Portumna overjoyed with fairytale end
LEINSTER R’GERS 0-11 - PORTUMNA 0-19
When the present generation of hurling fans think of Portumna in years to come, they will inevitably be drawn back to the 2009 All-Ireland club final.
Joe Canning delivered one of the great Croke Park moments that day, an inch perfect reverse hand pass that set Damien Hayes away for a remarkable goal.
Portumna went on to win by 19 and while many predicted similar gains five years on against unfashionable Carlow opposition, the Galway men were surprisingly forced to trade in steel.
Outrageous hand passing was replaced by a dogged defensiveness with Canning, wearing 14, playing in midfield.
The Galway talisman was once again outshone by older brother and team captain Ollie.
"It's not unusual for people to say that the best years are behind this team," said Ollie. "But that in itself has given us motivation. For us to win the county championship, and then to win the All-Ireland, it's fairytale stuff."
Portumna led by 0-9 to 0-5 at half-time and though their lead was cut to three after 34 minutes, they finished strong.
Portumna: J Keane; C O'Hare, E McEntee, G Heagney; P Smith, M Dolphin, E Lynch; J Canning (0-10; 8f), L Smith; K Hayes (0-2), D Hayes (0-3), O Canning (0-3); A Smith, R O'Meara (0-1), N Hayes. Subs: O Treacy for P Smith 44, P Dolphin for N Hayes 46, O Royston for O'Meara 60.
Leinster Rangers: F Foley; M Doyle, G Doyle, G Kelly; Diarmuid Byrne, R Coady, E Coady; Derek Byrne, P Nolan; P Coady (0-3), E Byrne (0-1), D Phelan; D Murphy (0-5, 4f), J Coady (0-1), E Doyle. Subs: HP O'Byrne (0-1) for J Coady 36, J Murphy for Phelan 50, W Hickey for E Doyle 56, B Nolan for Derek Byrne 60, D Grennan for Diarmuid Byrne 62.
Referee: B Kelly (Westmeath).