Liam Mellows capture first Galway hurling title since 1970
Aonghus Callanan, Tadhg Haran and Conor Kavanagh grabs goals to see off Gort
Liam Mellows manager Louis Mulqueen celebrates after the game with selector Paul Mitchell. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
Liam Mellows 3-12 Gort 1-15
Conor Kavanagh’s second-half goal sealed a famous victory for Liam Mellows who were crowned Galway champions for the first time since 1970 at Pearse Stadium in Salthill.
It was a stunning display from Louis Mulqueen’s side who scored goals through Aonghus Callanan and Tadhg Haran in the first-half and led by 2-7 to 0-8 at half-time.
Gort were favourites, having lost last year’s final against St Thomas’, but they failed again despite Richie Cummins’ late goal. They also had Michael Mullins sent-off after a straight red card.
Adrian Morrissey was the star for Liam Mellows and he scored their first point from a free in the fourth minute. Jason Grealish levelled the game shortly after and the teams went point for point, with Gort slowing gaining the ascendency towards the end of the first quarter.
When Aiden Helebert scored his fourth point in the 16th minute, Gort held a 0-6 to 0-4 lead and Liam Mellows looked in real trouble. But Jack Hastings hit a long clearance three minutes later, it was collected by Callanan who rounded Andy Coen, before powering his shot to the roof of Gavin Lally’s net.
Helebert settled Gort with a couple of frees, and the sides were level 0-8 to 1-5 heading towards additional time at the end of the first-half. However Liam Mellows hit 1-2 before the break, with Haran scoring low under Lally into the Gort net for a crucial goal.
It gave the city side a vital cushion heading into half-time, because after the interval Helebert scored four frees as Gort got to within one point with 20 minutes remaining.
But Kavanagh scored his team’s third goal from a tight angle in the 48th minute and Mullins was shown red for an off-the-ball incident involving David Collins five minutes later. Cummins’ late goal proved to be only consolatory.
Liam Mellows: K Walsh; C Reilly, M Conneely, S Morrissey; M Hughes, D Collins, S Barrett; J Hastings, K Lee; C Hynes, T Haran (1-2, 0-2 side-line), R Elwood (0-1); A Morrissey (0-8, 0-7f), A Callanan (1-1), C Kavanagh (1-0).
Subs: J Forde for C Hynes (57 mins), D Fahy for Callanan (60 mins), C Elwood for Kavanagh (62 mins).
Gort: Gavin Lally; M McMahon, A Coen, M Cummins; P Lally, Greg Lally (0-2, 0-2f), Jack Grealish; S Og Linnane, A Harte; M Mullins, A Helebert (0-10, 0-7f), K Higgins (0-1); A Mullins (0-1), R Cummins (1-0), Jason Grealish (0-1).
Subs: N Forde for M Cummins (4 mins), M Cummins for N Forde (5 mins), J Commins for A Mullins (49 mins), N Forde for M Cummins (53 mins), P Killilea for Jason Grealish (55 mins), K Killilea for Helebert (60 mins).
Referee: Christy Browne.