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Bourke holds his nerve as Sarsfields leave it late to see off Ballygunner

Thurles progress through to the Munster semi-final after late drama at Semple.

Bourke celebrates his winning score.
Bourke celebrates his winning score.

Thursfield Sarsfields 0-17

Ballygunner 0-16

PA BOURKE NABBED nabbed a late, late victory for Thurles Sarsfields with a 65 in the fifth added minute to put them through to the Munster semi-finals.

Ballygunner rallied from four points adrift to get on level terms with the home side entering injury time.

In a thrilling finish, Stephen O’Keeffe batted away Tommy Doyle’s tame shot for a 65.

Bourke stepped up to strike his seventh point of the afternoon and clinch a place in the last four.

Midfielder Stephen Cahill also starred for the Tipp treble winners with 0-4 from play. Padraic Maher shored up the defence at centre back while Ronan Maher drove forward to hit two points.

Pauric Mahony converted eight frees on the losing side. David O’Sullivan and Peter Hogan also threatened for Denis Walsh’s men.

Thurles Sarsfields players celebrate at the end Thurles celebrate victory. Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

In a first provincial meeting between these clubs, they traded three points apiece across the opening ten minutes. Shane O’Sullivan edged the Gunners ahead but Thurles replied with four on the spin. Cahill delivered three points in a prolific opening quarter.

Centre backs Padraic Maher and Philip Mahony acted as spare defenders at opposite ends. A pair of Pauric Mahony frees narrowed the deficit to one (0-7 to 0-6).

Peter Hogan created the only goal chance of the first half but Patrick McCormack was equal to it.

Bourke and Stephen Lillis sent Thurles to the dressing rooms 0-9 to 0-7 in the clear.

The Tipp champions were awarded a penalty a minute into the second perriod after a foul on Conor Lanigan by Philip Mahony. Bourke didn’t rise the sliotar properly however and O’Keeffe saved comfortably. Cahill notched his fourth from an acute angle.

Harley Barnes and Mahony closed to the minimum. Sarsfields retrieved their three point cushion with back to back efforts through Ronan Maher and Aidan McCormack. The Gunners retaliated again with David and Brian O’Sullivan on target from long range.

The home team stretched four points away with ten minutes remaining. Wing back Denis Maher nailed his first before Bourke added a brace (0-15 to 0-11).

The determined visitors managed to pare it down to a point once again. Bourke responded to leave it 0-16 to 0-14 entering stoppage time. Mahony (free) and David O’Sullivan dragged the Waterford champions level on 62 minutes.

Stephen O’Keeffe is dejected at the final whistle Dejection for Stephen O'Keefe. Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Bourke had the last laugh as Tommy Maher’s charges advanced by the slimmest of margins.

Scorers for Thurles Sarsfields: Pa Bourke 0-7 (3fs, 1 65’), Stephen Cahill 0-4, Ronan Maher 0-2, Stephen Lillis, Denis Maher, Aidan McCormack, Lar Corbett 0-1 each.

Scorers for Ballygunner: Pauric Mahony 0-8 (8fs), David O’Sullivan 0-3, Peter Hogan 0-2, Harley Barnes, Shane O’Sullivan, Brian O’Sullivan 0-1 each.

Thurles Sarsfields

1. Patrick McCormack

2. Stephen Maher
4. Michael Cahill
17. Rory Dwan

7. Denis Maher
6. Padraic Maher
5. Stephen Lillis

3. Ronan Maher
9. Stephen Cahill

12. Pa Bourke
11. Aidan McCormack
15. Lar Corbett

13. Conor Lanigan
14. Richie Ruth
10. Billy McCarthy

Subs

8. John Maher for Dwan (16)
19. Tommy Doyle for Ruth (31)
20. David Kennedy for Michael Cahill (48)
21. Michael O’Brien for Lanigan (51)
26. Cathal Moloney for Corbett (58)

Ballygunner

1. Stephen O’Keeffe

2. Eddie Hayden
3. Barry Coughlan
4. Ian Kenny

5. Wayne Hutchinson
6. Philip Mahony
7. Shane Walsh

8. Harley Barnes
10. David O’Sullivan

9. Shane O’Sullivan
12. Pauric Mahony
13. Conor Power

15. Tim O’Sullivan
14. Brian O’Sullivan
19. Peter Hogan

Subs

20. Stephen Power for Conor Power (50)
11. Billy O’Keeffe for Tim O’Sullivan (50)

Referee: Johnny Murphy (Limerick)

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Tomas McCarthy

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