Composed Thurles add to their haul
Thurles Sarsfields 1-21 Drom & Inch 2-15:THE DAN Breen cup, the annual prize on offer for the Tipperary senior club hurling championship, found a familiar resting place last night as Thurles Sarsfields collected a 32nd title in Thurles yesterday.
The most successful club hurling team in the Premier County defeated neighbours and 2011 champions Drom Inch by three points in a riveting final at Semple Stadium.
Drom Inch had won the competition for the first time in their history last year but yesterday’s loss was their fourth final defeat in eight seasons.
Drom lost to Sars in the 2005 and 2009 finals, and also fell at the final hurdle against Loughmore-Castleiney in 2007.
Despite a brilliant midfield display from Johnny Ryan, who scored six of his nine points from play, Drom donned the bridesmaids’ dresses once again as they were undone by brilliant Sars forward Aidan McCormack.
The county under-21 player scored 1-6 from play, including 1-4 before half-time, to help his side to victory.
But Sars had to dig it out as gritty Drom, who trailed by seven points at half-time, 0-7 to 1-11, recovered to lead by a point with ten minutes remaining.
A goal 13 seconds after half-time from David Butler ignited the Drom challenge before Tipp star Séamus Callanan netted in the 47th minute. And Callanan’s 50th minute point put Drom a point ahead, 2-14 to 1-16, and in sight of a famous win.
But Sars remained composed and a run of four unanswered points, including two frees from evergreen midfielder Johnny Enright, got the job done.
And thoughts now turn to the Munster club championship, a competition that Sarsfields have never won.
On October 28, they’ll face Limerick champions Kilmallock away from home, with the winners to face Cork kingpins Sarsfields on November 11.
There was late drama yesterday when Callanan scuffed a late goal chance wide and was then denied from a 20-metre free by the massed ranks on the Sars goalline.
Ryan slotted over a 65 to bring Drom within two points of the winners but McCormack, fittingly, had the final say in the second minute of stoppage time with the final score of the game.
An attendance of 6,937 spectators were present to watch the most successful club team in the history of Tipperary hurling add to their glittering haul of honours.
But it was Drom who got off to the better start in the first half and they led by 0-3 to 0-1 with less than five minutes on the watch.
But Sars hit back with a run of seven unanswered points to lead by 0-8 to 0-3, as Drom went 12 minutes without a score before Ryan notched a 17th minute point.
Drom recovered to trail by four points, 0-7 to 0-11, approaching half-time but they were hit by a sucker punch goal at the worst possible time.
Michael Cahill, superb all through, completed yet another clearance from the right half back position and the ball broke kindly for McCormack, who darted behind the Drom cover to finish clinically from just inside the 13-metre line.
THURLES SARSFIELDS: P McCormack; S Maher, K O’Gorman, David Maher; M Cahill, P Maher (0-1), D Kennedy; M Gleeson (0-2), J Enright (0-2f); P Bourke (0-6, five frees), L Corbett, J Corbett (0-1); M O’Brien (0-2), Denis Maher (0-1), A McCormack (1-6). Subs: G O’Grady for J Corbett (49), J Maher for O’Brien (49), R Ruth for Enright (57), J Lawlor for Denis Maher (60+3).
DROM INCH: D Young; E Costello, M Butler, M Costello; E Walsh, E Buckley, L Ryan; S Delaney, J Ryan (0-9, two frees, one 65); P Lupton, J Woodlock (0-1), S Callanan (1-3, one free); S Butler (0-1), J Lupton, D Butler (1-1). Subs: P Stapleton for E Costello (24), P Kennedy for J Lupton (ht), J Moloney for Delaney (ht), K Butler for P Lupton (53), D Collins for Moloney (60+2).