Thurles Sarsfields 0-27
ON THE DAY a club legend passed away, Thurles Sarsfields claimed a 35th Tipperary senior hurling championship crown.
A minute’s silence for Mickey ‘The Rattler’ Byrne was impeccably observed before throw-in and when play got underway, the Blues stamped their authority all over proceedings to claim a third successive title.
It’s the first time Sars have managed three-in-a-row since the 1960s and they have a fortnight off before an AIB Munster quarter-final against the Waterford champions.
Aidan McCormack scored six points from play, Richie Ruth five, and Pa Bourke added seven of his nine points from placed balls as Sars won with nine points to spare against Kiladangan at Semple Stadium.
In front of 6,546 spectators, Sars established a 0-15 to 0-6 interval lead and were in cruise control.
Within the opening ten minutes, they had nine points on the board, Ruth knocking over four of those in a blistering start for the Blues.
It took Kiladangan, appearing in their first Dan Breen decider since 1938, until the 22nd minute before registering their first score from play, Willie Connors on target, but Sars kept the scoreboard ticking over.
Barry Hogan with Richie Ruth of Thurles Sarsfields.
Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO
On a number of occasions, goal opportunities were there to be exploited as Sars broke from deep positions but they were content with points instead.
Former Hurler of the Year Lar Corbett got in on the scoring act with a long-range special in the 21st minute and while Kiladangan did score three of the last five points of the first half, the men from the North were facing an uphill battle ahead of the second half.
They drew the second period but were 12 points behind, 0-9 to 0-21, before Joe Gallagher hammered home a consolation goal in the 46th minute.
Ronan Maher, one of Tipp’s All-Ireland SHC winning heroes, claimed the man of the match award and his magnificent sideline cut in the 43rd minute was arguably the score of the game, from almost 70m out.
Scorers for Thurles Sarsfields: Pa Bourke 0-9 (7f), Aidan McCormack 0-6, Richie Ruth 0-5, Ronan Maher (1 sl) & Conor Lanigan 0-2 each, Stephen Maher, Stephen Lillis & Lar Corbett 0-1 each.
Scorers for Kiladangan: Darragh Egan 0-6 (5f), Joe Gallagher 1-1, Willie Connors 0-3 (1 65s) Ruairí Gleeson 0-2, Johnny Horan, Paul Flynn & Tadhg Gallagher 0-1 each.
1. Patrick McCormack
4. Michael Cahill
5. Stephen Lillis
2. Stephen Maher
7. Denis Maher
6. Pádraic Maher
3. Ronan Maher
9. Stephen Cahill
10. Billy McCarthy
19. Tommy Doyle
11. Aidan McCormack
12. Pa Bourke
13. Conor Lanigan
15. Richie Ruth
14. Lar Corbett
17. Rory Dwan for D Maher (50)
8. John Maher for Lanigan (52)
20. David Kennedy for Corbett (59)
18. Kevin O’Gorman for Ruth (60+3).
1. Barry Hogan
2. James Quigley
3. Hughie Flannery
4. Fergal Hayes
5. David Sweeney
6. Alan Flynn
7. Darren Moran
8. Johnny Horan
9. Martin Minehan
10. Joe Gallagher
13. Willie Connors
12. Ruairí Gleeson
15. Tadhg Gallagher
11. Darragh Egan
14. Paul Flynn
21. Jack Loughnane for Minehan (24)
17. Eoin Kelly for Horan (45)
Referee: John McCormack (Knockavilla-Donaskeigh Kickhams)
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