Portumna to face St Thomas in county semi-final
After an action-packed day of senior hurling in Athenry and Loughrea on Sunday, the last of the three county senior quarter-finals were decided.
The winners to join Beagh in the semi-finals, are St Thomas, Portumna and Loughrea.
The current All-Ireland champions St Thomas will be pitted against former All-Ireland kingpins Portumna, while surprise packages Beagh will face an experienced Loughrea.
In the first of the quarter-finals at Kenny Park, Loughrea had a tough encounter with Padraig Pearses, but the town eventually pulled through, thanks to two late Neil Keary frees in stoppage time, on a score-line of 0-14 to 1-10.
It was a tight for the entire match and the sides were level on nine occasions.
Pearses had strong scoring performances from centre-forward Cormac Ward, who hit 1-2, Tomas Flannery with five frees, and Fergal Flannery who also notched 0-2 from frees.
Loughrea, who were beaten finalists last year, were well served by Neil Keary who shot six points from frees, while Johnny Maher shot 0-3 (1f) and Johnny Coen had two points from play. Johnny Maher was sent to the line near the finish for a second yellow card, but Keary came up trumps to seal the win for his side.
In the second game at Athenry, St Thomas did just enough to see off a valiant Castlegar team with a few late scores to win 2-19 to 0-21.
Ger Farragher was the scoring star for the city side and hit 0-13 from frees in a flawless performance of free-taking. He had good scoring support from Kevin Brady who hit 0-4 from play.
Castlegar led by 0-10 to 0-9 at the interval and Farragher’s consistent accuracy saw them pull 0-14 to 0-11 in front five minutes after the restart. He also scored three in-a-row to haul the champions back in the closing five minutes after Conor Cooney had scored from a penalty.
David Burke and his younger brother Eanna did most to get their team back on track in the second half and they notched 0-7 from play between them in that 30 minutes.
The game was level eight times and there was nothing between the sides again going into the last ten minutes.
However, it was the All-Ireland champions who finished strongest with Eanna Burke edging them ahead in stoppage time, before his Galway minor team-mate Shane Cooney wrapped up the win with a fine goal.
St Thomas's top scorers were Conor Cooney with 1-6 (1-2 frees) and David Burke and Eanna Burke with four points each from play.
Portumna edge past Ardrahan
In the final game of the day at Loughrea, three times Al-Ireland champions Portumna did just enough to sneak past a hard-working Ardrahan by 1-15 to 1-14.
The victors led by 0-7 to 0-5 at half time in a game that never really took off until the last quarter.
Maurice Callanan was in good form from frees for Ardrahan, and his nine points (7fs, 1' 65) kept the score-board ticking over. When Brian Murtagh scored a tonic goal early in the second half for Ardrahan it looked like there might be a shock on the cards.
However with multiple All-Star winner Ollie Canning in great form at centre-forward, Portumna got back on track.
A goal six minutes from time by county minor Ronan O' Meara was crucial. And when it looked likely a replay was on the cards, the experienced Damien Hayes stepped forward to hit a great winner for the Shannonsiders.
The county semi-finals are expected to be fixed for Sunday week.