Wednesday 25 April 2018

Hanley free to travel to Oz after Beirne's strike dashes Salthill hopes

GAlway sfc/SHC

Finian Hanley is free to play for Ireland in the International Rules series after Tuam's Declan Beirne blasted home the decisive goal to beat Salthill-Knocknacarra in yesterday's semi-final replay.

Tuam Stars booked their county final place against neighbours Corofin with this 1-8 to 0-9 victory over Hanley's Salthill.

Beirne latched on to a poor clearance to fire home the only goal of the game which left Tuam, the most prolific winners of the Galway SFC but without a win since 1984, 1-4 to 0-4 ahead at half-time -- playing against the wind.

Salthill-Knockncarra rallied in the second-half but lost midfielder Stephen O'Reilly to a second yellow card.

Tuam Stars, who are managed by new Galway football selector Alan Glynn, now have to face into next weekend's final on the back of five games in five weeks after draws in their quarter-final and semi-final.

A brace of Conor O'Halloran points brought Salthill back into the game after half-time, but the Stars regained control and Beirne, Conor Doherty, Jamie Murphy and Gary O'Donnell pushed Tuam Stars into a 1-8 to 0-6 lead at the three-quarter stage.


The game began to get ragged with a couple of minor melees which saw Salthill-Knocknacarra's O'Reilly sent off.

But once the game settled down Salthill-Knocknacarra came right back into contention after county hurler Aongus Callanan kicked over two wonderful long-range points against the breeze.

However, the Stars' half-back line began to take control again, closing off the Salthill attack and a late Crowe free just wasn't enough for Salthill-Knocknacarra.

Meanwhile, reigning All-Ireland club champions Clarinbridge's bid to win back-to-back Galway SHC titles for the first time, fell victim to the weather yesterday.

Clarinbridge were leading by 0-5 to 0-2 at half-time in their semi-final clash with neighbours Craughwell when the game was abandoned because of the appalling conditions.

The re-fixed game could go ahead next Saturday, given that the Galway SFC final between Corofin and Tuam Stars is scheduled for next Sunday.

Final opponents for the eventual winners will be Gort, who had Richie Cummins to thank as he blasted to the net two minutes from the end to edge out St Thomas by 1-11 to 0-10 in the other semi-final.

Gort manager Mattie Murphy -- fresh from managing Galway to the All-Ireland minor title this year -- is now on the brink of guiding his side to their eighth senior crown, but their first since 1983.

Irish Independent

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