Nine teams still remain in the race for the Tom Callanan Cup following a dramatic weekend’s action in the preliminary quarter-finals.
By the end of play on Sunday evening, it was Castlegar and Cappataggle who earned their places in the quarter-final draw, along with Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry, flying the flag for the Senior B sides following their narrow 1-17 to 1-15 victory over previously unbeaten Tommy Larkins.
The weekend’s other preliminary quarter-final clash between Gort and Clarinbridge was postponed as a mark of respect to Clarinbridge GAA and the Armstrong family following the untimely death of Josie Armstrong.
That fixture will be played this weekend, along the quarter-final ties between Cappataggle and Loughrea, Sarsfields vs Castlegar and Liam Mellows v Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry.
In what was a climactic day’s hurling, Michael Garvey’s extra-time goal saw Cappataggle over the line against Turloughmore.
Jarlath Mannion’s first half goal helped Cappataggle to a 1-5 to 0-7 half-time lead and when Alan Dolan pointed a free after 47 minutes, Cappataggle had moved three to the good, Turlough having not registered a score since the end of the first half.
From there, though, they rattled off five points in less than four minutes, but after a break in play following a huge scuffle, Cappataggle fired three of their own, with Conor Walsh nailing a free with the last puck of the game to force extra-time.
Garvey’s goal eight minutes in to the first half of extra-time proved decisive, however, as Cappataggle earned a place in the last eight against near-neighbours Loughrea, winning out 2-15 to 0-19.
At the same time in Duggan Park, Tommy Larkins and Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry went to battle in another nail-biter. Tynagh/Abbey held the advantage for most of the game despite trailing 0-4 to 0-1 early doors.
Shane Moloney reduced that gap to two before Thomas Gordon rattled the back of the net to propel Tynagh/Abbey into the lead.
Three Jason Flynn points ensured Tommy Larkins were never too far away, but a strong finish to the half helped Mike Finn’s side to a 1-9 to 0-9 half-time lead.
Larkins had the chances after half-time to strike a goal of their own but twice were denied, first by Mike Fahy who saved a Ronan Murphy effort, and then a shot by Flynn fell the wrong side of the post and wide.
Points by Colm Larkin and Moloney rubbed salt in to the wounds, stretching the lead to four, but Larkins kept their cool and rallied themselves with scores by Kevin McHugo, Flynn and Murphy.
David Hickey’s goal approaching the end of normal time brought the sides level at 1-14 apiece. But a strong finish by Tynagh/Abbey with points from Padraig Breheny, Conroy and Moloney secured a two-point win.
Castlegar and Killimordaly met in the days’ early start where, despite a 0-13 haul from Brian Burke, Castlegar advanced through 0-19 to 0-16.
There was little to separate the sides in the opening half, Castlegar 0-11 to 0-10 ahead at half-time, but five unanswered scores after the break by Donal McGreal, Ger Farragher (two ), Kevin Keane and Oisin Connolly pushed Castlegar in to a six-point lead they would never relinquish.
Burke did his bit to try to drag his side back in to it, but without a goal, they never looked likely to catch Castlegar, who kept the scoreboard ticking all the while.
Brian Concannon did have the ball in the net late on for Killimordaly but a free-out was correctly awarded as the ball was hand passed in. Concannon also had a shot with almost the last puck of the game stopped on the line, as Castlegar held on.
See Galway gaa.ie for this weekend’s fixtures.