Apart from the opening 10 minutes when they failed to score, Kiladangan’s Tipperary SHC title was never at risk at Semple Stadium on Sunday as they saw off the challenge of Upperchurch-Drombane with some comfort in a disappointing quarter-final.
Unfancied Upperchurch had hit the ground running and had four points on the board without reply after eight minutes but once Billy Seymour netted for Kiladangan in the 11th minute, bringing them level 1-1 to 0-4, they controlled the game. In the latter stages they had the luxury of using their subs bench to the full with their semi-final spot safely secure.
It was by no means Kiladangan’s best display of the year but it was more than good enough for the occasion. They trailed 1-2 to 0-6 at the first water break but by half-time had pulled clear, 1-9 to 0-8, thanks mainly to points from Sean Hayes (2) and free-taker Seymour (4).
The second half saw Kiladangan extend their advantage, helped by a brace of sweet strikes from Bryan McLoughney, and they reached the second water break leading 1-15 to 0-11.
Upperchurch brought former Tipp star James Barry into the attack for the final quarter but there was no stopping Kiladangan now and they romped home the easiest of winners.
Kiladangan have stiffer tests ahead of them if they are to retain the title won for the first time last year but they will be happy to have cleared a potential banana skin here. They still have some work to do to peak but with Alan Flynn, Sean Hayes, Bryan McLoughney, Declan McGrath, and Paul Flynn providing the leadership they will be hard to beat.
Upperchurch-Drombane battled hard but never really threatened Kiladangan’s county goalkeeper Barry Hogan. They were not helped by some slack finishing from play and frees but players such as Keith Ryan, Paul Shanahan, Paul Ryan, Matt Ryan, Aaron Ryan, and Dean Carew did their utmost to turn the tide that at time threatened to engulf them.
B Seymour (1-7, 0-7fs), B McLoughney (0-4), S Hayes (0-3), P Flynn (0-2), W Connors, A Flynn, D McGrath, T Gallagher, J Gallagher (0-1 each).
P Greene (0-6, 3fs), P Ryan (0-3, 1f), A Ryan (0-2), G Ryan, L Shanahan (0-1 each).
B Hogan; D Flannery, J Quigley, F Hayes; J Loughnane, A Flynn, D McGrath; T Gallagher, W Connors; B Seymour, J Gallagher, S Hayes; B McLoughney, P Flynn, D O Meara.
T O Meara for O Meara (52), M Cleary for McLoughney (59), D Moran for Loughnane (60), M Lenihan for Connors (60), D Butler for Flannery (61).
C Shortt; G Grant, M Ryan, C Ryan; K Ryan, G Ryan, A O Donoghue; D Carew, A Ryan; N Grant, P Shanahan, P Ryan; L Shanahan, J Butler, P Greene.
M Lavery for C Ryan (42), J Barry for N Grant (45), L Ryan for Butler (54).