Medtronicsenior hurlers had three points to spare over a gallant Galway Teachers side in a closely-contested Galway Interfirms senior final in Kenny Park on Saturday.
Medtronic, who now advance to the All Ireland semi final where they will face the Leinster champions, edged this entertaining final by 1-15 to 2-09.
In a tight first half Colm Callanan’s 24th minute goal was the difference, and although Galway Teachers reduced the deficit to three in the final minutes, Metronic held out to claim the spoils.
Medtronic also started brighter with points from Kevin Briscoe and Niall Healy before Teachers replied with two Sean Kelly points to level in the opening eight minutes.
There was nothing to separate the sides in the opening quarter. Keril Wade and Niall Healy edged the victors in front, but these were cancelled by Alan Dolan. While David Burke struck a lead point for the Teachers, another Niall Healy effort had the sides level again.
The important break came from a Colm Callanan goal after Shane Menton was bundled down 30 metres from goal and Callanan rifled the free to the back of the net.
When points from Greg Lally and a Niall Healy free were cancelled by efforts from Thomas Madden and Alan Dolan, Medtronic held a 1-07 to 0-07 lead.
The second half started in similar fashion with Alan Dolan replying to Keril Wade’s point. However quickfire points from Greg Lally, Keril Hardiman and the accurate Keril Wade had Medronic in the driving seat, and Niall Healy’s free extended the lead to seven as the match entered the final quarter.
The Teachers were not finished. Finin Coone closed the gap before Sean Kelly rifled home from a tight angle to leave just a score between the sides with 10 minutes remaining.
Medtronic’s experience ensured they did not panic. Colm Callanan pointed a long-range free, Keril Wade grabbed his fourth point from the puck-out, and captain Niall Healy extended the lead to six with a free.
Teachers exploited one last chance when substitute Eric Walsh struck a late goal, but Medtronic held on win an ntertaining contest.
Medtronic: C Callanan (1-1 ), E Cleary, A Coen, B Flaherty, P Gordan, B Regan, K Hardiman (0-1 ), K Briscoe (0-1 ), D Joyce, G.Lally (0-2 ), M Flaherty, K Wade (0-4 ), S Menton, N Healy (0-6 ), S Hardiman. Subs: P McHugo, K Daniels, J Connor.
Galway Teachers: J O’Leary, P Holland, B Burke, S Kennedy, C O’Donavan, J Greene, A Callinane, T Madde(0-1 ), D Burk(0-1 ), C Larkin, P Killilea, S Kelly (1-2 ), A Dolan (0-4 ), F Coone (0-1 ), S McClearn. Subs: E Walsh( 1-0 ), G Lyons, M Tierney, J Kelly, P Kelly.
Referee: John Keane