In-Form Canning turns up the heat on spirited Kinvara

posted 20 May 2013, 14:40 by Unknown user   [ updated 20 May 2013, 14:57 ]

SHC Round 1
Sunday 28th April 2013, in Loughrea

Portumna 2-17............Kinvara 0-12

TWO second half goals from Portumna’s Joe Canning helped to put pay to any notion of a spirited Kinvara causing an upset in this first round senior hurling championship opener in windy Loughrea on Sunday.

Having elected to play with the stiff wind in the opening period, Kinvara led for most of the first half and would have done so at the break had Portumna not produced a late rally in which they tallied four unanswered points through Ronan O’Meara and Canning (two frees and play).

Kinvara received a further setback in the opening minute of the second period when Canning pounced on a clearance from man of the match Martin Dolphin and, breaking through the cover, he struck a powerful effort beyond his Galway inter-county colleague, Colm Callanan.

Canning added his second goal less than 10 minutes later. This time he was supplied by an O’Meara cross-field ball and, with only one intention in mind, the Galway star rifled home another bullet to establish a 2-11 to 0-8 lead.

You would have thought the floodgates, by and large, would have opened up thereafter but, credit to Ollie Bergin’s side, they rallied through three unanswered Conor Kavanagh frees and with just 12 minutes remaining, there was just those two Canning goals between the sides.

However, as they had done on a couple of occasions already in the contest, Portumna shifted up through the gears once again and in the closing stages they outscored their opponents by six points to one.

Canning shot three of those – two frees and play – while Niall Hayes, Damien Hayes and Andy Smith (free) provided the rest.

For Kinvara, a Kavanagh free was their sole riposte although custodian Colm Callanan could have netted a goal from a 20 metre free had his opposite number Joe Keane not been alive to his strike on 54 minutes. Keane was again called into action late on when denying young Conor Whelan.

Indeed, Kinvara had their chances – maybe not enough to secure victory – but their propensity to seek out goals late on, in addition to a first half wides tally of eight (10 overall), cost them putting more scores on the board.

As it was Kinvara did hold the upperhand for most of the first period, with Kavanagh proving accurate from placed balls while efforts from Niall Bermingham and David Huban also contributed to them holding the lead four times in the opening 22 minutes.

To the fore in this time for Kinvara were defender Colm Burke, Clare native Tom O'Donovan - particularly in making himself available for the puckouts - and the imposing Huban, while a number of others also looked determined to play lead roles.

In a lesser team than Portumna, Kinvara's gusto could have planted the seed of doubt - no more than Gort in the first game - given the wealth of experience in their ranks, Francis Canning's outfit showed the necessary composure when needed.

Andy Smith, Canning - 65 and three frees - and Damien Hayes put their side on a solid footing in the opening 19 minutes, before Portumna shot that unanswered four point haul late on in the half to deny Kinvara the interval advantage.

No doubt, it was a physological blow to the rank outsiders who, in addition to trying to reel back one of the top sides in the country, now also had to face the elements in the second half. In light of this, to be within two scores of Portumna with just 12 minutes remaining, Kinvara did extremely well.

In truth, the loss and the scoreline aside, Kinvara have to be quite happy with Sunday's showing as this credible performance gives Kinvara something tangible to build on heading into the second round. Their championship is far from over.

As for Portumna, they will be delighted to be back up and running after the disappointments of the last couple of years. The landscape of Galway hurling may have changed since their last championship win in 2009 - as has the Portumna team to some degree - but they have still plenty of quality and experience in their ranks.

Added to this they have two of the best forwards in the country - Joe Canning and Damien Hayes - while young players like the superb Dolphin, Conor O'Hare,, Owen Treacy and O'Meara - all of whom have a season or two at this level under their belts - have helped to re-energise the set-up.

As always, they will take beating!

Portumna: j. Keane, M. Dolphin, E. McEntee, L. Smith, C. O'Hare, E. Lynch, O. Treacy, A. Smith (0-2, 0-1f), G. Heagney, D. Hayes (0-3), K. Hayes, O' Canning, R. O'Meara (0-1), J. Canning (2-10, 0-7fs, 0-1 '65), N. Hayes (0-1).

Kinvara: Colm Callanan, Brian Carroll, Shane Kavanagh, Tadhg Reynolds, Colm Burke, Ger Mahon, Shane Quinn, Stevie Moylan, Aidan Moylan, Niall Bermingham (0-1), Tom O'Donovan, Mark Kavanagh, David Huban (0-1), Conor Kavanagh (0-9, 0-7fs, 0-1 '65) , Conor Whelan (0-1). Subs: Sean Bermingham for M. Kavanagh,  

Referee:Michael Haverty.

Scoring Sequence:
2 mins: Conor Kavanagh pointed free......K 0-1, P 0-0
5 mins: Conor Kavanagh pointed '65......K 0-2, P 0-0
6 mins: Portumna point......K 0-2, P 0-1
8 mins: Portumna pointed free......K 0-2, P 0-2
9 mins: Niall Bermingham point......K 0-3, P 0-2
13 mins: Portumna pointed free......K 0-3, P 0-3
14 mins: David Huban point......K 0-4, P 0-3
15 mins: Portumna point......K 0-4, P 0-4
17 mins: Portumna pointed free......P 0-5, K 0-4
18 mins: Conor Whelan point......K 0-5, P 0-5
19 mins: Portumna pointed free......P 0-6, K 0-5
20 mins: Conor Kavanagh pointed free......K 0-6, P 0-6
22 mins: Conor Kavanagh pointed free.....K 0-7, P 0-6
25 mins: Portumna point......K 0-7, P 0-7
26 mins: Portumna pointed free......P 0-8, K 0-7
27 mins: Portumna pointed free......P 0-9, K 0-7
28 mins: Portumna point......P 0-10, K 0-7
Halftime: Portumna 0-10, Kinvara 0-7.
31 mins: Portumna goal......P 1-10, K 0-7
33 mins: Portumna point......P 1-11, K 0-7
39 mins: Conor Kavanagh pointed free......P 1-11, K 0-8
40 mins: Portumna goal......P 2-11, K 0-8
41 mins: Conor Kavanagh pointed free......P 2-11, K 0-9
43 mins: Conor Kavanagh pointed free......P 2-11, K 0-10
47 mins: Conor Kavanagh pointed free......P 2-11, K 0-11
48 mins: Portumna pointed free......P 2-12, K 0-11
49 mins: Portumna point......P 2-13, K 0-11
50 mins: Portumna point......P 2-14, K 0-11
52 mins: Portumna point......P 2-15, K 0-11
53 mins: Portumna point......P 2-16, K 0-11
58 mins: Conor Kavanagh pointed free......P 2-16, K 0-12
60 mins: Portumna pointed free......P 2-17, K 0-12
Final Score: Portumna 2-17, Kinvara 0-12