Champions dethroned as Drom roll on

STILL standing – that’s Mid-Tipp division champions Drom & Inch after this second Tipperary SHC semi-final in Semple Stadium yesterday.

Drom are still in with a chance of a first county title at this level, having twice fallen at the final hurdle in the last four years.

An outstanding defence was one of the principal reasons they beat reigning champions Toomevara; their outstanding defensive discipline meant no easy frees were conceded to ace Toomevara marksman Kenny Dunne, who had scored 11 from placed balls in last week’s quarter-final win over Clonoulty Rossmore.

Dunne was a little off yesterday, missing his first three shots from placed balls, but none of those was easy. Other than those, all Dunne got was one other free, from 55m on the left, which he nailed&.

& Seamus Callanan started at wing-forward, thus denying the crowd of 6,261 the satisfaction of seeing how he’d fare against county team-mate Benny Dunne.

Callanan didn’t stay on the wing for long, however – then again, this guy never stays anywhere for long. He was simply omnipresent, and everywhere he went, he was effective, finishing with 12 points from a team total of 19.

Seven of those were from placed balls, but be under no illusion of this guy’s overall importance to the Drom & Inch cause.

A Scarlet Pimpernel, that’s what he is, and many times more lethal – even Benny Dunne, well as he hurled yesterday, couldn’t mind him, but then who could, such is his ability to disappear/reappear in a different spot.

Played in excellent conditions, with very little breeze and perfect sod, there was never very much between the teams in this one, right to the final ten minutes or so.

Significantly, however, it was Drom & Inch, through Callanan especially, who were always able to get the points.

It was 0-10 to 1-5 at the break, Drom ahead; the Toome goal was of the soft variety; it came in the 20th minute when a speculative centre from John O’Brien came in and keeper Damien Young, distracted by the bustling presence of Kenny Dunne, left the ball bounce to the net.

Four points on the trot for Drom & Inch, however, all by Callanan, cancelled that out, and Drom led at the break by two, 0-10 to 1-5.

Two minutes into the second half it should have been 1-10 to 1-5 but John Kennedy missed his chance.

The Drom defence held solid and they finally crept ahead with a four-point lead in the 51st minute, 0-17 to 1-10 – and that was enough to see them home.

Scorers for Drom & Inch: S Callanan 0-12 (0-6 frees, 0-1 65); J Kennedy 0-2; S Butler 0-2; D Butler, Johnny Ryan, D Collins, 0-1 each.

Scorers for Toomevara: J O’Brien 1-3; K Dunne 0-3 (0-1 free); W Ryan 0-2; M Bevan, J McLoughney, B Dunne, D Young, 0-1 each.

DROM & INCH: D Young; Martin Butler, E Costello, M Costello; D Kennedy, P Stapleton, Micheál Butler; S Butler, J Woodlock (capt); S Callanan, E Woodlock, J Kennedy; D Butler, M Long, Johnny Ryan.

Subs: D Collins for E Woodlock, 30; D Ryan for Kennedy, 59.

TOOMEVARA: S Delaney; P Touhy, T Delaney, P McGrath; D Young, B Dunne, D Kennedy; F Devaney, J McLoughney; W Ryan, T Dunne, K Dunne; M Bevans (c), J O’Brien, B McCormack.

Subs: J Duignan for McCormack, 30; K Brislane for T Dunne, 47.

Referee: S Hogan (Kilsheelan/Kilcash).

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