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Dunloy unable to upset the formbook at Parnell

Dunloy 0-12 Portumna 2-18

Ulster champions Dunloy once again fell at the All Ireland semi-final hurdle but left Parnell Park with their pride intact after a brave performance against reigning champions Portumna.



The Galway champions were 100-1 on shots before the game, and although never looked in danger of losing after building up an eight-point lead at the break, Dunloy cut the gap to four midway through the second half.

It was the Antrim champions who opened the scoring after just 10 seconds when Paddy Richmond fired over. They held the lead for all of 30 seconds however when Damian Hayes began a run of four unanswered points for the Galway men.

Joe Canning accounted for the other three, all from the dead ball, the third of which was a goal-bound effort from the 21-yard line which was superbly tipped over by Dunloy keeper Gareth McGhee.

Five minutes later the quick hands of Canning released Ciaran Ryan who buried the ball in the Dunloy net.

Paddy Doherty replied for the Antrim champions, but as is often the case, they underdogs were working much harder for their scores, and Canning and Kevin Hayes both raised flags either side of a Sean Dowds free for a 1-1- to 0-5 half-time lead.

Dunloy’s best spell came just after the restart when four unanswered points, including a peach from Gregory O’Kane, made the score 1-11 to 0-9 after 46 minutes.

With Portumna held scoreless for 12 minutes, it took a brace of Canning frees to settle their nerves, and when the full forward smashed the net with a 21-yard effort two minutes from time, the Portumna three-in-a-row dream was well on track.

Dunloy: G McGhee, M McClements, J McKeague, Cathaoir Cunning, K McKeague (0-2), Conor Cunning, K Molloy, P Shivers, Colum Cunning, G O’Kane (0-1), L Richmond (0-1), P Shiels (0-4f), P Doherty (0-1), P Richmond (0-1), S Dowds (0-2f)

Subs: A Elliott (for S Dowds), D Kelly (for P Doherty), M Molloy (for P Shivers).

Portumna: I Canning, A O’Donnell, E McEntee, O Canning, G Heagney, M Ryan, P Smith (0-1), L Smith, E Lynch, A Smith (0-3), K Hayes (0-3), C Ryan (1-1), D Hayes (0-2), J Canning (1-8f), M Dolphin.

Referee: B Gavin (Offaly).

Belfast Telegraph

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