Forde leads the charge for Silvermines

Silvermines (Tipperary) 0-14 Ballyduff (Kerry) 0-08
Jason Forde celebrated his call-up to Eamon O’Shea’s extended Tipperary senior hurling panel by inspiring Silvermines to victory in last Saturday’s Munster Club IHC final at Semple Stadium.

Forde, who won an All-Ireland colleges (Croke Cup) medal with Nenagh CBS earlier this year, scored seven points, including three from play and one superb second-half sideline.

The former Tipperary minor captain, who made his U21 debut for the county this year, scored an early point before adding six in the second-half as Silvermines overturned a three-point half-time deficit.

Ballyduff, who lost the Munster final for the second successive year, were by far the better team in the first half, making light of the bitter cold and greasy underfoot conditions.

But the Kerry representatives shot themselves in the foot by registering 10 first half wides, including four missed frees from scoreable positions.

Ballyduff also missed a 14th minute penalty, awarded by referee David Copps for a foul on centre forward Gary O’Brien by Silvermines goalkeeper Cathal Sherlock.

Sherlock’s opposite number PJ O’Gorman sprinted from the Killinan End to take the penalty but his drive cleared the crossbar.

Playing with a raw intensity, Ballyduff took the game to Silvermines and roared 0-2 to 0-0 clear with less than two minutes gone.

Silvermines hit back with points from Willie Keogh and Forde but they would not score again for another 24 minutes in the first-half, before Daniel Keogh raised the white flag just before half-time.

That score kept Silvermines in touch at the break, after a first half that Ballyduff completely dominated. But the men from the Kingdom couldn’t push home their advantage on the scoreboard and that cost them dearly.

They could have netted in the ninth minute but Mikey Boyle, one of just three players yellow carded in a fiercely-contested clash, shot narrowly wide after collecting a neat pass from Aiden Boyle.

Silvermines had few real chances to speak of in the first-half but David Keogh, hugely impressive in the second-half with three points from play, saw his 23rd minute effort saved by O’Gorman.

At half-time, a more physically imposing Ballyduff outfit led by 0-6 to 0-3 but they would pay a heavy price for said first-half profligacy.

Silvermines owned the second-half and outscored the visitors to Semple Stadium by 0-11 to 0-2. Ballyduff’s two points came from Padraig Boyle but the Silvermines points flowed freely at the other end, to set up an All-Ireland semi-final meeting with the Leinster champions in January.

In the process, Silvermines became the first Tipperary team to win the Munster Club IHC title since Kildangan in 2004 and the team from the north division, who won the county intermediate hurling title for the third time this year, did it in style as Forde and David Keogh bagged nine second half points between them.

Silvermines dragged themselves level at 0-6 apiece before Daniel Keogh’s 42nd minute goal chance was saved by capable Ballyduff ’keeper O’Gorman.

Boyle floated over a 44th minute free to register a first point of the second half for under siege Ballyduff but it was scant respite from the pressure being applied.

Forde restored parity with a superb sideline cut before Boyle struck again nine minutes from time with a fine long-range point from play. But that would prove to be Ballyduff’s final score as Silvermines, who could even afford the luxury of seven second half wides, ran riot from there to the end.

Forde’s 52nd minute free brought Silvermines level for the fourth time — 0-8 apiece — before, crucially, they moved ahead for the first time in the game when David Keogh shot over a minute later.

Willie Keogh, a brother of David and Daniel, slotted over to push rampant Silvermines two points clear and they would extend that lead to six points by full-time.

A quick free from Orrie Quirke allowed Forde to point five minutes from the end before David Keogh fired over his third. There was still time for Forde to land his seventh point before the flame-haired attacker fed a quick free to Quirke, who duly completed the scoring and cap a memorable afternoon the Tipp club.

Scorers for Silvermines: J Forde 0-7 (0-3f, 0-1 s/l), David Keogh 0-3, W Keogh 0-2, O Quirke, Daniel Keogh 0-1 each.

Scorers for Ballyduff: P Boyle 0-3 (0-1f), B O’Sullivan 0-2 (0-1f), PJ O’Gorman (0-1 pen), G O’Brien, PJ Connolly 0-1 each.

SILVERMINES: C Sherlock; M Leamy, B Timmons, D Boland; Donal Keogh, R Sherlock, N Quirke; C Gleeson, O Quirke; W Keogh, D Boland, S Quirke; Daniel Keogh, J Forde, David Keogh.

Subs: K Cunneen for Donal Keogh (27), P Fogarty for S Quirke (40), G Toohey for Daniel Keogh (56).

BALLYDUFF: PJ O’Gorman; J Bowler, L Boyle, D O’Grady; P Costello, P O’Grady, A O’Connor; J Bunyan, B O’Grady; M Boyle, G O’Brien, P Boyle; Pat Joe Connolly, A Boyle, B O’Sullivan.

Subs: D Goulding for Bowler (27), T O’Rourke for Connolly (54), JP Leahy for Costello (59).

Referee: D Copps (Cork).

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