A final quarter surge secured St Thomas’ back-to-back Galway SHC titles this afternoon.
Trailing by 0-11 to 0-7 at the break, Thomas’ won the second period by 1-6 to 0-3, but it wasn’t until the final 12 minutes of the half that the Thomas’ display really sparked to life.
Points from Darragh Burke (free) and Eanna Burke in the opening four minutes of the second period cut the Mellows advantage in half, but this stop-start Galway final, watched by 6,740 patrons, did not produce another score in the subsequent quarter of an hour as both sides were guilty of some terrible wides, both from play and the placed ball.
After Bernard Burke and Tadhg Haran (free) traded points in ending the barren spell, then arrived the crucial score of this decider. Having failed to capitalise on two earlier goal opportunities, one of which was kept out by a superb Kenneth Walsh save, it was a case of third time lucky for Eanna Burke as he rattled the opposition net on 50 minutes after a lovely flick by Conor Cooney.
That put the 2018 champions 1-10 to 0-12 in front, the first time they had led since the third minute.
Thomas’ responded by clipping three on the bounce through Darragh Burke (two frees) and Eanna Burke to leave scoreboard reading 0-8 to 0-5. They managed to close the deficit to two later in the half, but further white flags from Haran and the Elwoods, Ronan and Conor, left four in at the break.
The tables turned in the second-half, Thomas' deservedly coming out on top to secure their third title in four years and their fourth since 2012.
E Burke (1-3); Darragh Burke (0-5, 0-4 frees); B Burke, F Burke (0-2 each); David Burke (0-1).
T Haran (0-10, 0-7 frees, 0-1 ‘65); C Elwood (0-2); J Forde, C Kavanagh (0-1 each).
J Barrett; C Mahoney, S Skehill, D Sherry; D Cooney, S Cooney, C Burke; J Regan, David Burke; C Cooney, Darragh Burke, B Burke; E Burke, B Farrell, O Flannery
F Burke for B Farrell (39 mins);
K Walsh; L O’Donovan, S Morrissey, C Reilly; M Hughes, S Barrett, D Collins; A Morrissey, J Forde; J Hastings, C Elwood, R Elwood; T Haran, A Callanan, C Kavanagh.
M Conneely for Callanan (55 mins); J Lee for Hastings (60)