Thurles Sarsfields (Tipperary) defeated Ballygunner (Waterford) by 0-17 to 0-16 in the AIB Munster Senior Club Hurling Championship Quarter-Final on Sunday October 30th at Semple Stadium Thurles.
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AIB Munster Club SHC Quarter Final
THURLES SARSFIELDS 0-17 BALLYGUNNER 0-16
By Tomás McCarthy at Semple Stadium for GAA.ie
Pa Bourke edged Thurles Sarsfields into the Munster club semi finals with a dramatic late winner at Semple Stadium this afternoon.
Ballygunner fought back from four points in arrears to level the contest for the fourth occasion in injury time. In an exciting conclusion, Stephen O’Keeffe knocked away Tommy Doyle’s attempt for a ’65. Bourke held his nerve to strike his seventh point and earn a spot in the last four.
Stephen Cahill, Padraic Maher and Ronan Maher also made sizeable contributions to this slender Thurles win. Tommy Maher’s outfit had success from long range and sourced eight points from defenders and midfielders. Injuries to Richie Ruth and Michael Cahill will concern them however ahead of next weekend’s trip to Ennis.
Pauric Mahony, David O’Sullivan and Peter Hogan were best for the visitors who never allowed the Tipp champions out of their sights. Johnny Murphy issued ten yellow cards over the hour.
Both starting fifteens showed one change from their county final line-ups earlier in the month. Wayne Hutchinson got the nod ahead of Billy O’Keeffe while Rory Dwan started in place of Tommy Doyle. Throw in was delayed by ten minutes due to a late surge at the turnstiles.
Four unanswered points pushed the team in blue 0-7 to 0-4 ahead after sixteen minutes. Number nine Stephen Cahill was responsible for three long distance strikes. Padraic Maher and Philip Mahony acted as sweepers at opposite ends. A pair of Pauric Mahony frees cut the gap to one. Peter Hogan created a clearcut goal chance but Patrick McCormack parried it away. Pa Bourke and Stephen Lillis restored that three point lead before Mahony had the last word of the first thirty minutes (0-9 to 0-7).
Limerick referee Murphy signalled a Thurles penalty on the resumption after Philip Mahony held back Conor Lanigan. Pa Bourke didn’t rise the sliotar correctly however and Stephen O’Keeffe produced an easy save from his ground stroke. Cahill posted his fourth single from a difficult position.
The Gunners twice got within a point during the third quarter. The home team continue to raid from long distance however and sprinted four points clear with ten minutes left. Number seven Denis Maher registered his first before Pa Bourke added a brace.
The resilient visitors plugged away. Pauric Mahony, Peter Hogan and David O’Sullivan tied the match at 16 points all on 62 minutes. Sarsfields stayed composed and Bourke directed them towards a semi final meeting with Clare winners Ballyea.
Scorers for Thurles Sarsfields: P Bourke 0-7 (3fs, 1 65’), S Cahill 0-4, R Maher 0-2, S Lillis, D Maher, A McCormack, L Corbett 0-1 each.
Scorers for Ballygunner: Pauric Mahony 0-8 (8fs), D O’Sullivan 0-3, P Hogan 0-2, H Barnes, S O’Sullivan, B O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
Thurles Sarsfields: P McCormack; S Maher, M Cahill, R Dwan; D Maher, P Maher, S Lillis; R Maher, S Cahill; P Bourke, A McCormack, L Corbett; C Lanigan, R Ruth, B McCarthy
Subs: J Maher for Dwan (16), T Doyle for Ruth (31), D Kennedy for M Cahill (48), M O’Brien for Lanigan (51), C Moloney for Corbett (58).
Ballygunner: S O’Keeffe; E Hayden, B Coughlan, I Kenny; W Hutchinson, Philip Mahony, S Walsh; H Barnes, D O’Sullivan; S O’Sullivan, Pauric Mahony, C Power; T O’Sullivan, B O’Sullivan, P Hogan
Subs: S Power for C Power (50), B O’Keeffe for T O’Sullivan (50).
Referee: J Murphy (Limerick)