This game attracted 3,020 fans to Semple Stadium and they were not disappointed as Sarsfields finished powerfully to see off 14-man Drom-Inch who had county man James Woodlock red-carded after only 20 minutes but still dominated to lead 0-14 to 1-7 at half-time.
Lar Corbett, who was Sarsfields’ hero, scoring 2-3, got the goal after 17 minutes as Thurles struggled to cope. Despite Corbett’s second goal for Sars in the 41st minute, Drom- Inch were still ahead by four points with 10 minutes to play. Then Pa Bourke set up Richie Ruth for Sarsfields’ third goal, followed by a Michael O’Brien point to level.
The momentum was with Sars and they added five points in eight minutes to go clear.
Robbie Long’s injury time Drom-Inch goal came too late to spark a rally, leaving Sars 3-17 to 1-20 winners.
Clonoulty-Rossmore turned the tables on their conquerors in the West final a week previously when they romped to a 3-18 to 1-17 win over Éire Óg, Anacarty at Golden. Éire Óg started well but a John O’Neill goal after four minutes set Clonoulty on the road. Donal O’Dwyer quickly goaled for Éire Óg, but, with Timmy Hammersley at his best, and notching a goal near the interval, Clonoulty led at the break 2-10 to 1-5.
Éire Óg made a mighty effort in the second-half and cut the deficit to four points, but another goal by Timmy Hammersley sealed victory for Clonoulty-Rossmore. Timmy Hammersley score 2-12 of Clonoulty’s tally in a man of the match performance.
Eoin Kelly was in top form for Mullinahone as they repeated their South final win over Killenaule 1-18 to 0-13. Killenaule were without injured county star John “Bubbles” O Dwyer and though he came on late, Mullinahone had their place in the quarter-final sealed with Kelly contributing 1-12.
Beaten finalists last year, Éire Óg, Nenagh, got enough to do to see off Kilruane McDonaghs 2-14 to 2-8 at Nenagh. Kilruane led at half-time 1-5 to 0-7, but Nenagh stepped up a gear after the break to forge ahead. Ray McLoughney raised Kilruane hopes with a goal in the last quarter, but Michael Heffernan killed them off when he bagged Éire Óg’s second goal.
County champions, Loughmore-Castleiney were never under any pressure as they powered to a 4-27 to 1-20 win over last year’s intermediate champions Ballina.
Loughmore led 3-12 to 0-6 at half-time thanks to goals from Cian Hennessy, Liam McGrath and Noel McGrath. Tom Maher added the fourth goal in the second-half. This was an impressive showing by the holders with their attack in sparkling form., Evan Sweeney, Cian Hennessy and the McGraths taking their scores confidently.
Templederry Kenyons made the last eight courtesy of a 2-19 to 1-17 win over Moycarkey-Borris at Semple Stadium. Two first-half goals by Adrian Ryan and Tom Ryan paved the way for the win and gave Templederry a 2-12 to 0-10 lead at the break.
With Rory Ryan starring for Moycarkey, they cut the lead to three points going into the last quarter, but a strong last eight minutes by Templederry, which yielded five points, had them comfortably home before sub Peter Kinane’s injury time goal for Moycarkey-Borris.
Burgess staged a great late rally to pip Borris-Ileigh 0-21 to 2-14 at Toomevara. This was a spirited display by outsiders Burgess who were driven on by the Maher brothers, Stephen Murray and the Hogans.
Borris, with Brendan Maher to the fore, looked to have done enough for victory but Burgess finished strongly to claim the quarter-final spot.
In another all-north division clash, Kildangan were comfortable 3-22 to 2-21 winners over Lorrha-Dorra at Nenagh. Kildangan led by two points at half-time and goals by Ruairi Gleeson and Tadgh Gallagher in the second-half kept them clear of their rivals for whom Patrick ‘Bonnar’ Maher had a second-half goal.