Wednesday 21 November 2018

Liam Mellows spring shock to become the first city club to win the Galway hurling title in 33 years

Liam Mellows 3-12 Gort 1-15

Conor Kavanagh of Liam Mellows celebrates scoring his side's third goal during the Galway County Senior Hurling Championship Final match between Gort and Liam Mellows at Pearse Stadium in Galway. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Conor Kavanagh of Liam Mellows celebrates scoring his side's third goal during the Galway County Senior Hurling Championship Final match between Gort and Liam Mellows at Pearse Stadium in Galway. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Liam Mellows bridged a 47-year gap since their last Galway senior hurling title with a comprehensive win over Gort who were losing their second successive decider in Pearse Stadium.

A hard-hitting affair was decided by Liam Mellows composure to take the goal chances that came their way, Aonghus Callanan and Tadhg Haran firing home two in the opening half before Conor Kavanagh effectively sealed it with a third on 47 minutes to push them five points clear for a second time.

It is a massive lift for hurling in Galway city which hasn't welcomed county champions since Castlegar in 1984.

The match brought two of Davy Fitzgerald's former lieutenants, Michael Browne and Louis Mulqueen, into opposition but it was Mulqueen who was joyous at the end.

Gort weren't helped by a red card to Michael Mullins for an incident with David Collins in the 52nd minute that left the Liam Mellows joint-captain requiring treatment.

Gort had started well and were 0-6 to 0-4 ahead at one stage in the opening half with Kaelen Higgins and Aidan Helebert to the fore. 

But the goals helped to settle Liam Mellows, their first in the 19th minute when Kevin Lee and Jack Hastings combined for Liam Mellows to put Aonghus Callanan away.

The other joint-captain had work to do but from the tightest angles along the endline, under pressure from Andy Coen, he squeezed a powerful shot past Gavin Lally to put real zip into their challenge.

Callanan quickly followed up with a point and that gave them a 1-5 to 0-6 lead by the 21st minute.

Gort steadied and by the 27th minute they were level but Liam Mellows sparked again, first through an Adrian Morrissey free after Tadhg Haran was fouled, then through a Ronan Elwood point before the coup de grace in that purple patch, a scintillating run from the wing from Haran and a cool finish for a five-point interval lead, 2-7 to 0-8.

Gort had closed the gap to just one-point by the 39th minute as Aidan Helebert continued to nail his frees but Liam Mellows got a break when Kavanagh weaved his way perfectly to strike a third goal.

Adrian Morrissey scored some important frees which they needed as a cushion to absorb Richie Cummins' late goal.  

Scorers - Liam Mellows: A Morrissey 0-8 (7fs), T Haran 1-2 (0-2sls),  A Callanan 1-1, C Kavanagh 1-0, R Elwood 0-1.

Gort: A Helebert 0-10 (7fs), R Cummins 1-0, G Lally 0-2 (2fs), K Higgins, A Mullins, Jason Grealish all 0-1 each.

Liam Mellows: K Walsh; M Hughes, M Conneely, S Morrissey; C Reilly, D Collins, S Barrett; K Lee, J Hastings; C Hynes, T Haran, R Elwood; A Morrissey, T Haran, C Kavanagh. Subs: J Forde for Hynes (57), J Kenny for Callanan (60), C Elwood for Kavanagh (62).

Gort: G Lally; M McMahon, A Coen, M Cummins; Jack Grealish, G lally, P Lally; S Og Linnane, A Harte; M Mullins, A Helebert, Jason Grealish; R Cummins, A Mullins, K Higgins. Subs: J Commins for A Mullins (49), N Forde for Cummins (53), P Killilea for Jason Grealish (55), W Walsh for Linnane (57), K Killilea for Helebert (60).

Referee: C Browne

Online Editors

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport