The eight-point winning margin did come at a cost as influential attacker Anthony Ryan was sent off in the 46th minute after miss-timing an overhead pull challenging for a puckout, connecting with Gort’s James Cronin Rodgers. Ryan, who had scored 1-2, will now miss Saturday’s semi-final against St Kieran’s College, Kilkenny through suspension with Templemore manager Tom Byrnes admitting it is a blow.
“He is a great leader. It won’t be for the lack of effort among the rest of the lads to do it for him next week but things like that happen, he is a committed lad, it wasn’t malicious and is just one of those things,” he said.
Byrnes was thrilled with the way the side bounced back from the loss in the Munster final. “It was great to see how they reacted after the Harty Cup final because they were fairly sore after it. Against the wind their effort was huge but we are delighted to get a crack at St Kieran’s next week.”
The early stages were well contested before Ryan struck for the crucial goal after 14 minutes, reacting quickest to a scramble in the square to pull a floating ball to the net. He followed it up with a quick point and suddenly Templemore were in command and were eight clear with Jerry Kelly and Lyndon Fairbrother on target.
Gort relied primarily on the free-taking of Cathal Noonan for scores but Enda’s Fahy and Egan did land good scores to keep the Galway men in touch going into the second half (1-11 to 0-8) and when Cianan Fahy and Egan pointed within minutes of the restart, it appeared as if the Connacht outfit were going to fight back.
Templemore were able to keep their opponents at arms length with McGrath (2 frees), Jamie Bergin and Ryan on target, before the latter’s dismissal. Gort pushed on looking for goals but found Templemore keeper Jack Kennedy in fine form, making three good saves, including an injury time penalty from Cianan Fahy as the Tipperary side progressed to the last four.
J Bergin 0-7 (6f); A Ryan 1-2; B McGrath (frees), L Fairbrother 0-3 each; D O’Shea, J Kelly, K Hassett, P Cadell 0-1 each.
C Noonan 0-6f; C Fahy 0-3 (2f); E Fahy, E Egan (1 s-cut) 0-2 each; C O’Shea 0-1.
J Kennedy; C O’Meara, D Ryan, E Ryan; T Murphy, K Hassett, P Cadell; D O’Shea, B McGrath; S Nolan, A Ryan, R McCormack; J Bergin, J Kelly, L Fairbrother.
P Nyland for O’Shea (52); P Bergin for Kelly (60).
L Byrne; D Fahy, S Fahy, B Burke; S Cosgrove, C Fahy, M Smyth; J Prendergast, J Cronin Rodgers; C O’Shea, C Noonan, M Lynskey; E Fahy, B Mullins, E Egan.
N Fahy for Smyth (16); K O’Rourke for Mullins (59).
C McAllister (Cork).