Tipp SHC: John McGrath the hero as Loughmore-Castleiney secure double 

John McGrath's late, late free gave Loughmore-Castleiney the title to go with their football county win last weekend.
Tipp SHC: John McGrath the hero as Loughmore-Castleiney secure double 

The McGrath family, from left, John, Pat, Noel and Brian celebrate with the trophy after their side's victory in the Tipperary County Senior Club Hurling Championship final replay. Picture: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Loughmore-Castleiney 2-14 Thurles Sarsfields 2-13

This Tipperary SHC replay went to the very end, with Loughmore finding a hero - unsurprisingly - in John McGrath, whose late, late free gave them the title to go with their football county win last weekend.

Thurles Sarsfields attacked the town end in the first half and were more clinical in the opening 10 minutes, running up a 0-4 to 0-1 lead as well as wasting a good goal chance.

A marauding run by Loughmore’s John McGrath yielded a 65 the same player converted: Aidan McCormack responded in kind to leave it 0-5 to 0-2 at the first water break. Denis Maher combined with Pa Bourke twice for points as Thurles began to take a grip on proceedings - a John McGrath free made it 0-8 to 0-5 on 25 minutes, but Loughmore’s wayward shooting meant the wide were mounting.

Still, a late Noel McGrath score made it 0-9 to 0-6 at the break.

Loughmore-Castleiney's Brian McGrath scores a goal despite Darragh Stakelum of Thurles Sarsfields. Picture: INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan
Loughmore-Castleiney's Brian McGrath scores a goal despite Darragh Stakelum of Thurles Sarsfields. Picture: INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

Thurles resumed with wides - four - while John McGrath got his first from play, sub Evan Sweeney and John Meagher levelled matters by the 35th minute.

Then wing-back Brian McGrath flashed through for a terrific Loughmore goal, jumping them three ahead. Noel McGrath made it a four-point game but Thurles responded just at the second water break with a Denis Maher goal - 1-11 to 1-10 and all to play for in the final quarter.

David Corbett levelled the game but Loughmore came strong, with Paddy McCormack in the Thurles goal defying them twice before Liam McGrath found the net from close range on 50 minutes - 2-12 to 1-11.

Thurles sub Sean Butler pointed and Loughmore sub Ciaran McCormack responded - then more drama as Darragh Stakelum found the net for Thurles when a Loughmore free went awry: another one-point game, 2-13 to 2-12 with four minutes left. Then came that dramatic conclusion.

Scorers for Loughmore-Castleiney: J. McGrath (0-7, 4 frees, 1 65); B. McGrath, L. McGrath (1-0 each); N. McGrath (0-2); E. Sweeney, T. McGrath, J. Meagher, C. Connolly, C. McCormack (0-1).

Scorers for Thurles Sarsfields: D. Maher (1-2); P. Bourke (0-4); D. Stakelum (1-0); A. McCormack (0-3, 2 frees); R. Maher (0-2, 1 free); D. Corbett, S. Butler (0-1).

LOUGHMORE-CASTLEINEY: A. McGrath; W. Eviston, L. Egan, J. Hennessy, L. Egan; T. Maher, J. Meagher, B. McGrath; C. Connolly, T. McGrath; L. Treacy, N. McGrath (c), L. McGrath; E. Connolly, C. McGrath, J. McGrath.

Subs: E. Sweeney for E. Connolly (HT); C. McCormack for Treacy (46); J. Ryan for T. Maher (58); C. McGRath for T. McGrath (60).

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

Subs: K. Moloney for M. Cahill (44); C. Stakelum for Creedon (46); S. Butler for McCormack (53); E. Purcell for D. Stakelum (60).

Referee: J. McCormack (Knockavilla-Donaskeigh-Kickhams).

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