Monday 6 February 2023 Dublin: 8°C
INPHO/Mike Shaughnessy Portumna's Ollie Canning celebrates.
# Kingpins
Canning, Smith and Hayes fire goals as Portumna win Galway hurling final
Victory arrived against Loughrea in today’s decider.

Portumna 3-12
Loughrea 0-14

PORTUMNA CLAIMED their sixth Galway senior hurling title in 11 years with a seven-point win over Loughrea in today’s decider at Pearse Stadium.

The match was overshadowed by the death of Galway hurler Niall Donoghue with several players in both clubs having been teammates of the Kilbeacanty player at inter-county level. The game had been deferred from yesterday as a mark of respect with the funeral of Donoghue taking place.

Victory arrived four years after Portumna’s last county final win and again arrived courtesy of success over Loughrea. Portumna have now triumphed in four deciders against Loughrea, whose luckless run continues as they suffered their fourth final reversal in the last five years.

Goals were a key feature of Portumna’s win with Joe Canning and man-of-the-match Andy Smith both firing to the net in the first-half.

Canning rifled home a 20-yard free in the 8th minute before Smith netted in the 24th minute after Portumna cleverly strung together a series of passes. That second goal pushed Portumna into a 2-4 to 0-6 lead but before an attendance of 8,800, Loughrea controlled the remainder of the half.

They outscored Portumna by 0-5 to 0-1 with Neil Keary’s injury-time score ensuring the teams were dead locked at 2-5 to 0-11 at the break. Portumna emerged strongly in the second-half as they notched a flurry of early points and they were ahead by 2-10 to 0-12 entering the final quarter.

Then the crucial score arrived three minutes later when Damien Hayes pounced for their third goal of the game and there was no way back for Loughrea from there. Andy Smith tacked on a few more points to extend Portumna’s advantage entering the finale.

Loughrea were awarded a penalty late on after Johnny Maher was fouled but Johnny Coen struck the ball over the bar and Portumna closed out the game from there. The three-time All-Ireland club champions now advance to the semi-final stage next February where they will face the winners of the Munster championship.

Scorers for Portumna: Joe Canning 1-5 (1-3f), Andy Smith 1-4, Damien Hayes 1-1, Leo Smith, Ollie Canning 0-1 each.

Scorers for Loughrea: Neil Keary 0-5 (0-4f), Jamie Ryan, Johnny O’Loughlin, Johnny Coen (0-1 pen) 0-2 each, Gavin Keary, Paul Hoban, Johnny Maher 0-1 each.

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

Subs: Peter Smith for Leo Smith (half-time), Owen Treacy for Ryan (58), Oisin Royston for O’Meara (58).

LOUGHREA: Nigel Murray; Tom Regan, Damien McClearn, Eoin Mahony; Vinny Maher, Brian Mahony, Sean Sweeney; Emmet Mahony, Gavin Keary; Neil Keary, Paul Hoban, Johnny Coen; Johnny O’Loughlin, Johnny Maher, Jamie Ryan.

Subs: Thomas Hoban for Mahony (41)

Portumna and Loughrea players in tribute to Niall Donoghue

As it happened: Galway senior hurling final, Portumna v Loughrea

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