Impressive Loughrea make an early Co title statement

Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry defender Gary McHugo gains possession ahead of Loughrea's Ian Hanrahan during Sunday's senior hurling champiobnship tie at Duggan Park. Photos: Joe Keane.
Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry defender Gary McHugo gains possession ahead of Loughrea's Ian Hanrahan during Sunday's senior hurling champiobnship tie at Duggan Park. Photos: Joe Keane.

Loughrea 3-17

Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry 0-16

LOUGHREA look set for another long haul in the Galway senior hurling championship after Sunday’s convincing opening round group dismissal of Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry’s challenge at Duggan Park.

One of the county’s most consistent teams over nearly two decades, but without the title haul to confirm it, Loughrea impressively threw down the gauntlet to the championship’s top contenders by hitting the ground running in Ballinasloe.

In a major statement of intent, the 2006 champions made light work of opponents who had also reached last year’s quarter-finals, with livewire forward Jamie Ryan surely catching the eye of the Galway management after running riot in assembling an impressive 2-12 haul.

Ryan tormented Tynagh/Abbey from the off, with his combination of searing pace and accurate shooting the decisive factor in Loughrea running away with a fixture that some observers had found the outcome hard to call in advance.

With 1-6 of his tally coming from play, Ryan was the star turn of a competitive clash where Tynagh/Abbey just didn’t get the desired impact from Shane Moloney and Padraig Breheny – both recently demoted from the county squad – up front.

With Loughrea boss Michael Ryan a native of Tynagh, he used that inside knowledge to particularly good effect by handing Johnny Coen marking duties on Moloney, who failed to score from play and was also untypically errant with his free-taking in the opening half.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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