Tony Kelly inspires extra-time win for Ballyea over Thurles
Clare side set up Munster club hurling final decider against Cork side Glen Rovers
Ballyea’s Cathal Doohan and Stan Lineen celebrate at the final whistle after their win over Thurles Sarsfields in the AIB Munster Senior Club Hurling Championship semi-final at Cusack Park in Ennis. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho
Glen Rovers’ Donal Cronin celebrates at the final whistle of the AIB Munster Senior Club Hurling Championship semi-final against Patrickswell at the Gaelic Grounds. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
Ballyea (Clare) 4-18 Thurles Sarsfields (Tipperary) 2-22 (after extra time)
Ballyea followed up their first Clare senior hurling title win by dumping out a fancied Thurles Sarsfields side after a thrilling extra-time encounter at Cusack Park in Ennis on Sunday.
Ballyea were forced to do it the hard way against the Tipperary champions, coming from seven points down to force a draw and going on to win the game in extra-time.
Up 2-2 to 0-3 after 12 minutes, the Banner boys relied on goals by Tony Kelly from a penalty and Pearse Lillis from play. Aidan McCormack grabbed a Thurles goal on 14 minutes and the Tipp side took command from then until half-time, when they led by 1-11 to 2-4.
In the second half Pa Bourke fired over a Sarsfields point on 50 minutes to put seven between them, 1-16 to 2-6. But a Tony Kelly-inspired Ballyea fought back and when Gary Brennan found the back of the Thurles net three and a half minutes into injury-time, the tie was sent to extra-time.
Kelly got the first point of the new period and a goal by substitute Damien Burke saw Ballyea lead by 4-15 to 1-20 at the break.
In the second period of extra-time Thurles’ Pádraic Maher levelled matters once more with a fine goal. But Ballyea finished well and three late points by Niall Deasy to one by Thurles midfielder Stephen Cahill, saw the Clare side earn the right to face Cork’s Glen Rovers in the provincial decider in a fortnight’s time.
BALLYEA: K Sheehan; J Neylon, J Browne, B Carrig; P Flanagan, G O’Connell, J Murphy; T Kelly (1-10, 1-3 frees, one 65), S Lineen (Capt.), N Deasy (0-5, three frees, one 65), PJ Connolly (0-1), C Doohan, M O’Leary, G Brennan (1-0), P Lillis (1-2).
Subs: D Burke (1-0) for O’Leary (5), D Egan for Carrig inj. (11), A Keane for Connolly (48), F Neylon for Egan (60).
THURLES: P McCormack, S Maher, R Maher, R Dwan, S Lillis, P Maher (1-0) , D Maher, J Maher (0-1), S Cahill (0-1), B McCarthy, A McCormack (1-4), T Doyle (0-3), L Corbett, P Bourke (0-9, six frees), C Lanigan (0-3).
Subs: M O’Brien (0-1) for Lanigan (51 mins), B O’Connell for Doyle (57 mins), D Kennedy for Lillis (60 mins), C Moloney for Corbett (60 mins), L Corbett for Moloney (beginning of extre-time), C Moloney for Kennedy (63 mins), M Cahill for Corbett (66 mins).
Referee: D Kirwan (Cork).
Glen Rovers (Cork) 0-15 Patrickswell (Limerick) 0-14
Cork champions Glen Rovers are back in the Munster club hurling final for the first time in 26 years after they broke the hearts of Patrickswell in a pulsating semi-final at Limerick’s Gaelic Grounds.
It was three minutes from the end when Glen Rovers took the lead for the first time in a very closely contested affair which saw the winners strike 16 wides compared to nine for the losers.
Backed by the breeze Patrickswell had the opening three points, frees by Diarmuid Byrnes and Aaron Gillane and the first from play by Thomas O’Brien after 11 minutes, by which stage Glen Rovers had seven wides.
David Busteed had Glen Rovers first point after 15 minutes but by half-time Patrickswell led 0-7 to 0-4 with only five of the scores coming from play.
Patrick Horgan, who fluffed a few frees early on, came into his own in the second half and he scored six points in an intense second half for a total of 0-8 with six of them from frees.
Aaron Gillane nudged Patrickswell back in front but Horgan’s free made it 0-9 each.
Two points separated them 0-13 to 0-11 after 50 minutes and it was 13-13 with a few minutes remaining.
Horgan and Conor Dorris had late points while Gillane’s stoppage-time free was too late to force extra time for a Patrickswell side who were twice denied by superb saves by Cathal Hickey. They also fluffed two gilt-edged goal chances and Graham Callanan cleared off his own line.
GLEN ROVERS: C Hickey; C Healy, S McDonnell, G Moylan; D Dooling, B Moylan, G Callanan; D Cronin (0-1), D Noonan; Dean Brosnan (0-2), P Horgan (0-8, six frees), D Cunningham; C Dorris (0-2), C O’Brien, David Busteed (0-2). Sub: B Phelan for O’Brien (53 mins).
PATRICKSWELL: B Murray; T Nolan, J Mann, N Carmody; M Carmody, D Byrnes 0-3 (two frees, one 65), N Foley; C Lynch 0-1, B Foley; A Gillane (0-6, four frees), S O’Brien, J Kelleher (0-1); L Considine, K O’Brien (0-1), T O’Brien (0-2). Subs: J Flynn for B Foley (50 mins), P Harty for Considine (55 mins).
Referee: R McGann (Clare).