Loughrea cruise into final
Kenneth Colleran's goal after 20 minutes proved crucial as Loughrea qualified for their third Galway SHC final in four years at a sodden Athenry.
Turloughmore never looked like recreating the form that ousted Joe Canning's Portumna at the last eight stage and the wait goes on to reach their first final since 1990. While All-Star and Galway skipper Fergal Moore was majestic in the full-back line their lack of penetration up front proved costly in the end.
Young hurler of the year, Johnny Coen, had a quiet day for Loughrea, but in truth he was never bothered by a pedestrian Turloughmore, who relied on Ronan Badger's accuracy from frees to keep them in touch early on.
Johnny Maher's first of seven points and a Neil Keary point on the turn got Loughrea off to a flyer, but after a lethargic opening a Badger free and a super point from 38-year-old Francis Forde brought Turlough back level.
But Colleran's goal gave Loughrea the cushion that their early pressure deserved. Emmett Mahony was the creator, with a slick pick-up, side-step and hand-pass to find Colleran in space and after he rounded the goalkeeper Paul Dullaghan, he had a simple task of hitting the net for a 1-2 to 0-2 lead.
Patrick Hoban added another point for Loughrea, before Johnny Maher hit two in a row – the second after he swatted aside Moore before pointing on the turn – to secure a 1-6 to 0-4 lead at the break for the South Galway side.
Turloughmore looked to have upped their efforts after the restart and went point for point with Loughrea.
A sweet point off a shortened grip from Hoban gave Loughrea a six-point advantage, but Matthew Keating's pointed after he gathered the break to give Turlough renewed hope.
However three points in a row from Sean Sweeney, Johnny O'Loughlin and Maher put the result beyond doubt as Loughrea's superior fitness and skill level began to tell.
Turloughmore had a faint hope of a comeback with a 20-metre free 15 minutes from time, but Galway U-21 defender Daithi Burke failed to lift the ball cleanly and the chance dissipated.
The crowds swarmed for the exits after a drenching throughout the afternoon, but when Maher landed his seventh point two minutes from time, Loughrea's bid for a first title since 2006 gained renewed momentum, with either Gort or St Thomas waiting in the decider.
Loughrea: N Murray; Eoin Mahony, D McClearn, S Sweeney (0-1f); J Coen, P Hoban, B Mahony; G Keary, Emmett Mahony; J O'Loughlin (0-1), V Maher, P Hoban (0-2); N Keary (0-1), J Maher (0-7, 6fs), K Colleran (1-0).
Subs: J Dooley for Emmett Mahony (59), T Regan for B Mahony (61).
Turloughmore: P Dullaghan; M Casserly, R Burke, F Moore; B Holland, D Burke, K Hussey; C Burke (0-1), M Keating (0-1); M Morris, D O'Shaughnessy, G Burke (0-1'65); F Forde (0-1), R Badger (0-3fs), B Murphy.
Subs: D Forde for Badger (50), C Moore for Morris (54), B Cullinane for Murphy (57).
Referee: Leonard Fay.