The first of the two Galway senior hurling championship semi-finals will be played on Sunday at Athenry (3.30pm ) when favourites and champions Portumna face Gort.
It promises to be a highly competitive encounter between these two sides which met in last year’s final with Portumna prevailing by 1 - 18 to 2 - 7.
On that occasion Portumna’s experience and class won out against a gallant Gort side that was chasing a first success since 1983. Gort put it up to the champions, particularly in the opening half, and they can be expected to do the same again on Sunday.
However few would bet against the current All Ireland club champions and their scoring prowess. Portumna have sailed through the campaign this year, while Gort have struggled at times, particularly against city side Liam Mellows. However Portumna will not want to take anything for granted if they are to reach their fifth successive final.
The second semi-final, between Loughrea and Mullagh, will take place the following weekend after Loughrea’s tough battle to overcome Beagh in the replayed quarter-final this week. It took a goal from Vinnie Maher in extra time to see off Beagh with Loughrea finally prevailing by 2 - 12 to 1 - 14.