But there’s a growing feeling a 39-year famine could be coming to an end.
Runner-up in 2016, 2013, 2002 and 2000, Our Lady’s moved within a game of another final with an emphatic victory over local rivals Thurles CBS yesterday.
This fixture revived memories of the classic 2008 quarter-final meeting between the sides, which went to a replay, but from a long way out it was clear that there would be no second day this time.
Templemore fielded with three members of Tipperary’s All-Ireland minor winning team from last year – Brian McGrath, Paddy Cadell and Lyndon Fairbrother. Jerry Kelly, a member of last year’s squad, was also involved and provided an abrasive, yet cultured, touch in the half- forward line.
McGrath, captain of the Premier County in 2016, was named at centre-back but moved to the half-forward line yesterday.
Clearly, Templemore are stronger than last year if they can afford to post McGrath further forward and Cadell, while not listed to start, was fit enough to do so and put in a decent shift around the defensive third.
Fairbrother, while peripheral for the most part, still managed to pick off two points from play – both of them in the final 10 minutes. They arrived at a stage when Templemore, in front of a massive crowd at The Ragg, were pulling clear while playing with the breeze.
At half-time, and having played against the elements, they were well set with a 2-4 to 0-8 advantage. Thurles had plenty of good moments but just one scorer in the first-half – Darragh Woods finishing up with all 10 Thurles points.
Heavy rain, thankfully, stayed away and patrons standing in the covered stand side of the field were treated to some nice sunshine in the first half before the gloom arrived.
The game seemed to perish in tandem, a flat feel to the second half as Templemore turned the screw.
They were off to a flier as early as the eighth minute when Ray McCormack scored the first of his two goals, finishing well from Andrew Ormonde’s offload.
Seven minutes before the break, Fairbrother’s effort dropped into the mix, was fielded by McCormack and this time the Borris-Ileigh starlet turned provider for David O’Shea, who netted with a low drive.
Four minutes later, only a fine Ewan Bourke save denied Templemore a third goal but that would come in the final minute.
Thurles needed a good start to the second-half but McGrath became an increasingly influential figure and all five of his points arrived after half-time.
With nine minutes remaining, Templemore had their biggest lead of the game to date, eight points, before sub Odhran Quirke netted for Thurles. It was brief respite as Templemore finished with 1-2, McCormack’s second goal too hot to handle as Bourke got a stick to his shot, but couldn’t keep it out.
With local bragging rights secured, it’s more Tipperary opposition for Templemore in the last four, as Nenagh CBS will provide the opposition. If Templemore are going to end that famine, they’ll have to do it the hard way.
On this evidence, however, they’ll take some stopping.
R McCormack (2-0); B McGrath (0-5, 3 frees); D O’Shea (1-1); J Kelly (0-3); L Fairbrother (0-2); S Nolan, A O’Meara & A Ormonde (0-1 each)
D Woods (0-10, 6 frees, 1 65, 1 sl); O Quirke (1-0).
E Collins; E Ryan, P Campion, D Byrne; N Quinlan, P Cadell, A O’Meara; D Ryan, S Nolan; D O’Shea, B McGrath, J Kelly; A Ormonde, R McCormack, L Fairbrother.
S Ryan for Byrne (57), J Ryan for D Ryan (57), J Gilmartin for Ormonde (59), S Doyle for Kelly (60+1), G O’Connor for O’Shea (60+2).
E Bourke; D Carew, E O’Gorman, Jimmy Ryan; James Ryan, M Purcell, K O’Dwyer; S Ryan, B O’Mara; C Bourke, C Bowe, E Barry; D Woods, A McKelvey, D Flood.
O Quirke for Jimmy Ryan (37), C Connolly for James Ryan (57), TJ Butler for Bowe (57), K Ryan for Flood (58), M Nally for Barry (60).
J McCormick (Tipperary).