Drom & Inch 1-12
Shane Brophy reports from Semple Stadium
BORRIS-ILEIGH PROGRESSED to their first Tipperary senior hurling championship final since 1988 after Brendan Maher inspired his side past neighbours Drom & Inch at Semple Stadium.
The first half was a low-key affair despite Drom getting a fifth-minute goal from Joey Maher, who used his height to win possession and kick to the net.
Borris had opened the scoring through Jack Hogan but Drom settled the better and added points from Johnny Ryan and Tommy Nolan — the later almost scoring a goal.
In what was a very tactical battle with Maher and James Woodlock sitting deep for their sides, Borris slowly worked their way back into the contest with Conor Kenny, Dan McCormack, Liam Ryan and Brendan Maher (3 frees) all on target as they took a 0-8 to 1-4 lead to the break.
Borris-Ileigh took a grip on the game early in the second half as two points each from Maher (frees), and the hard-working Jerry Kelly saw them stretch the lead before Seamus Callanan ended a 22-minute scoring drought for his side.
Callanan was well held in the main and Borris stretched the lead out to six points before Drom made a late burst with Johnny Ryan (3), David Collins and Seamus Callanan landing monster points to cut the gap to the minimum going into added time.
There, Tipp star Dan McCormack got on the end of a Niall Kenny pass to fire to the net and seal the North Tipperary side into the final.
Scorers for Borris-Ileigh: Brendan Maher 0-7 frees; Conor Kenny, Jerry Kelly 0-2 each; Dan McCormack 1-1; Liam Ryan, Sean McCormack, Niall Kenny, Jack Hogan 0-1 each.
Scorers for Drom: Johnny Ryan 0-4; Seamus Callanan 0-4 (2 frees, 1 65); Joey Maher 1-0; David Butler 0-2; Tommy Nolan, David Collins,
Keith Ryan for K Maher (50)
Jody Harkin for Hogan (59)
Vincent Stapleton for Ryan (60+2)
David O’Connor for N Kenny (60+3)
Drom & Inch
Stevie Nolan for Buckley (47)
Kevin Butler for M Campion (48)
Michael Connors for T Nolan (50)
Paul Kennedy for D Butler (60+1)
Referee: John McCormack (Knockavilla Kickhams)