Cratloe (Clare) defeated Thurles Sarsfields (Tipperary) by 1-18 to 0-14 in the AIB Munster GAA Club Senior Hurling Championship Semi-Final on Sunday November 9th at Cusack Park Ennis.
— The GAA (@officialgaa) November 9, 2014
Munster SHC: Cratloe through to first final
Report from GAA.ie
AIB Munster Club Hurling Championship Semi-Final: Cratloe (Clare) 1-18 Thurles Sarsfields (Tipperary) 0-14
Clare star Conor McGrath helped himself to eleven points as Cratloe advanced to a first-ever AIB Munster senior club hurling final. But it was Denis Maher’s red card at the very start of the game that cost Thurles Sarsfields dearly at Cusack Park in Ennis.
The Tipperary senior panelist was sent off by referee Cathal McAllister for a striking offence on Cratloe captain Liam Markham just seconds after the throw-in. And from the moment on, 2012 provincial champions Sars were facing an uphill battle in front of a partisan 4,078 attendance.
Sars did battle hard and were 0-3 to 0-2 ahead during the early exchanges when Michael Cahill thundered forward for a brilliant point. But Cratloe, who registered eight first half wides, were 1-8 to 0-4 clear at half-time. And it was another Clare hero, Pádraic ‘Podge’ Collins, who scored a crucial goal in stoppage time to hurt Sars.
To their credit, Sars did manage to draw the second half as the sides split 20 points between them. But playing into the teeth of a second half breeze, the Premier County kingpins were always up against it.
McGrath and Collins will grab the headlines for their scoring exploits but skipper Markham was also exceptional in the middle of the park. And Conor Ryan, man of the match in the drawn 2013 All-Ireland senior hurling final between Clare and Cork, played his part in a solid defence.
Captain Pa Bourke managed 0-8 for Sars but this was an afternoon when their big name players were stymied. Cratloe’s attentions now turn to next Sunday’s AIB Munster senior club football semi-final against Waterford outfit The Nire as a remarkable season shows no signs of coming to an end any time soon.
CRATLOE: Gearóid Ryan; Shane O’Leary, Michael Hawes, David Ryan; Seán Chaplin, Conor Ryan, Enda Boyce; David Collins, Liam Markham (0-3, one free); Shane Gleeson, Podge Collins (1-2), Seán Collins (0-1); Cathal McInerney (0-1), Gearóid Considine, Conor McGrath (0-11, five frees, one 65). Subs: Damian Browne for Considine (35 mins); Barry Duggan for D Collins (55 mins)
THURLES: Patrick McCormack; Stephen Maher, Mickey Cahill (0-1), David Maher; Ronan Maher, Pádraic Maher, Michael Gleeson; Stephen Cahill (0-1), Billy McCarthy (0-1); Denis Maher, Aidan McCormack, Conor Lanigan (0-1); Tommy Doyle (0-2), Pa Bourke (0-8, seven frees), Lar Corbett. Subs: Richie Ruth for A McCormack (39 mins); Michael O’Brien for Doyle (43 mins).
Referee: C McAllister (Cork)
Podge Collins grabbed 1-2 & Conor McGrath hit 6 from play as Cratloe secured a place in the Munster Club SHC final: http://t.co/HtrmRQIy7Z
— TheScore.ie GAA (@TheScoreGAA) November 9, 2014
Cratloe wear down 14-man Thurles Sarsfields to earn first Munster final spot http://t.co/t45xIEOBVV
— Irish Times Sport (@IrishTimesSport) November 9, 2014
SUNDAY NOVEMBER 9TH
AIB MUNSTER GAA CLUB SENIOR HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP SEMI-FINALS
Cratloe (Clare) v Thurles Sarsfields (Tipperary)
Venue: Cusack Park, Ennis 2pm
Referee: Cathal McAllister (Cork)
Extra time if necessary
— Tipp FM Sport (@TippFMSport) November 9, 2014
— The GAA (@officialgaa) November 7, 2014