Sport Hurling

Sunday 17 December 2017

Burke fires Athenry into final

Pres Athenry 2-16 Portumna CS 2-7

Gaelic football
Gaelic football

A stunning first-half display from Brian Burke at Duggan Park eased Presentation Athenry into the final.

Full-forward Burke – who played in last year's All-Ireland minor final for Galway – was unstoppable with the wind at his back, landing nine points to give his side a 1-12 to 0-2 half-time advantage.

He also set up the goal – when his shot was saved by Shane O'Grady, Cian Burke pounced to flick in the rebound.

Any doubts about the result disappeared in the 40th minute when Evan Niland rattled a fine ground strike past O'Grady to make it 2-14 to 0-4. Portumna CS staged a bit of a late revival, led by the excellent Eamonn Larkin, clawing their way back to respectability.

Larkin goaled twice in the final quarter, from a 20-metre free and then an audacious flick over the advancing Conor Farrell, but Portumna had no answer to Burke's brilliance.

The other semi-final between St Brigid's Loughrea and Gort CS was postponed because of an unplayable pitch at Pearse Stadium.

Scorers – Presentation Athenry: B Burke 0-10 (4fs, 1 '65', 1 s-l), C Burke 1-2, E Niland 1-1, C Shaughnessy 0-2, R Hardiman 0-1. Portumna CS: E Larkin 2-6 (1-4f), J Canning 0-1.

Pres Athenry – C Farrell; J Fitzpatrick, B Hickey, A Greaney; R Doyle, V Doyle, S Loftus; S Bannon, B Concannon; R Hardiman, C Shaughnessy, R Byrne; C Burke, B Burke, E Niland. Subs: T Forde for Hardiman (35), D Daly for Niland (45), N Burke for Concannon (50), E Callanan for Greaney (60).

Portumna CS – S O'Grady; L Casey, B Gohery, J Madden; C Quirke, J Downey, J Madden; K O'Hara, J Canning; N Moloney, S Whelan, J McLoughlin; N Concannon, S Scully, E Larkin. Subs: E McEvoy for Whelan (38), J Burke for Madden (59).

Ref – C Browne (Galway).

Irish Independent

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