First ever All-Ireland hurling title for St Thomas

St Thomas (Galway) 1-11 Kilcormac-Killoughey (Offaly) 1-9

St Thomas, Galway, claimed their first ever AIB All-Ireland Club SHC title at Croke Park this afternoon in testing weather conditions.

John Burke's charges held their Offaly opponents scoreless in the closing 18 minutes. Kilcormac-Killoughey seeing both of their midfielders shown Red Cards during this spell after referee John Sexton sent Killian Leonard and Damien Kilmartin to the line in separate instances.

St Thomas's trailed by 1-9 to 1-7 after Trevor Fletcher bagged a point for Kilcormac-Killoughey in the 42nd minute, but the Galway champions weren't to be denied on their debut All-Ireland bow and tagged on four points without reply to secure the Tommy Moore Cup.

This game was extremely tight in the opening 10 minutes - three times Kilcormac-Killoughey took the lead, and three times St. Thomas's drew level.

The Galway side claimed the lead for the first time in the 16th minute following a Conor Cooney pointed free, but the Galway side were rocked soon after.

Immediately from Conor Slevin's puck out Kilcormac/Killoughey moved the ball up field with a high-ball delivered on top of their full-forward line, and former Tipperary hurler Trevor Fletcher kicking it to the net.

However, St Thomas's remained composed and after a Conor Cooney point, they took the lead in the 24th minute when Richard Murray followed up a Cooney effort to push the Galway side into a 1-5 to 1-3 lead.

Kilcormac-Killoughey fought hard, thanks in the main to the efforts of Ciaran Slevin from placed balls, but St. Thomas's led by 1-7 to 1-5 at the break.

With heavy rain prevailing and the skies becoming dusky Croke Park officials opted to turn on the floodlights for the second half, and a keenly contested closing 30 minutes was produced.

Underfoot conditions again proved tough on the restart, with defences on top in the opening stages of the second half.

Shane Cooney and Ciaran Slevin fired wides inside two minutes of the restart, before Slevin opened the second half account in the 35th minute, with his sixth point of the afternoon.

Two further scores followed from Slevin to push Kilcormac 1-8 to 1-7 ahead, with a Fletcher point extending that lead to two points by the 42nd minute.

Thomas's kept pressing hard and were rewarded for their endeavours with a brace of Richard Murray points levelling the tie with 12 minutes left on the clock.

Kilcormac/Killoughey were dealt a major blow in the 51st minute after Killian Leonard was shown a straight red card after lashing out on the advancing Darragh Burke.

St Thomas took the lead a minute later after Conor Cooney fired his fourth point, and although there were chances for Kilcormac-Killoughey to take scores, they failed to convert them.

Kilmartin followed Leonard for an early shower, after receiving his second yellow card with two minutes remaining.

Cooney sealed victory in injury time with his fifth point, and his second of the half from play as St. Thomas held out to take a two-point win.

There were scenes of jubilation at the full time whistle as St Thomas's became the seventh Galway club to take All-Ireland honours, following on from the previous most recent winners Clarinbridge in 2011.

After the game St. Thomas' captain Robert Murray received the Tommy Moore Cup from GAA President Liam O'Neill, while ? claimed the Man of the Match award.

Scorers:

St. Thomas: C Cooney (3f) 0-5; Richard Murray 1-02; J Regan, A Kelly, B Burke, K Burke 0-1 each.

Kilcormac/Killoughey: Ciaran Slevin (7f, 1 s/l) 0-7; T Fletcher 1-0.

ST THOMAS: P Skehill; C Burke, Robert Murray, S Skehill; E Tannion, Darragh Burke, S Burke; K Burke, David Burke; S Cooney, C Cooney, J Regan; A Kelly, Richard Murray, B Burke. Subs: E Burke for Kelly (41); G Murray for B Burke (58).

KILCORMAC/KILLOUGHEY: Conor Slevin; J Grogan, G Healion, A McConville; K Grogan, P Healion, B Leonard; D Kilmartin, K Leonard; Ciaran Slevin, C Mahon, P Geraghty; J Gorman, T Fletcher, T Geraghty. Subs: C Guinan for Grogan (Blood 23-25); M Leonard for Fletcher (55); C Guinan for P Geraghty (57).

REFEREE: John Sexton (Cork).


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