Loughmore-Castleiney (Tipperary) will play Portumna (Galway) in the All-Ireland Club Senior Hurling Championship Semi-Final on Sunday, February 24th at 2:00pm in the Gaelic Grounds Limerick. Portumna, the 2006 AIB All-Ireland champions, will be appearing in the semi-final for the third time while Loughmore-Castleiney are in the last four for the first time. Portumna lost their first semi-final to Dunloy in 2004 but got it right second around when they beat James Stephens two later to reach the final where they beat Newtownshandrum (Cork).
Portumna have several high-profile performers on their team, including the Canning brothers, Joe and Ollie, Damien Hayes and Eoin Lynch as they seek to win a place in the final for the second time in three seasons. They were easy winners in Connacht, winning just one game against the Mayo champions whereas Loughmore-Castleiney had a much tougher route, beating the Cork, Limerick and Clare champions to win the Munster title for the first time.
With former Tipperary star, David Kennedy, who won the AIB Munster award, in fine form at centre-back, Loughmore-Castleiney improved with each outing. Evan Sweeney was their top scorer as they powered past Erin’s Own, Adare and Tulla to clinch a place in the All-Ireland semi-finals.
PATHS TO THE SEMI-FINALS
L/C 2-11 Erin’s Own (Cork) 0-14
L/C 1-15 Adare (Limerick) 1-10
L/C 1-6 Tulla (Clare) 0-7 (Munster final)
Average For: 1-12 Average Against: 0-12
Portumna (Galway) 6-23 James Stephens (Mayo) 0-7 (Connacht final)