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0-12 for McGrath and Morris sees red as Loughmore defeat Nenagh to reach Tipp hurling final

Drom & Inch face Kiladangan in the second semi-final in Thurles tomorrow evening.

John McGrath excelled today for Loughmore-Castleiney.
John McGrath excelled today for Loughmore-Castleiney.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Loughmore-Castleiney 1-22
Nenagh Éire Óg 1-12

JOHN MCGRATH POINTED the way with a brilliant return of 0-12 to send Loughmore-Castleiney back to the Tipperary senior hurling final for a first time since 2014 as they swept past Nenagh Éire Óg at the semi-final stage this evening.

Loughmore’s season shows no sign of slowing down, they still have a football semi-final to come, and were fully deserving of a spot in the hurling decider.

Nenagh never managed to scale the heights of their quarter-final triumph over Thurles Sarsfields last weekend. Hat-trick hero on that occasion Jake Morris saw his involvement end early in Semple Stadium as he was shown a straight red card in the 43rd minute while fellow Tipperary senior Barry Heffernan went off injured. Nenagh also lost defender Conor McCarthy through injury in the opening period and trailing by 11 points at the break meant it was always going to be an uphill struggle for the North Tipperary side.

John McGrath had bagged 0-9 in last Sunday’s quarter-final success over Clonoulty for Loughmore and he was top scorer again here with his tally of 0-12, half of those registered in open play. Eight of those arrived in the first half and six in the opening quarter alone. Tomas McGrath chipped in with 1-2, veteran forward Evan Sweeney grabbed 0-3 and Ciaran Connolly landed a brace of scores.

Those important scoring contributions aided Loughmore in a game when they were in front 0-8 to 0-1 by the first water break. Nenagh had scored the opening point of the game thanks to Paddy Murphy but then their performance levels dipped notably. They managed to enjoy a productive spell in the second quarter with Michael Heffernan to the fore. They trailed 0-9 to 0-6 at one juncture, Morris flashing over a point, but then Loughmore accelerated clear with 1-6 without reply before half-time.

Tomas McGrath did excellently to raise the green flag after he got on the end of a sideline delivery from Noel McGrath. Nenagh were staring at a deficit of 1-14 to 0-6 at the midway mark and needing a strong start to the second half, they instead fell 14 points in arrears, 1-18 to 0-7.

Despite the dismissal of Morris, Nenagh kept ploughing way with Daire Quinn impressing and Tommy Heffernan managed to notch a late goal. Loughmore finished the game with 14 men after Conor McGrath received a second yellow card but John McGrath notched the last point of the game and Noel McGrath was influential as the action wore on.

Success now sets up a final meeting against Drom & Inch or Kiladangan with Loughmore chasing a first title since 2013.

Scorers for Loughmore-Castleiney: John McGrath 0-12 (0-5f, 0-1 ’65), Tomas McGrath 1-2, Evan Sweeney 0-3, Ciaran Connolly 0-2, Joseph Nyland, Aidan McGrath, Noel McGrath 0-1 each

Scorers for Nenagh Éire Óg: Michael Heffernan 0-5 (0-2f), Tommy Heffernan 1-1, Jake Morris, Paddy Murphy 0-2 each, James Mackey, Daire Quinn 0-1 each.

Loughmore-Castleiney

1. David Kennedy

2. Lorcan Egan
3. Joseph Hennessy
4. Willie Eviston

5. John Ryan
6. John Meagher
7. Aidan McGrath

8. Brian McGrath
9. Thomas McGrath

10. Joseph Nyland
11. John McGrath
12. Noel McGrath

17. Ciaran Connolly
14. Ciaran McGrath
15. Evan Sweeney

Nenagh Éire Óg

1. Mark Tuite

2. Adam Gratton
4. Conor McCarthy
5. Conor Ryan

12. Pearse Morris
6. Barry Heffernan
7. Daire Quinn

8. Conor Hennessy
19. James Mackey

10. Michael Heffernan
14. Paddy Murphy
9. Killian Gleeson

15. Jake Morris
11. Tommy Heffernan
13. Philip Hickey

Referee: Fergal Horgan

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