Powerful Thurles march on

Thurles CBS 0-11 Our Lady’s (Templemore) 0-5

This was the third year in-a-row the schools met at the quarter-final stage and the Templemore school had high hopes of finally breaking the hoodoo.

However on a day totally unsuitable for hurling, the Thurles side made light of the difficult underfoot conditions to set up a semi-final meeting with surprise package Blackwater Community School on February 7.

Surface water all over the field threatened to cause a postponement the game not to be played, but after both sides, in consultation with the referee, decided to go ahead, they served up a rousing contest.

Templemore enjoyed more of the play, but a weakness in attack, with only one forward getting on the scoresheet, tells its own story.

However, the Thurles defence can a lot of the credit for that with goalkeeper Paul Ryan making a number of outstanding saves. Denis Maher was a colossus at centre back.

It was no fault of corner back Andrew Ryan, full back Liam Butler, wing back Keith Kennedy and midfielder Enna Murray, who scored all but one of his side’s points, that Our Lady’s lost.

Thurles’s greater stickwork saw them take a 0-6 to 0-2 lead after 20 minutes, with Kieran Morris accounting for half of his side’s tally from frees.

Our Lady’s rallied strongly for the last 10 minutes of the half but their only reward was a Don McCormack point in the 26th minute which left Thurles 0-6 to 0-3 up at the break.

Denis Maher’s lengthy clearances kept the pressure on the Templemore defence and Kieran Morris’s free taking had his side 0-9 to 0-5 in front at the three quarter-stage.

Our Lady’s needed a goal to stay in the game, but when Eanna Murray’s effort from a 20m free was blocked, Thurles remained firmly in control.

Scorers for Thurles: K. Morris 0-6 (0-5 frees); D. Butler 0-2; D. Fogarty, M. Bracken, A. McCormack 0-1 each.

Our Lady’s: E. Murray 0-4 (0-2 frees); D. McCormack 0-1.

THURLES CBS: P. Ryan; S. Harty, R. O’Shea, M. Doyle; P. Molloy, D. Maher, J. Meagher; P. Greene, M. Bracken; K. Morris, M. Russell, J. O’Neill; M. O’Brien, D. Butler, D. Fogarty.

Subs: A. McCormack for Fogarty; P., Looby for Greene; P. Ralph for O’Brien; D. Maher for Harty.

OUR LADY’S: M., Kelly, A. Ryan, L. Butler, P. Ryan; K. Kennedy, W. Ryan, P. Ryan; E. Murray, L. Treacy; E. Fitzpatrick, H. Maher, A. Fogarty; P. Kennedy, D. McCormack, P. Lupton.

Sub: L. McGrath for Lupton.

Referee: S. Hourigan (Limerick).

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