Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship Final – Thurles Sarsfields 0-27 Kiladangan 1-15

Thurles Sarsfields defeated Kiladangan by 0-27 to 1-15 in the Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship Final on Sunday October 16th at Semple Stadium Thurles.

Tipperary SHC: Thurles Sarsfields retain title

Thurles Sarsfields 0-27 Kildangan 1-15

By Jackie Cahill at Semple Stadium for GAA.ie

Thurles Sarsfields are Tipperary senior hurling champions for a 35th time. On the day ‘The Blues’ lost a club legend, Mickey ‘The Rattler’ Byrne, they stormed to a third title in a row at Semple Stadium, defeating Kildangan by nine points.

It’s the first time that Sars have put three successive crowns together since the 1960s and they march on an AIB Munster club quarter-final clash with the Waterford representatives in a fortnight’s time. This was impressive stuff from Sars on a day when they had scoring contributions from eight players.

Pa Bourke topped the list with nine points, including seven frees, as Aidan McCormack and Richie Ruth rattled over 11 from play between them. There was also a man-of-the-match display in defence from Ronan Maher, who put over arguably the score of the game in the 43rd minute from a sideline ball, almost 70 metres out.

In front of 6,546 spectators, Sars established a 0-15 to 0-6 interval lead and were in cruise control. Within the opening ten minutes, they had nine points on the board, Ruth knocking over four of those in a blistering start. It took Kildangan, appearing in their first Dan Breen decider since 1938, until the 21st minute to register their opening score from play, Willie Connors on target, but it was token response as Sars kept the scoreboard ticking over.

On a number of occasions, goal opportunities were there to be exploited as Sars broke from deep positions, but they were content with points instead. Former Hurler of the Year Lar Corbett got in on the scoring act with a long-range special in the 21st minute and while Kildangan did score three of the last five points of the first half, the men from the North were facing an uphill battle ahead of the second half. They were 12 points behind, 0-9 to 0-21, before Joe Gallagher hammered home a consolation goal in the 46th minute.

Scorers for Thurles Sarsfields: P Bourke 0-9 (7fs), A McCormack 0-6, R Ruth 0-5, R Maher (1 sl) and C Lanigan 0-2 each, S Maher, S Lillis and L Corbett 0-1 each.

Scorers for Kiladangan: D Egan 0-6 (5fs), J Gallagher 1-1, W Connors 0-3 (1 65s) R Gleeson 0-2, J Horan, P Flynn and T Gallagher 0-1 each.

Thurles Sarsfields: P McCormack; M Cahill, S Lillis, S Maher; D Maher, P Maher, R Maher; S Cahill, B McCarthy; T Doyle, A McCormack, P Bourke; C Lanigan, R Ruth, L Corbett
Subs: R Dwan for D Maher (50), J Maher for Lanigan (52), D Kennedy for Corbett (59), K O’Gorman for Ruth (60+3).

Kildangan: B Hogan; J Quigley, H Flannery, F Hayes; D Sweeney, A Flynn, D Moran; J Horan, M Minehan; J Gallagher, W Connors, R Gleeson; T Gallagher, D Egan, P Flynn
Subs: J Loughnane for Minehan (24), E Kelly for Horan (45).

Referee: J McCormack.