Loughmore-Castleiney squeeze home

Tipperary SHC: Champions Loughmore-Castleiney defeated Clonoulty-Rossmore 0-17 to 2-10 in a nail-biting finish to this quarter-final at Semple Stadium on Saturday.

This was a game Clonoulty-Rossmore, the West champions, will feel they should have won. They led at half-time, 2-5 to 0-10 thanks to goals from Timmy Hammersley and John O Neill but 11 second-half wides proved their undoing against a Loughmore-Castleiney side that registered five unanswered points in ten minutes at the start of the last quarter to go three points clear with four minutes to play.

John O Keeffe and Timmy Hammersley points had Clonoulty two adrift as the game went into injury-time and Shane Nolan in the Loughmore goal made a brilliant save from John O Neill and then from Timmy Hammersley off the rebound as Clonoulty chased a winning goal.

Hammersley pointed a free for Clonoulty to leave only a point in it but time ran out for the west men.

An Eoin Kelly extra-time masterclass earned Mullinahone their place in the semi-finals at the expense of Kildangan, whom they defeated 3-17 to 3-16 after the sides had finished level 1-15 to 2-12 at the end of normal time.

Mullinahone led 0-10 to 0-6 at half-time. A goal by Michael Dunne after 49 minutes had them eight points clear and looking unbeateable. However, two Kildangan goals in two minutes from Tadhg Gallagher and Willie Connors turned the game on its head and with the game going into injury time Kildangan were ahead by a point.

In the 63rd minute, Mullinahone were awarded a free and Kelly levelled from over 60 metres. At half-time in extra time, Kildangan were ahead by a point, 2-15 to 1-17, and three minutes after resuming were five clear following a Willie Connors point and a Paul Flynn goal.

Mullinahone looked doomed but in a thrilling finish, Kelly blasted to the net with six minutes to go, and three minute later, from a penalty.

U21 star Aidan McCormack was the toast of Thurles Sarsfields , scoring a point from a 95 metre free in the last minute of extra-time to give them a 0-20 to 0-19 win over Éire Óg, Nenagh, the North divisional champions.

A disappointing contest, redeemed by the closeness of the scoring, saw the teams level at the end of normal ordinary time, 0-14 each. Nenagh had a slender point lead, 0-18 to 0-17 midway through extra-time but Sarsfields caught them again before McCormack took his chance from distance to send Sarsfields to the semi-finals.

Adrian Ryan was the driving force as Templederry Kenyons upset a fancied Burgess side 0-24 to 0-17 to reach the semi-finals. Ryan bagged eight points, six from play, and with county man Gearoid Ryan also on song, scoring five points, they carried too much fire-power for their rivals.

nThe draw for the semi-finals on Sunday next at Semple Stadium is — Loughmore-Castleiney v Mullinahone; Thurles Sarsfields v Templederry Kenyons.



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