Loughmore closing in on completing Tipperary double
McGrath clan to the fore in surprise win over Clonmel Commercials
LOUGHMORE-CASTLEINEY 0-8 CLONMEL COMMERCIALS 0-7: Tipperary hurling star Noel McGrath inspired 7-2 outsiders Loughmore-Castleiney to victory over 2012 champions Clonmel Commercials in yesterday’s Clean Ireland Recycling county SFC semi-final at Leahy Park, Cashel.
McGrath was man of the match in the county hurling final victory over Nenagh Éire Óg seven days before and he was superb with big ball in hand as Loughmore moved to within an hour of an historic dual double.
They will face Aherlow Gaels in the football final on Sunday week, November 4, but before that, there is an AIB Munster club hurling quarter-final against Limerick champions Na Piarsaigh to attend to in Thurles next Sunday.
Once again, McGrath will play a key role and he was magnificent in the second half yesterday, arcing over two wonderful points from play at key times.
Indeed, the McGrath clan was very much to the fore as Liam, Noel, Aidan and John accounted for all of Loughmore’s points.
At the end of a low-scoring first half, Loughmore led by 0-3 to 0-1 but Commercials had the breeze in the second half and they were quickly level at 0-3 apiece.
Loughmore responded with points from Noel and Liam McGrath before Commercials rallied again to draw level at 0-5 each.
But Loughmore, with momentum firmly behind them in recent weeks, pushed three points ahead before Commercials hit back to within a point with late frees from sub Alan Lonergan and Ian Barnes.
LOUGHMORE-CASTLEINEY: D Brennan; L Egan, J Meagher, T Long; T King, C McGrath, J Ryan; N McGrath (0-2), D Kennedy; J McGrath (0-1), A McGrath (0-1), C Hennessy; L McGrath (0-4f), M Webster, E Sweeney. Subs: J Hennessy for A McGrath (inj, 8), D Bourke for Cian Hennessy (52).
CLONMEL COMMERCIALS: J O’Mahony; F Condon, D Lynch, K Fahey; J Peters, S Kennedy, L Moore; I Fahey, K Harney; C McCullagh, C Kennedy (0-1), A Matassa; I Barnes (0-2f), M Quinlivan (0-2, 1f), J Lonergan (0-1). Subs: P Looram for Aldo Matassa (40), D Madigan for Luke Moore (45), A Lonergan (0-1f) for McCullagh (57).
Referee: K O’Brien (Kilsheelan-Kilcash).