St Thomas’ dethrone Liam Mellows in Galway
Darragh Burke and Conor Cooney goals help Thomas’ to comfortable win
Conor Cooney celebrates his goal. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho
St Thomas 2-13 Liam Mellows 0-10
Liam Mellows were denied back-to-back Galway titles for the first time in 63 years as Darragh Burke and Conor Cooney goals proved the difference in a stunning St Thomas’ win at Pearse Stadium.
St Thomas’, the 2013 All-Ireland champions, were inspired throughout and with Darragh and Eanna Burke sharp up front had pulled clear by the interval and coasted to the win after the restart.
Darragh Burke hit 1-7 for his team, while a brilliant defensive performance kept Liam Mellows to just four points from play in perfect conditions in front of 8,487 spectators.
Playing with a stiff first-half breeze, St Thomas’ raced into a 0-4 to 0-0 lead and all four points came from play, with the first from David Burke and inspired score from his own 65.
Three frees from Adrian Morrissey brought Liam Mellows back to within a point after 12 minutes, but they never levelled as St Thomas’ dominated.
Darragh Burke punished an error from Kenneth Walsh to hit the game’s opening goal, which helped St Thomas’s into a 1-10 to 0-6 half-time lead, while goal-line clearances from Gerald Murray and Cathal Burke kept their advantage intact after the break.
Darragh Burke continued to stretch their lead, but when Conor Cooney goaled with 15 minutes remaining the win was guaranteed.
St Thomas’: G Murray; C Mahoney, C Burke, D Sherry; F Burke, S Cooney, D Cooney; David Burke (0-1), J Regan (0-1); C Cooney (1-1), Darragh Burke (1-7, 0-2 frees), D McGlynn; B Burke, B Farrell, E Burke (0-3). Subs: K Burke for McGlynn (40), C Kelly for B Burke (43), M Caulfield for Farrell (59), S Skehill for D Cooney (59), D Finnerty for E Burke (62).
Liam Mellows: K Walsh; B Leen, S Morrissey, C Reilly; M Hughes, D Collins, M Conneely; J Hastings, K Lee (0-1); A Morrissey (0-6, 0-6 frees), C Hynes (0-1), T Haran (0-1); E Fallon, C Kavanagh, A Callanan. Subs: J Forde (0-1) for A Morrissey (39), R Elwood for Callanan (39), S Barrett for Fallon (43), C Elwood for K Lee (53).
Referee: Liam Gordon (Killimor).