Twelve teams in hunt for title, but St Thomas’ remain favourites

Portumna's Declan McLoughlin and Gort's Eoin Cooley in action from the Brooks Galway Hurling Club Championship game at Loughrea on Saturday. Photo:- Mike Shaughnesy

Portumna's Declan McLoughlin and Gort's Eoin Cooley in action from the Brooks Galway Hurling Club Championship game at Loughrea on Saturday. Photo:- Mike Shaughnesy

Castlegar’s incredibly hard-fought win over Craughwell in Duggan Park on Tuesday evening sealed the last available place in the quarter finals of the Galway Senior Hurling Championship.

Twelve teams remain in the hunt for the Tom Callanan Cup, but St Thomas’ are still clear favourites.

Oranmore-Maree’s seven-point win over Killimordaly on Sunday saw them claim the automatic quarter-final berth from group one on scoring difference, with Tommy Larkins condemned to the relegation play-offs after Clarinbridge overcame a shaky first half, and the sending off of Mark Kennedy, to prevail by 0-20 to 1-12.

Turloughmore stopped St Thomas’ from finding the back of the net for the first time this year, but the county champions still had enough in the tank to emerge 0-23 to 1-15 victors on Saturday evening to seal top spot in group two. St Thomas’ now have four weeks to recharge the batteries, and Conor Cooney, Darragh Burke, and Eanna Burke were again among the scorers in their latest win.

Gort booked their spot in the preliminary quarter-finals with a resounding 5-22 to 1-23 victory over Portumna. Portumna started well and it was not until late in the first half that Gort took the lead. Then the goals came quick and fast as Richie Cummins claimed a hat-trick, and Aidan Helebert and Greg Lally also found the net.

Maigh Cuilinn upset the odds massively to climb out of bottom spot in group three with a stunning victory over Cappataggle that, coupled with Loughrea’s win over Kilconieron, left three sides on two points. Kilconieron’s inferior points difference in the games played between Cappataggle, Maigh Cuilinn, and themselves proved the difference and leaves them fighting to escape the drop, with Loughrea in ominous form as the competition hots up.

Sarsfields' three-point win on Sunday over Ardrahan ultimately was only good enough for second place in group four. Alex Connaire’s early goal put them on the front foot, but when Johnny Glynn won a penalty, Darach Fahy blasted to the net, but Sarsfields responded to lead by six at the interval.

Kevin Cooney’s third-quarter goal put Sarsfields in a commanding position, but a Glynn goal with 10 minutes remaining gave Ardrahan hope as the deficit was cut to three. Sarsfields, however, held on gamely in a frantic finale for a 2-18 to 2-15 victory.

In senior B, Mullagh made it three wins from three with a win over Athenry, who will now face Killimor in the relegation final. Liam Mellows and Ahascragh-Fohenagh played out a 2-16 to 1-19 draw in Loughrea on Sunday that maintained their positions in the table.

Kilnadeema-Leitrim maintained their 100 per cent record in group two with a win over Beagh, who had to sweat on their fate when Padraig Pearses beat Killimor, but the scoring difference went against last year’s intermediate champions.

Preliminary quarter final draw: Clarinbridge v Ardrahan; Sarsfields v Killimordaly; Turloughmore v Maigh Cuilli; Cappataggle v Gort.

Relegation play-off draw: Kilconieron v Craughwell; Tommy Larkins v Portumna.

 

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