Gort defeat Beagh to book county final spot

End of the road for Beagh:  Kevin Keehan of Beagh is blocked by Gort's Sylvie Óg Linnane and Sean Forde in action from the Salthill Hotel Galway Senior Hurling semi-final at Kenny Park, Athenry, on Sunday. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

End of the road for Beagh: Kevin Keehan of Beagh is blocked by Gort's Sylvie Óg Linnane and Sean Forde in action from the Salthill Hotel Galway Senior Hurling semi-final at Kenny Park, Athenry, on Sunday. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

Gort did enough on Sunday in Kenny Park to book their place in the 2014 county senior hurling final when they defeated Beagh by eight points, 1-15 to 0-10.

They now face hurling kingpins Portumna on Sunday week in this year’s decider.

Gort, county champions in 2011 when they defeated Clarinbridge, were full value for this win over a committed and hard-working Beagh.

Beagh settled well and led by three points, 0-4 to 0-1 early in the game, but they were overly dependent on centre-forward and free-taker Kevin Keehan for their scores. Gort were the more balanced and dangerous side up front and reined them in well before half time.

When Gerard O' Donoghue struck a well-taken goal after a slick move involving Gerry Quinn and the lively Richie Cummins, who shot four points from play over the hour, the Gort men were in the driving seat, and were unlikely to be evicted from it unless Beagh could hit a goal in the second half.

Gort led by 1-9 to 0-6 at half time and were full value for that six point lead.

Beagh did have a few good scoring chances in the second half to make a real game of it, but those opportunities were not taken, proving costly.

Despite closing the gap to four points at one stage, Gort's greater cohesion and experience were significant and they ran out easy winners in the last quarter.

The Gort management team of Michael Finn and the experienced Mattie Murphy will be pleased to see their team back into another county final. However they know they will have to improve some aspects of their game if they are to stop the current All-Ireland champions on December the 14.

“Portumna have serious hurlers all through the team and they will present a challenge, however we have confidence in our guys,” said Michael Finn.

“Game on game this year we have improved. We feel we are in a position to give them a right good test in the final and may the best team win.”

Last Sunday the Gort men had impressive displays at the back from goalkeeper Gavin Lally who was solid all through, Tadhg Linnane and Slyvie Óg Linnane, wing-back Aidan Harte, and centre-back Greg Lally who held his position well.

Seán and Niall Forde worked hard at midfield and up front Gerry Quinn (0-7, 6fs ), Richie Cummins and Ger O' Donoghue did the damage on the scoreboard. Paul Killilea also worked hard for the side and he does a lot of honest toil to make opportunities for others.

Kevin O' Grady and Adrian Diviney fought the good fight for the vanquished, but Beagh only scored three points from play and they can have no complaints about the result.

They are a small club and have worked very hard all season with limited numbers to get to the last four. That is to their credit, but it is never easy for a club with small numbers to win a senior county title.

For Gort, the only thing that matters over the next two weeks is trying to finish the season with the county cup.

They were beaten by a Portumna team at the height of their powers in the 2008 county final, by 1-18 to 2-07, and they will not want a repeat result in 10 days.

The throw-in for the final on December 14 is 1.30pm in Kenny Park, and it promises to be an intriguing contest.

Christy Browne has been selected to referee the county final and the 1989 county champions, Sarsfields, who are the Jubilee team will be honoured on the day.

Gort: G Lally; M McMahon, N Forde, T Linnane; A Harte, G Lally, S Forde; S Og Linnane, M Cummins; G Quinn, A Mullins, M Mullins; G O’Donoghue, P Killilea, R Cummins. Subs: C Helebert, J Grealish, K Higgins.

Beagh: K O’Grady; E Tuohy, J Morris, T McKeown; R Gantley, A Diviney, M Geaghan; J Diviney, D Landers; J Gantley, K Keehan, A Tuohy; P Landers, B McGuane, R McDermot. Subs: K Diviney, T Fallon.

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