Despite the high scoring, this game only sprung to life when the losers came with a late scoring surge to force extra-time.
The county champions had started in whirlwind fashion and had three points on the board in as many minutes from Johnny Ryan, Callanan and Seamus Butler. By the end of the first quarter they were 0-7 to 0-1 ahead before the McGraths, Noel, Aidan, Liam and John helped close the gap. Though Johnny Ryan increased the Drom-Inch advantage with huge scores from distance, their opponents landed the last four scores of the half to trail by three (0-10 to 0-7) at the interval.
An eighth minute penalty converted by Noel McGrath re-ignited Loughmore-Castleiney’s challenge but Drom-Inch reclaimed the initiative when Callanan goaled in the 21st minute after forcing a mistake from ’keeper John Scully.
But back came Loughmore-Castleiney who finished in style before centre-back Eddie Connolly’s point six minutes into injury time forced extra-time.
Callanan had his second goal at the end of the first period to give Drom-Inch a massive boost and their hopes were further lifted when Loughmore Castleiney had midfielder Liam Treacy sent off. With that, went their chances of appearing in the final against Thurles Sarsfields.
Scorers for Drom-Inch: S Callanan 2-13, J Ryan 0-5, D Butler, S Butler 0-3 each, K Butler, P Lupton 0-1 each.
Scorers for Loughmore Castleiney: J McGrath 0-10, N McGrath 1-3, A McGrath, L McGrath 0-3 each, E Connolly 0-2,
DROM-INCH: D Young; E Costello, M Butler, M Costello; E Walsh, E Buckley, L Ryan; S Delaney, J Woodlock; S Callanan, J Ryan, P Lupton; D Butler, J Lupton, S Butler.
Subs: K Butler for P Collins; J Moloney for J Lupton; S Delaney for P Lupton; P Stapleton for L Ryan; James Ryan for Johnny Ryan.
LOUGHMORE-CASTLEINEY: J Scully; T McGrath, D Bourke, J Meagher; A McGrath, E Connolly, W Eviston; C McGrath, L Treacy; N McGrath, E Sweeney, J McGrath; L McGrath, D Kennedy, C Hennessy. Subs: T King for T McGrath; J Ryan for D Kennedy; L Egan for C Hennessy; D Kennedy for E Sweeney; J Campion for J McGrath.
Referee: J O’Brien (Arravale Rvs).