.

Though Portumna ruled vast chunks of the second period, St Thomas did close the gap to a single point with a stoppage time goal from a Conor Cooney free, but Portumna bravely held on.

The first half was a real tale of two contrasting quarters as Portumna shaded the first before St Thomas’ eventually settled.

With Damien Hayes smashing at centrefield Portumna led by 0-4 to 0-1 after nine minutes, while Canning was influential too for Portumna before St Thomas’ responded.

The match had ticked into the 11th minute when Conor Cooney crashed a 20 metre free through a cluster of Portumna bodies.

Suddenly Thomas’ started to hurl with conviction as Cooney was sharp from frees ensuring they led 1-6 to 0-6 by the 24th minute.

Canning, though, kept Portumna in touch with his dead ball prowess and by the time the interval rolled around Thomas’ advantage had been trimmed to the minimum, 0-9 to 1-7.

After the restart Portumna switched Joe Canning from midfield to full forward and then there was a more imposing cut to the attack.

Canning continued to rifle over frees and crafted some fine scores from play for Galway minor Ronan O’Meara.

A Canning free with two minutes of normal time remaining edged Portumna 0-17 to 1-10 in front prior to a dash of late drama.

Cooney drilled a second close range free to the back of the Portumna net, but despite the concession they remained composed.

Seconds later Canning launched a delightful free from distance to seal the deal and Thomas’ reign as Galway and All Ireland Champions was terminated.

Scorers for Portumna: Joe Canning 0-10 (9fs, 165), Damien Hayes 0-3, Ronan O’Meara 0-2, Leo Smith 0-1, Kevin Hayes 0-1, Niall Hayes 0-1.

Scorers for St Thomas: Conor Cooney 2-6 (2-6fs), David Burke 0-2, James Regan 0-2, Kenneth Burke 0-1.

PORTUMNA: Joe Keane; Peter Smith, Eoin Lynch, Gareth Heagney; Martin Dolphin, Eugene McEntee, Conor O’Hare; Joe Canning, Damien Hayes; Kevin Hayes, Leo Smith, Andy Smith; Ronan O’Meara, Ollie Canning, Niall Hayes.

Subs: Oisin Royston for Leo Smith (58 mins), Owen Treacy for O’Meara (60 mins).

ST THOMAS: Patrick Skehill; Cathal Burke, Rob Murray, Donal Cooney; Enda Tannion, Darragh Burke, Sean Burke; Kenneth Burke, David Burke; James Regan, Conor Cooney, Bernard Burke; Eanna Burke, Shane Cooney, Anthony Kelly. Subs: David Sherry for Cathal Burke (3 mins), Richie Murray for Kelly (35 mins), Gerald Murray for Tannion (57 mins).

Referee: Leonard Fay.

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