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Maher goal deep in injury time keeps Thurles Sarsfields' dream of fifth Tipperary title alive

There was late drama in Nenagh as Maher’s goal with the last puck of the game saw Sarsfields through.

Ronan Maher in action for Thurles Sarsfields (file pic).
Ronan Maher in action for Thurles Sarsfields (file pic).
Image: Conor Wyse/INPHO

THURLES SARSFIELDS’ QUEST for a fifth Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship title remains alive, but only just, as they needed a Ronan Maher goal deep in injury time to see off the challenge of Kilruane MacDonaghs, 2-14 to 1-16, in the quarter final in Nenagh today.

Maher’s strike, his second in the space of ten minutes, rescued what appeared a desperate situation for the holders who trailed by seven points after 42 minutes after Brian O’Meara struck Kilruane’s goal to put them in a commanding position.

However, the Magpies would only add two more points in the game as Thurles’ experience came to the fore while their character was also tested and shone through impressively.

For so long, they struggled to develop the rhythm associated with them, although much of that was down to a Kilruane side whose high work-rate snuffed them out with Niall O’Meara and Justin Cahill on top in defence while Under 21 star Cian Dacy picked off Michael Cahill for four first half points as Kilruane led 0-10 to 0-7 at the break.

In the first quarter final at MacDonagh Park, Toomevara withstood a fightback by fourteen man Drom & Inch to book their place in next weekends semi-finals, 3-15 to 1-20.

First half goals in the space of a minute from Jack Delaney and Mark McCarthy helped the greyhounds into a 2-8 to 0-7 half time advantage and it really should have been much more but for twelve wides.

Drom & Inch’s intensity was poor in the first half and when they were reduced to fourteen men within seconds of the restart following the dismissal of Michael Campion, their chances looked remote, but the red card sparked them into life and with Seamus Callanan hitting nine points, four from play, they cut the gap to four when Jack Delaney bagged Toome’s third goal on 41 minutes.

However, Drom didn’t yield but Toomevara managed to keep them at arms length until deep in injury time when David Collins fired home a fine goal but it proved to be a consolation as Toome progress to the last four.

The last remaining semi-final berths should be confirmed tomorrow afternoon when Kiladangan v Clonoulty/Rossmore and Nenagh Eire Og v Loughmore/Castleiney meet in Dolla.

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Shane Brophy

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