Callanan stars as Church hearts broken

Upperchurch-Drombane’s bid for a first Mid Tipp SHC title ended in agonising disappointment at Littleton yesterday as they lost to Drom-Inch by 2-19 to 1-21 after extra-time.

Callanan stars as Church hearts broken

Upperchurch-Drombane’s bid for a first Mid Tipp SHC title ended in agonising disappointment at Littleton yesterday as they lost to Drom-Inch by 2-19 to 1-21 after extra-time.

It all seemed to be going well for Upperchurch when, helped by a Michael Lee goal after 23 minutes, they led 1-7 to 0-4 at the interval. They continued to do well on the change-over but a Johnny Ryan goal from a penalty revived a struggling Drom and in injury-time they hit the front thanks to a goal from Hurler of the Year favourite Seamie Callanan.

Justice was done however when Padraig Greene, so accurate all through for Upperchurch, levelled to send the game into extra-time. With Callanan and Johnny Ryan’s experience vital to Drom, they enjoyed a one-point advantage at the halfway stage of extra time, 2-15 to 1-17. And in a thrilling closing 10 minutes they just got over the line to take the title, Drom goalie Eoin Collins saving a Padraig Greene penalty to deny The Church a memorable win.

It was heartbreaking for Upperchurch who had to win to qualify for the preliminary county quarter-finals but it was Drom’s greater experience of big games, and the leadership of Callanan and Ryan, which carried the day, despite the efforts of Padraig Greene, Paul Shanahan and James Barry for Upperchurch.

Clonoulty-Rossmore won their fourth consecutive West Tipperary SHC title with a 3-13 to 1-15 win over 14-man Éire Óg Annacarty in the replay at Golden, in the process earning themselves a place in the county preliminary quarter-finals having failed to qualify from their group in the round-robin series.

Éire Óg lost Donal O’Dwyer to a red card after 11 minutes and this was to prove crucial at the finish. They led 0-8 to 0-4 after a pedestrian first half but a Fiachra O’Keeffe goal boosted Clonoulty on the restart. However Ronan O’Brien’s goal for Éire Óg had them 1-10 to 1-4 ahead and looking likely winners.

Clonoulty introduced county minor Cathal Bourke and he made a big impact. He quickly found the net to leave his team two points behind and then scored from a penalty to put them ahead. He also had a point as Clonoulty stormed home by four points. Aidan Griffin and Tom Fox were Éire Óg’s best.

Champions in 2016, Kiladangan reclaimed the North Tipp SHC title, their fourth of the decade, with an emphatic win over Borris-Ileigh at Nenagh, 2-13 to 1-8. Though Borris opened well with two points Kiladangan were soon in control, Tadgh Gallagher’s goal after 13 minutes putting them 1-4 to 0-2 clear.

At half-time they led 1-8 to 0-5 and Billy Seymour’s goal seven minutes into the second half put them in a commanding position. Borris got a lifeline when Ray McCormack netted for them after 51 minutes but Kiladangan responded with three points on the trot from Paul Flynn, Billy Seymor and Tadgh Gallagher to run out comfortable winners by eight points.

In the Ó Riain Cup SHC quarter-final, Mullinahone held on for a slender 1-23 to 2-19 win over Silvermines at Holycross. Mullinahone were well on top in the first half and with a goal from Martin Keohe led at the interval 1-13 to 0-7. County man Jason Forde ignited the Silvermines comeback with a goal from a 65 after 36 minutes and when he added another from a long-range free after 45 minutes, the Mines were only four points adrift.

In a thrilling finish Mullinahone, with Eoin Kelly deadly accurate from frees, held their nerve for a one-point win, Jason Forde blazing an injury-time 20 metre free for Silvermines over the bar as they sought a winning goal.

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