Gort 0-10 St. Thomas 1-11
Sean Skehill’s goal 14 minutes from time wrapped up a second Galway SHC title for St Thomas following a county final spoiled by the horrible conditions in Salthill.
Just before the key score, Gort had a goal of their own ruled out for square ball as the 2013 All-Ireland club champions claimed the title for just the second time in their history.
Both teams had players sent off in added-time, Gort’s Tadhg Linnane and St Thomas’ Gerald Kelly were shown straight red cards following off the ball antics, but Conor Cooney’s free-taking ability and Skehill’s goal was the difference.
Playing against a stiff breeze on a very wet surface, St Thomas looked to be the sharper team from the off, but they struggled to show that dominance on the scoreboard.
Much of that was due to a solid display from the Gort full-back and half-back lines, which were led by Aidan Harte, Pakie Lally and Greg Lally.
Aiden Helebert gave Gort the lead in the fourth minute, but seconds later former Galway senior James Regan levelled matters from distance.
A Conor Cooney free was matched by one from Helebert as the sides were level at 0-2 each after ten minutes. The free-takers soon exchanged frees again, but Gort goalkeeper Gavin Lally came to his side’s rescue after 16 minutes with a brilliant save to deny Sean Skehill.
Bernard and Darragh Burke did manage to open out a two-point lead for their side, but Gort hit the last three scores of the half, two of which came from Paul Killilea, to take a 0-7 to 0-6 lead at the break.
In a battle of the placed ball experts, Conor Cooney put St Thomas on the road to victory with three brilliantly struck frees from distance as they took over in the second-half.
But after Michael Mullins’ goal was disallowed, and Sean Skehill struck at the other end St Thomas’ eased to a second title in five years.
St Thomas’: P Skehill; F Burke, C Burke, E Burke; J Regan (0-01), S Cooney, D Cooney; B Burke (0-02), David Burke; C Cooney (0-06, 0-06f), Darragh Burke (0-01), D Sherry; B Farrell (0-01), S Skehill (1-00), K Burke.
Subs: G Kelly for Darragh Burke 52 mins; Darragh Burke for Sherry 54 mins; A Kelly for S Skehill 58 mins; C Fallon for K Burke 64 mins.
Gort: Gavin Lally; T Linnane, M McMahon, M Cummins; P Lally, G Lally, A Harte; S Og Linnane, Jack Grealish; P Killilea (0-02), A Mullins, A Helebert (0-08, 0-06f); R Cummins, M Mullins, Jason Grealish.
Subs: G O’Donoghue for A Mullins 36 mins; W Walsh for G Lally 48 mins.
Referee: Leonard Fay (Athenry).