Portumna 3-21 Loughrea 3-14 BY JOHN FALLON Galway SHC Final LOUGHREA'S hopes of a first Galway senior title in 64 years were shattered at Pearse Stadium yesterday when Portumna turned on the style in a thrilling contest.
Loughrea just had no answer to the scoring power of Joe Canning and Damian Hayes, who shot an amazing 3-17 between them.
Canning, who next year will bid to become the first player since Jimmy Doyle to win three All-Ireland minor medals, shot 1-11 and Hayes returned 2-6 from play in front of a crowd of 13,095.
The first-half produced a period of unforgettable hurling as both sides delivered quality scores and by half-time Loughrea led by 3-8 to 2-10.
Canning's first goal helped Loughrea into a four point lead early in the first-half but a brilliant eight minute spell from Loughrea saw them score 2-4 without reply to turn the game on its head.
Former county player Nigel Shaughnessy delivered three points from midfield and Johnny O'Loughlin and Kenneth Colleran found the net as they opened up a 3-6 to 1-6 lead after 22 minutes.
However, Portumna hit back before the interval with a goal from Damian Hayes to leave the minimum between the teams.
The Portumna defence looked more solid in the second-half after centre-forward Michael Ryan moved to centre-back and Ollie Canning began to win a huge amount of possession at midfield.
Loughrea midfielder Eddie McMahon landed his third point of the match with twelve minutes remaining to give them a one point lead but from there to the end, it was all Portumna.
Hayes blasted home his second goal after good work by Davey and Joe Canning and they quickly added three points in as many minutes to open up a five points lead with five minutes left.
Loughrea, whose hopes were not helped when midfielder Brian O'Mahony was declared unfit before the game, came in search of a late goal but it was Canning and Hayes who tacked on further points to seal the issue for Portumna.
SCORERS - Portumna: J Canning 1-11 (0-8f, 0-1 sideline), D Hayes 2-6, D Canning 0-1, A Smith 0-1 (1f), N Hayes 0-1, E McEntee 0-1. Loughrea: J O'Loughlin 1-5 (5f), N Shaughnessy 0-4 (1f), E McMahon 0-3, B Dooley 1-0, K Colleran 1-0, G Keary 0-1, G Kennedy 0-1.
PORTUMNA - I Canning; M Gill, E McEntee, A O'Donnell; E Lynch, K Hayes, T Quinn; O Canning, D Canning; N Hayes, M Ryan, L Smith; D Hayes, J Canning, A Smith. Subs: G Heagney for Quinn (24); P Smith for L Smith (60); P Treacy for K Hayes (60)
LOUGHREA - N Murray; T Regan, D McClearn, M Kerins; J Dooley, V Maher, S Creaven; E McMahon, N Shaughnessy; B Dooley, G Keary, J Maher; G Kennedy, J O'Loughlin, K Colleran. Subs: K Daniels for B Dooley (56), F Kerrigan for J Maher (59).
REF - P Greene.