Pa Bourke and Ronan Maher goals pave way for Thurles Sarsfields victory over Clonoulty

Sarsfields’ major concern had been an ankle injury sustained by Pádraic Maher early in the second half but after several minutes of treatment, he was able to continue on
Pa Bourke and Ronan Maher goals pave way for Thurles Sarsfields victory over Clonoulty

Pa Bourke scored 1-2 for Thurles Sarsfields. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Tipperary SHC quarter-final

Thurles Sarsfields 2-19 Clonoulty-Rossmore 1-14 

Not the vintage type of performance Thurles Sarsfields have been known for but they won’t mind all that much so long as their winning run continues.

Looking to get their hands on the Dan Breen Cup for the first time in four years, they were too good for 2018 winners Clonoulty-Rossmore who couldn’t make enough of the breeze that had propelled Thurles into a nine-point half-time lead, 2-11 to 0-8.

In their group, their average winning margin was almost 13 points and it could have been similar on Saturday but for Jack Ryan’s additional time consolation goal for the West Tipperary men.

In truth, the damage had been done towards the end of the first half when Thurles scored an unanswered 2-2 in the space of four minutes after Clonoulty-Rossmore veteran Timmy Hammersley had made it a one-point game in the 24th minute.

From the resultant puck-out, Thurles found the net. Aidan McCormack fed Michael Cahill who slipped the ball onto Seánie Butler and he found Pa Bourke who beat Jimmy Maher at his near post.

Quick points followed from Ronan Maher and Stephen Cahill and the former belted home a penalty in the 29th minute after Jimmy Maher had brought down Sarsfields captain Denis Maher in the large rectangle. The difference was nine points and it remained that way going into the break after Jack Ryan and Stephen Cahill, with his third of the day, exchanged points.

Clonoulty-Rossmore made inroads into that deficit in the third quarter but the closest they came to a goal was a Thomas Butler shot in the 49th minute that was negotiated by goalkeeper Paddy McCormack.

Sarsfields had major cause for concern when Pádraic Maher went down with an ankle early in the second half. The county star was hurt after landing awkwardly while fielding a contested ball but after several minutes of treatment, he was able to continue on.

Thurles scored just two points in the third quarter, the scores coming almost 20 minutes apart, and finished it 2-13 to 0-13 ahead. However, Clonoulty managed just one from play in that period and were relying a lot on Hammersley’s marksmanship and he duly punished Thurles corner-backs Paul Maher and Seosamh Ryan when they fouled the ball within a minute of each other.

Thurles scored the first three points of the final period to settle themselves, one of them a splendid Ronan Maher sideline cut. After Paul Maher had upended Conor Hammersley, Clonoulty’s Jack Ryan did find the net from a free in the third minute of additional time but there was no signs of panic in the Thurles set-up.

With a good breeze at their backs, they had raced into a five-point lead by the 16th minute. Timmy Hammersley’s opening free of the game reduced Clonoulty’s arrears, 0-7 to 0-3 at the first water break and they scored the opening three points of the second quarter, Hammersley converting two frees won in quick succession by his brother Conor, who had moved into the full-forward line.

Hammersley’s first from play, an angled effort from under the Kinane Stand, gave the Clonoulty support reason to cheer but their voices were quietened by what followed in the next four minutes.

Scorers for Thurles Sarsfields: A. McCormack (0-9, 7 frees); P. Bourke (0-1 free); R. Maher (1-0 pen, 0-1 sideline) (1-2 each); S. Cahill (0-3); D. Maher, D. Stakelum, C. Stakelum (0-1 each).

Scorers for Clonoulty-Rossmore: T. Hammersley (0-9, 6 frees); Jack Ryan (1-2, 1-0 free); T. Butler, D. Quirke, C. Hammersley (0-1 each).

THURLES SARSFIELDS: P. McCormack; Paul Maher, Pádraic Maher; S. Ryan; D. Corbett, R. Maher, J. Derby; S. Cahill, M. Cahill; A. McCormack, S. Butler, C. Stakelum; P. Bourke, D. Maher (c), P. Creedon.

Subs for Thurles Sarsfields: D. Stapleton for S. Butler (41); K. Moloney for A. McCormack (temp 48-50); E. Purcell for P. Bourke (57); C. Moloney for M. Cahill (60); K. Moloney for P. Maher (60+5).

CLONOULTY-ROSSMORE: J. Maher; James Ryan (c), E. Heffernan, S. O’Connor; R. Heffernan, J. O’Keeffe, R. Doyle, T. Ryan; M. Ryan, C. Hammersley; T. Hammersley, D. Quirke, Jack Ryan; T. Butler (c), S. Ferncombe.

Subs for Clonoulty-Rossmore: J. Hammersley for S. Ferncombe (54); K. Quirke for S. O’Connor (60+5).

Referee: C. Doyle (Silvermines).

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