Tipperary SHC: Thurles Sarsfields triumph
Tipperary SHC Final
THURLES SARSFIELDS 1-24 BORRIS-ILEIGH 0-11
By Jackie Cahill at Semple Stadium
Thurles Sarsfields cruised to a fourth successive Tipperary SHC crown this afternoon.
The Blues proved too good for Borris-Ileigh, who were outclassed by 16 points on their first final appearance since 1988.
Aidan McCormack shot nine points for the winners in front 8,376 spectators at Semple Stadium – on a day when the Sars had nine different scorers on target.
Borris’ managed just six points from play, with Brendan Maher finishing as their leading scorer with five pointed frees.
While Sars won pulling up, Borris’ were just four points behind at half-time, trailing by 0-11 to 0-7.
Borris’ went 18 minutes without a score in the first half, but a run of three on the spin approaching the break gave them hope.
But Sars, who became the first Tipp club to win four-in-a-row since Toomevara (1998-2001) won the second half by 1-13 to 0-4.
Conor Stakelum’s 45th minute goal killed the game stone dead, as he pounced from close range after Borris’ keeper Jack Bourke could only bat a clearance from Stephen Cahill’s effort into the corner forward’s path.
Stakelum had, just minutes earlier, had a goal disallowed before forcing a fine save from Bourke.
It was very much a case of third time lucky for Stakelum as he found the net to cap a fine individual display.
With the Maher brothers, captain Pádraic and Ronan, lording it in defence, Borris’ found scores hard to come by.
Up front, Sars were far more economical with the possession that came their way, as they booked an AIB Munster quarter-final with the Waterford champions on October 29.
Sars go into that game having collected a 36th county crown, and an excellent second half display ensured that this one was done and dusted from a long way out.
The sides were level twice in the early exchanges before Sars put some daylight between themselves and Borris, who last lifted the Dan Breen Cup back in 1986.
They were seven points clear on three occasions in the first half before Borris’ roused themselves.
But the writing was on the wall early in the second period as Sars opened with three unanswered points.
Sars won the club’s first four-in-a-row since the 1960s, when five-in-a-row was also annexed.
Scorers for Thurles Sarsfields: Aidan McCormack 0-9 (6fs, 1 65), Conor Stakelum 1-2, Billy McCarthy and Denis Maher 0-3 each, Pa Bourke and Lar Corbett 0-2 each, Ronan Maher, Pádraic Maher and Stephen Cahill 0-1 each.
Scorers for Borris-Ileigh: Brendan Maher 0-5 (5fs), Dan McCormack 0-3, Liam Ryan 0-2, Kieran Maher 0-1.
THURLES SARSFIELDS: Patrick McCormack; Michael Cahill, Ronan Maher, Stephen Maher; Cathal Moloney, Pádraic Maher (capt.), Stephen Lillis; John Maher, Stephen Cahill; Denis Maher, Billy McCarthy, Aidan McCormack; Conor Stakelum, Pa Bourke, Lar Corbett.
Subs: Mikey O’Brien for Bourke (38), Tommy Doyle for Stakelum (temp. 50-51), Tommy Doyle for Denis Maher (52), Rory Dwan for Stephen Maher (59), Conor Lanigan for Stakelum (59), Rory Purcell for Moloney (60+3).
BORRIS-ILEIGH: Jack Bourke; Thomas Fahy, Ciaran Cowan, Matthew Stapleton; Paddy Stapleton (capt.), Brendan Maher, Seamus Burke; Liam Ryan, Sean McCormack; Niall Kenny, Dan McCormack, Kieran Maher; Jack Hogan, Conor Kenny, Jerry Kelly.
Subs: Jody Harkin for Matthew Stapleton (16), Keith Ryan for Hogan (49), Vincent Stapleton for Kieran Maher (55), Maurice Ryan for Fahy (59).
REFEREE: Fergal Horgan (Knockavilla Donaskeigh Kickhams).