Portumna qualified for the county final against Loughrea in two weeks’ time when they defeated All-Ireland club champions St Thomas by 0-18 to 2-11 in Saturday’s replay at Kenny Park.
Joe Canning shot 10 points from frees and a ‘65 for his side and they will now face Loughrea in a repeat of recent county finals between the two in 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2009. Canning started at midfield, but was moved into full-forward in the second half, and it will be interesting to see where he lines out in the final. St Thomas’ led 1-6 to 0-7 at the break, but they were far too dependent on scores from placed balls by Conor Cooney. And, with Damien Hayes in fine form for Portumna, it was the Shannonsiders who took control in the second half.
Despite the closeness of both contests, it is fair to say that over the two days Portumna were the better and deserved to advance.
While Portumna have defeated Loughrea in three of those four finals, there is no guarantee how the 2013 final will go, but it should draw a big crowd to Pearse Stadium on October 27.
Portumna: J Keane; G Heagney, E McEntee, P Smith; C O’Hare, M Dolphin, E Lynch, L Smith (0-1 ), J Canning (0-10, 9f, 1’65 ), K Hayes (0-1 ), D Hayes (0-3 ), A Smith, R O’Meara (0-2 ), O Canning, N Hayes (0-1 ).Subs: O Royston for P Smith 45, O Treacy for R O’Meara 60.
St Thomas: P Skehill; C Burke, Robert Murray, S Burke; D Cooney, Darragh Burke, E Tannion; K Burke (0-1 ), David Burke (0-2 ); J Regan (0-2 ), C Cooney (2-6f ), B Burke; E Burke, S Cooney, A Kelly. Subs: D Sherry for C Burke 2, Richie Murray for Kelly 44, G Muray for Tannion 51.