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Dublin: 8 °C Saturday 28 March, 2020

Thurles Sars back on top in Tipp as they see off Loughmore to win senior hurling title

Thurles Sarsfields now advance to play Cratloe in next Sunday’s Munster semi-final.

Pa Bourke lifts the trophy with Stephen Cahill.
Pa Bourke lifts the trophy with Stephen Cahill.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Thurles Sarsfields 2-20
Loughmore-Castleiney 3-11

PA Bourke scored 1-3 and captained Thurles Sarsfields to glory in this afternoon’s Clean Ireland Recycling Tipperary senior hurling championship final.

The Blues regained the title they last won in 2012 by dethroning last year’s winners and Mid divisional rivals Loughmore-Castleiney in front of 5,751 spectators at Semple Stadium.

And the reward for Sars is a trip to Ennis next Sunday for an AIB Munster semi-final clash with Clare champions Cratloe.

Michael O’Brien and Bourke scored the second half goals as Sars built on a four-point half-time advantage.

The winners, who claimed a 33rd county senior title (and fourth in six seasons) were 12 points clear with four minutes remaining when Lar Corbett placed Bourke for an excellent goal at the Killinan End.

Evan Sweeney scored a late consolation goal and Noel McGrath saw his injury-time penalty saved as Loughmore, in typical fashion, kept going right until the end.

Noel’s younger brother John had netted earlier in the second half but this was an afternoon to forget for Loughmore as they were outclassed by a fresher and hungrier Sars, who had goalkeeper Patrick McCormack in good form.

Stephen Cahill scored a brace of points from midfield and claimed the man of the match award on the back of an impressive display.

While Bourke top scored for Sars, there were notable contributions from Aidan McCormack and Denis Maher, who scored five points each, and Ritchie Ruth came off the bench in the second half to score four points from play.

This clash pitted Sars, appearing in their fourth final in six years, against holders Loughmore. The divisional rivals have met in plenty of big tussles down through the years but this was the first time they squared off for the Dan Breen Cup.

And it was Sars who looked like they might be out of sight before half-time after scoring into a 0-8 to 0-1 lead by the 17th minute.

Michael O'Brien scores a goal Michael O'Brien netted a goal today for Thurles Sarsfields. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Bourke and Maher were showing up well in attack and the Sars half-back line, marshalled by the Maher brothers Ronan and Pádraic, was very much on top.

But Loughmore are made of steely stuff and their challenge was reenergised by Liam McGrath’s 20th minute goal, slotted low past Patrick McCormack and into the left hand corner of his net at the Killinan End.

That strike pared the deficit back to three points and four separated them at the break as Sars led by 0-13 to 1-6.

Loughmore, who played against the breeze in the opening half, would have taken as it took them 12 minutes to register a score.

But they were blown away in the second half as Sars wrestled back the silverware from their local rivals.

Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Scorers for Thurles Sarsfields: Pa Bourke 1-3 (0-1f) Denis Maher & Aidan McCormack 0-5 each, Ritchie Ruth 0-4, Michael O’Brien 1-0, Stephen Cahill & Lar Corbett 0-2 each, Conor Lanigan 0-1.Scorers for Loughmore-Castleiney: Noel McGrath 0-5 (0-5f), Liam McGrath (0-1f) & John McGrath 1-1 each, Evan Sweeney 1-0, Aidan McGrath (f), Tomás McGrath, Liam Treacy & Cian Hennessy 0-1 each.


1.Patrick McCormack

2. Stephen Maher
3. Michael Cahill
4. David Maher

5. Ronan Maher
6. Pádraic Maher
7. Michael Gleeson

8. Stephen Cahill
9. Billy McCarthy

10. Denis Maher
11. Aidan McCormack
12. Conor Lanigan

13. Michael O’Brien
14. Pa Bourke
15. Lar Corbett


27. Ritchie Ruth for O’Brien (40).
22. Ger O’Grady for McCormack (57)
21. John Maher for McCarthy (59)
25. Kevin O’Gorman for David Maher (60)
19. Pa Dunne for Gleeson (60)


1.Shane Nolan

2. Lorcan Egan
3. Derek Bourke
4. Joseph Hennessy

5. Aidan McGrath
6. David Kennedy
7. Tom King

8. Ciaran McGrath
9. Tomás McGrath

10. John McGrath
11. Liam Treacy
12. Noel McGrath
13. Liam McGrath
14. Evan Sweeney
15. Cian Hennessy


19. Joseph Nyland for Tomás McGrath (58)
21. John Ryan for Liam McGrath (59)
22. Tommy Maher for Treacy (60+1).

Referee: Johnny Ryan (Boherlahan-Dualla)

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About the author:

Jackie Cahill

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