Noel McGrath’s injury-time point for Loughmore sent the game to extra-time, with the sides tied on 1-17 each.
Upperchurch held the initiative early on but Loughmore had an Evan Sweeney goal after 21 minutes to keep them in the hunt. Still Upperchurch led at the interval 0-12 to 1-7 but would face the breeze in the second-half. Four Loughmore points at the start of the second-half pushed them ahead but Colin Ryan’s goal after 41 minutes restored Upperchurch’s lead. In a hectic finish, McGrath was Loughmore’s saviour with an injury time point to level.
Pádraig Greene netted for Upperchurch in the first minute of extra-time and they were 2-18 to 1-19 clear at the break. Points by John McGrath and Liam Treacy levelled for Loughmore but three minutes from the end Greene landed the winning point for Upperchurch.
There was no such excitement in the second game as holders Drom-Inch brushed Sarsfields aside with ease. First-half goals by Eddie Costelloe and David Collins had Drom leading 2-10 to 0-8 at the interval. Seamie Callanan was in top form again for Drom, finishing the day with 1-9, 1-3 from play.
A big Sarsfields effort was expected after the break when Lar Corbett was introduced, but it never materialised. Sub “Redser” O Grady brought them within six points with a superb goal after 50 minutes, but they never built on this strike and Callanan rounded off a great day for Drom with their third goal four minutes from the end.
South champions Killenaule carried too much scoring power for neighbours Ballingarry in the South SHC semi-final and emerged victorious by 3-14 to 0-16. Michael Doyle’s first minute goal gave Killenaule the ideal start but Ballingarry recovered well and, with Seanie Cahill on song, led at half-time 0-11 to 1-7.
Kieran Bergin was playing a sweeping defensive role for Killenaule for whom John “Bubbles” O Dwyer netted early in the second-half to give them the initiative, but it wasn’t until former county man, Declan Fanning, who had come on as a sub, goaled four minutes from the end that Killenaule were assured of their spot in the final.
Their opponents in the final will be Mullinahone, who defeated Carrick Swans 2-9 to 0-8. Mullinahone had Paul Curran in commanding form in defence with Eoin Kelly leading by example further out. Cathal Horan and Donal Coady got their goals.
West champions, Éire Óg, Anacarty, as expected, proved too strong for Cappawhite winning their semi-final 4-14 to 1-11. Russell Quirke’s early goal gave Cappa heart but goals by Conor O Brien and Seanie Ryan had Éire Óg ahead 2-5 to 1-6 at the interval. Still all to play for but in the second half, Éire Óg got well on top, Páidí O Dwyer’s two goals steering them into the final.
No surprise in the other West semi-final last night either as Clonoulty- Rossmore ran out easy winners 2-18 to 1-8 over Knockavilla Kickhams. Clonoulty had Timmy Hammersley back in their side after an absence and he contributed 1-7 of their tally in a game in which no real questions were asked of them.
Éire Óg, Nenagh got the better of Borrisoleigh 2-13 to 1-4 at Nenagh.
A Paddy Murphy goal helped Nenagh to a four points interval lead but Borrisoleigh came back strongly with Brendan Maher to the fore, and were only one point adrift going into the closing stages.
A second Paddy Murphy goal decided the game in Nenagh’s favour.
Their opponents in the final will be Burgess, who got the better of Kilruane MacDonagh 1-16 to 0-17.