Sunday 18 February 2018

Collins leads Mellows to final in their bid to end 47-year wait

Former Galway captain David Collins. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/SPORTSFILE
Former Galway captain David Collins. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/SPORTSFILE

Daragh Small

Former Galway captain David Collins led the way as city side Liam Mellows qualified for their first Galway SHC final since 1970 after they saw off the challenge of newcomers Cappataggle in the semi-finals.

But they will not know their final opponents for at least another week as Gort and Craughwell drew in the other semi-final in front of a huge crowd at Kenny Park, Athenry.

The final now looks set for a December date as Liam Mellows, who won the last of their eight titles 47 years ago, look to give the game in the city a huge boost and crown a glorious year for Galway hurling.

Cappataggle, appearing in their first senior semi-final, having only come up from intermediate three years ago, went down on a 0-13 to 1-9 scoreline, with Jarlath Mannion's goal in the second half giving them hope.

Cappataggle had one last chance to send the game to a replay in injury-time but Paul Claffey missed a long range effort.

Greg Lally, a sub on the Galway team which lifted the All-Ireland in September, was the hero for Gort when he scored a last-minute free from inside his own half for a 0-13 to 1-10 draw with Craughwell.

Aidan Helebert scored Gort's goal to give them a 1-6 to 0-6 lead early in the second half.

Jason Grealish hit four points for Gort but Niall Healy's tally of 0-9 meant Craughwell, whose last title was in 1931, led heading into the closing stages.

But Gort, winners in 2011 and 2014 and runners-up last year, never gave up and Lally's late effort forced the replay.

Irish Independent

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