Hurling & Camogie

St Killian’s reach All-Ireland final after win over Portumna

St Killian’s corner-forward Joseph McLaughlin shakes off St Patrick’s full-back Martin McKenna during yesterday’s semi-final in Ballymena Picture: Dylan McIlwaine
St Killian’s corner-forward Joseph McLaughlin scored 3-10 in his side's All-Ireland win over Portumna CC at the weekend Picture: Dylan McIlwaine
Masita Paddy Buggy Cup semi-finals (All-Ireland PPS hurling): St Killian’s Garron Tower 4-16 Portumna CS 3-16; Blackwater CS Lismore 0-11 Banagher College 1-5

THREE goals and 10 points from Joseph McLaughlin saw St Killian’s, Garron Tower overcome Portumna Community School in Darver on Saturday to set up a Masita Paddy Buggy final against Blackwater CS from Waterford on Saturday week.

McLaughlin had scored a goal in Antrim seniors’ defeat against Galway last Sunday, but six days later he was the star man as he got his revenge in a high scoring semi-final that got off to a poor start for the Tower.

Although Callum McIlwaine pointed inside 30 seconds, Brian Horan smashed a shot to the roof of their net 20 seconds later. By the 13th minute Portumna were 1-5 to 0-4 up with three frees from Iarlaith Kelly and two more points from Horan.

However a sweet move through the centre involving four players put McLaughlin in the clear and he fired to the roof of the net.

St Killian’s were back in the game. They took the lead in the 22nd minute with a free from McLaughlin, but it was a very late free from inside his own half from his brother Thomas that edged their team ahead by 1-11 to 1-10 at the break.

Although points on the restart from Horan, Conor Murphy and a Kelly free put Portumna back in the lead, the game swung against the Connacht champions in the 37th minute when Michael Furey’s shot came back off the crossbar and Joseph McLaughlin scooped it into the net.

He added a point from a free and Orrin O’Connor clipped over another before a move down the left wing left Oran McCambridge to scramble home a third goal for the Mageean Cup champions.

From then until the finish St Killian’s were in charge and could afford to accumulate five wides before McLaughlin completed his hat-trick with a solo finish at the start of added time.

Portumna sub Adam Roche responded immediately with a goal but it was already too late to save his team.

Despite the shaky start, the Tower defence settled to dominate their opponents.

Niall Magee was superb moving on to Horan after his threat became apparent. Charlie McAuley and Cailin Devlin also impressed.

McLaughlin was the star man with 3-4 from play but the physical presence of the Tower forwards troubled the Galway side.

The other semi-final was much lower scoring with three late points from Ben Cummins giving Blackwater CS from Waterford a three points win over Offaly’s Banagher College In Rathdowney.

St Killian’s: J McLaughlin 3-10 (0-6 frees), O McCambridge 1-1, T McLaughlin (free), C McIlwaine, C Mooney, C McKeown and O O’Connor 0-1 each.

Portumna: B Horan 1-4, A Roche 1-0, I Kelly 0-7 (frees), J Canning 0-2, C Murray, B Porter and C Kennedy 0-1 each

St Killian’s: T McLaughlin, C Ward, C Devlin, J Scullion, A Birt, C McAuley, N Magee, C McIlwaine, C Mooney, C McKeown, J McLaughlin, O O’Connor, M Furey, O McCambridge, N Hynds.

Subs: E Ward for C McAuley (47), P McDonnell for M Furey (55)

Portumna: A Canning, C Campbell, C Fahy, C Duggan, C Murray, S Felle, D Hughes, B Porter, J Canning, C Kennedy, M O’Sullivan, B Horan, C keane, C Treacy, I Kelly.

Subs: A Roche for C Treacy (23), A Callanan for D Hughes (52), D Reynolds for I Kelly (53)