Nenagh and Clonoulty-Rossmore set for Tipperary final
Nenagh Eire Óg overcame Thurles Sarsfields in the second semi-final of the day
Nenagh and Clonoulty-Rossmore will contest the Tipperary SHC final. Photo: Inpho
Tipperary senior hurling champions Thurles Sarsfields’ “drive for five” hit the wall in Thurles as they lost their semi-final by 2-18 to 2-15 to Nenagh Eire Óg.
The final in two weeks will be between Nenagh and Clonoulty-Rossmore, who earlier defeated Toomevara in the first of a Semple Stadium double bill.
The three-point winning margin concealed a relatively comfortable win for Nenagh, with a late Ronan Maher goal from a free making it more respectable for the Thurles side.
They had looked in trouble from the outset, conceding 1-3 within the first few minutes, the goal an excellent effort by Andrew Coffey while their captain Michael Heffernan went on to dominate the scoring, cutting two sidelines over the bar in that first half and ending up with nine points.
Points by Aidan McCormack and Pa Bourke kept the champions in touch but by half-time they found themselves down by 1-10 to 0-5, with their crown being worn uneasily.
Former hurler of the year Lar Corbett, who didn’t start because of a hamstring injury, was thrown into the mix by Sarsfields for the second half but didn’t get much of a chance to shine.
In the first semi-final Clonoulty-Rossmore dominated from start to finish and could have won by more than the closing 0-19 to 1-10 final score.
It was a tame enough affair, as Toomevara failed to register a point from play in the first half. Mark McCarthy had an early goal chance well saved by Declan O’Dwyer and the five points they did manage all came from Mark McCarthy placed balls – three brilliant sideline cuts and two frees.
With a 0-10 to 0-5 lead entering the second half, Clonoulty kept pressing as the match wore on. Indeed, it wasn’t until the 39th minute that Toomevara broke their “from play” duck, when Jack Delaney scored on the run.
A well-worked team goal, finished emphatically by sub Davy Young, brought the former champions back into it. Further goal chances for Young and McCarthy were not taken, however, and their challenge petered out.