TOOMEVARA narrowly overcame a determined Borris-Ileigh challenge to capture their 32nd North Tipperary SHC title in MacDonagh Park, Nenagh on Saturday evening.
In a lacklustre encounter the turning point came in the 49th minute when super sub, Eoin Brislane was sprung from the bench and within three minutes he had the ball in the Borris-Ileigh net.
The goal propelled Toome into the lead for the first time since the 22nd minute after a half which had seen Borris- Ileigh pull two clear on two occasions only to be pegged back by the scoring exploits of Ken Dunne and John O’Brien.
The opening half was a tight affair and although Borris, playing with the aid of a stiff breeze, raced into an early three point lead they were pegged back by an experienced Tommy Dunne managed Toome’ side by the midway point.
A late injury time Brendan Maher free ensured Borris-Ileigh held a 0-6 to 0-5 interval lead but Borris were left to rue a 29th minute David O’Connor penalty miss after the corner-forward failed to rise the sliotar properly and his shot blazed right and wide.
Borris had relied on O’Connor to fire over three first half points (two frees) while Declan Maher and Martin Maher also chipped in. Toome’ relied on four Ken Dunne frees with their only point from play coming from Michael Bevans.
Both sides battled hard in the second half but there was a distinct lack of flow to the game. Substitute, Dan McCormack proved hugely effective for Borris with two points midway through the half but for Toome it was the introduction of Brislane and David Nolan which proved the catalyst for their win.
Credit to Borris though they battled valiantly to get back on terms with points from Mattie Stapleton and a David O’Connor free, but a missed Brendan Maher free coupled with a super save from keeper, Sean Delaney from Benny Harkin in injury time ensured the Frank McGrath cup was on its way back to Toomevara.
Meanwhile, in the curtain-raiser, an absorbing all-Lower Ormond clash saw Shannon Rovers emerge victorious over the neighbours and fierce rivals, Borrisokane, 2-14 to 2-12, after extra time, to clinch their first north intermediate title since 1986.
Scorers for Toomevara: K Dunne 0-8f; E Brislane 1-0 J O’Brien 0-2; M Bevans & David Young 0-1 each.
Scorers for Borris-Ileigh: D O’Connor 0-5 (0-4f); D McCormack 0-2; B Maher 0-2 (0-1f); D Maher, S McCormack, M Maher & M Stapleton 0-1 each.
TOOMEVARA: S Delaney; P Touhy, T Dunne, A Ryan; D Young, B Dunne (capt), D Delaney; J McLoughney, K Dunne; W Ryan, F Devaney, P O’Brien; D Kelly, J O’Brien, M Bevans.
Subs: D Nolan for Kelly (37); J Delaney for P O’Brien (47); E Brislane for Devaney (49).
BORRIS-ILEIGH: J Harkin; P Stapleton, C Cowan, S Maher; D Maher, P Maher (capt), W Donnelly; M Maher, P Maher; V Stapleton, B Maher, S McCormack; D O’Connor, P Rabbitte, M Bourke.
Subs: D McCormack for V Stapleton (37); M Stapleton for Rabbitte (55); B Harkin for P Maher.
Referee: T Ryan (Kildangan).
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