Clohessy inspires Thurles

Thurles CBS 1-10 Cashel CS 1-4

Outclassed by a superb Cashel side during an opening half in which they failed to score, Thurles produced a magnificent second half comeback to book their semi-final place against St. Colman's, a side they’ve already beaten in the preliminary rounds.

Cashel had every reason to feel gutted at the end of an enthralling local derby contest which drew a massive crowd. They outhurled and outfought their more fancied opponents in a marvellous opening half, at the end of which they led 1-4 to nil, and they had every reason to feel confident.

However, Thurles reversed the roles in the second half and held Cashel scoreless for 30-odd minutes. Ciaran Clohessy was the Thurles hero with six points, setting up a mouth-watering semi-final against the Fermoy college in a fortnight.

This all-Tipperary clash lived up to its billing as the game of the round. Played at a blistering pace, the match showed all that is great in hurling, and the real pity was that there had to be a loser. With six minutes to go a replay looked on the cards, as both sets of forwards found scores difficult to come by due to two brilliant defences.

Cashel won the toss and elected to play with the wind in the opening half. They wasted little time in stamping their authority but with the Thurles defence giving nothing away, scoring was low and after 20 minutes Cashel led 0-3 to nil.

Cashel were also superb defensively, and when Ryan O’Dwyer found the Thurles net in the 22nd minute and Paudie White landed his third point, a huge upset looked very much on the cards as Cashel went in for the break 1-4 to nil in front.

“We never played in that opening half,” said Thurles mentor Theo Lloyd. “Half time allowed us to do some straight talking and thankfully it turned out well in the end.

“There was a lot of talk going into the game and we appeared to be very nervous. Cashel were a serious team and had a number of outstanding players, but I knew we had the players to turn it around, and once we got on the scoreboard, the confidence began to flow.”

Thurles wasted little time after the break, opening their account with a Pa Bourke point after just 50 seconds, but they couldn’t translate their outfield superiority into scores, mainly due to the brilliance of the Cashel defence.

Ciaran Clohessy was majestic at corner forward and after 52 minutes of outstanding hurling, Thurles had the deficit down to the minimum with five unanswered points, four of them from Clohessy.

Cashel needed a score to settle the nerves, but a resolute Thurles defence, in which team captain and county minor David Patterson was majestic, held firm before Thomas Hassett’s point tied the game for the first time with five minutes remaining.

Despite the best efforts of Paudie White and substitute Aidan Maher, Cashel couldn’t breach the rock-solid Thurles defence and amid incredible tension and excitement, the outstanding Cloghessy edged his side in front before Brian Moran finally closed the door on a gallant Cashel side with a goal in injury time.

Scorers: Thurles: C. Clohessy 0-6 (0-2 frees); B. Moran 1-0; P. Bourke 0-2; T. Hassett, T. Hammersley 0-1 each. Cashel: R. O’Dwyer 1-0; P. White 0-3 (0-1 free); T. Comerford 0-1.

THURLES: S. Grey; D. Patterson, P. Maher, M. Gleeson; K. Moran, E. Ryan, M. Cahill; J. Coughlan, T. Ryan; P. Kelly, T. Hassett, B. Moran; C. Clohessy, D. Kirby, P. Bourke. Subs. T. Hammersley for P. Ryan; I. Maher for D. Kirby.

CASHEL: J. Dudley; J. O’Keeffe, J. O’Dwyer, J. Keane; M. H Heelan, J. Heffernan, P. Hayes; J. Hayes, B. Maher; T. Comerford, R. O’Dwyer, J. Forrestal; E. Barrett, P. White, D. O’Brien; Sub. A. Maher for E. Barrett.

Referee: M. Meade (Ballylanders).

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