Thurles Sarsfields’ solid start in title defence

Champions Thurles Sarsfields set down a marker for those aspiring to take their title from them when they romped to a 5-32 to 0-7 win over Carrick Swans in their opening game in defence of the Tipperary senior hurling title at Cashel.

This was a mismatch of gigantic proportions as Sarsfields powered their way to a 0-17 ti 0-4 interval lead. Michael O’Brien had a hat-trick of goals in the third quarter and John Maher and Aidan McCormack added further goals before the finish.

All Sars’ county men were in fine form, with Padraic Maher, Ronan Maher, Michael Cahill, Aidan McCormack, Pa Bourke, and Stephen Cahill contributing. But O Brien, with 3-3 from play, stole the show.

County star John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer scored 10 points as Killenaule saw off an understrength Burgess at Templemore. Burgess badly missed county man Donagh Maher and were also without Tossy Hogan and Peter Gill.

An early goal by Tony Doyle gave Killenaule the initiative but Eoin Hogan’s goal for Burgess had them a point ahead nearing half-time. However, Killenaule hit three points for an interval lead of 1-11 to 1-9. The sides were level twice in the second-half but in the closing minutes Bubbles twice pointed to give Killenaule victory.

Beaten finalists last year, Kildangan got their campaign off to a winning start with a 1-20 to 1-13 win over Borrisoleigh. Former county goalman Darragh Egan, operating at full-forward, notched 1-10 of their tally.

They led 1-11 to 0-6 at the break, Egan’s goal coming after eight minutes. Borris stepped up their game in the second-half but some poor finishing was to prove costly. Kieran Maher got their goal after 54 minutes but Kildangan, who have dominated the North division in recent years, were full value for their win.

Even without county full-forward Seamus Callanan, Drom-Inch proved far too strong for Portroe, winning 3-15 to 0-10. Drom were ahead 1-7 to 0-8 at the break in a well-contested encounter, their goal coming from Michael Butler. In the second-half Drom took complete control and with goals from Mikey Connors and Tommy Nolan ran out very comfortable winners.

Kilruane MacDonaghs will draw huge encouragement from their big win over Éire Óg Nenagh, 3-17 to 0-15. Jerome Cahill’s goal helped Kilruane to an interval lead of 1-11 to 0-7 and further goals from James Williams and Cian Darcy early in the second half set the Cloughjordan lads firmly on course for victory despite some late points from a disappointing Nenagh.

County man John McGrath scored 2-9, 2-2 from play, as Loughmore-Castleiney got the better of Mid rivals Upperchurch-Drombane 2-19 to 0-18 at Boherlahan. Upperchurch started well and led for 20 minutes against the breeze but McGrath’s first goal brought Loughmore level in the 23rd minute and at the break they were 1-10 to 0-9 ahead.

Five unanswered points in six minutes followed by John McGrath’s second goal had Loughmore 2-16 to 0-12 clear going into the last quarter and they were never going to be caught.

Eire Óg Anacarty were full value for their 1-18 to 0-14 win over Mullinahone. Wind-aided Mullinahone set the early pace but Kevin Fox’ goal for Eire Óg after 25 minutes put them 1-6 to 0-8 ahead. Sean Curran was Mullinahone’s main marksman and thanks to him they led 0-10 to 1-6 at the break. In the second-half, with Conor O’Brien, Ronan O’Brien, Tom Fox and Kevin Fox starring, Éire Óg pulled steadily away for a comfortable win.

In the Ó Riain Cup, the county senior hurling Division 2 championship, JK Brackens defeated Borrisokane; Newport defeated Ballingarry; Toomevara edged out Roscrea and Templederry accounted for neighbours Silvermines.

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