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Thurles Sars V Kilmallock Match Reports

posted 1 Nov 2012, 16:21 by Unknown user

28 October 2012; Lar Corbett, Thurles Sarsfields, in action against Gavin O'Mahony, Kilmallock. AIB Munster GAA Senior Club Hurling Championship Quarter-Final, Kilmallock v Thurles Sarsfields, Kilmallock GAA Club, Kilmallock, Co Limerick. Picture credit: Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE
THEY may have controversially come away empty-handed from the All Stars, but Tipperary hurlers were back on top in this much anticipated derby.

Premier senior stars like Padraic Maher, Lar Corbett, Michael Cahill and Pa Bourke were all to the fore as Thurles Sarsfields, for the second time in three years, knocked Limerick champions Kilmallock out of the provincial club championship.

This quarter-final was as tight, tense and exciting as everyone expected as the locals, managed by Tony Considine, twice fought back from five-point deficits in the second half to close the gap to a point.

But, just like 2010, it was ultimately the two Sarsfields goals that proved the main difference; the first from a short Bourke free after 25 minutes and the second from Corbett in the 43rd minute.

The second goal restored Sars' lead to five points at a pivotal moment and, added to a point at the start of each half, provided Corbett with a useful 1-2 contribution after a season in which he has fielded a lot of flak.

Much of the credit for his goal had to go to Denis Maher's intelligent ball up the wing and Michael O'Brien's insightful cross to the square, which left the unmarked Thurles' sharpshooter with a relatively easy tap-in to finish off the move of the match.

Yet Kilmallock, to their credit, once again refused to quit andEoin Ryan and Kevin O'Donnell cut the gap to the minimum with six minutes left.

Denis Maher and Shane O'Donnell then traded points and, as time ticked away, Michael O'Brien, off a cleverly kicked pass by Richie Ruth, got a great insurance score for Thurles. In injury-time, Bourke sealed the deal with the last of his six scores.

The home side were left to rue eight second-half wides and some particularly scoreable ones in the final quarter when their barnstorming midfield, assisted by Kevin O'Donnell, really had Thurles on the back foot.

Straight from the throw-in a fired-up Kilmallock went for the jugular and Paudie O'Brien racked up three points in as many minutes and his centre-field partner Robbie Egan added another.

But Kilmallock then went scoreless for 17 minutes and by half-time only Ryan (with a free) had added to their scoring as they trailed by five (1-7 to 0-5) and hadn't yet registered their first wide.

The home support among the 3,000 crowd were clearly frustrated by the dearth of frees coming their way from referee Colm Lyons in that first half, which saw Kilmallock boss Considine, at one point, step on to the field to verbally remonstrate with the man in the middle.

A Sarsfields mentor also had to be ordered off the field in another incident during a tempestuous first half, which threatened to boil over on several occasions. That pulsating opening period included five bookings (four for Kilmallock), but, thankfully, things settled down after the break. "It's a long time ago since I went in to a referee," said Considine, a man who could never be accused of hiding his hurling heart up his sleeve.

"I don't usually do things like that, but I did it today because I just felt that frees were very easily conceded. It's a manly game and I felt, like everyone else in the ground, I think, that we weren't getting them for a long time.

"We got a chance to level it with a minute to go or something like that and missed it. We needed a goal to win it or draw it and it's tough to lose it by just one score, but you certainly couldn't fault our lads' second-half performance," he added.

For Thurles manager Seamus Quinn, whose side now meet the Cork champions of the same name (Sarsfields) in the Munster semi-final, there was huge satisfaction at beating Kilmallock again on their home turf.

"People in our own county question the character of this team and we just keep producing it; this is twice we've done it here," he stressed.

Character

"It should go around now that we have character and we have bottle. That's what it's going to boil down to, if you're going to win these games at this time of the year.

"I said to the boys at half-time that it was going to come down to the last few minutes -- the hooks and blocks and character."

In a game dominated by defenders, Liam Hurley, Liam Walsh and Gavin O'Mahony also starred for Kilmallock, while all of Thurles half-back line were outstanding throughout.

But the visitors always had the greater fire-power. Michael O'Brien only scored once, but the threat and vision he provided, along with Bourke and Corbett, proved to be the difference.

One telling postscript came in Considine's revelation that they're losing at least one player, and possibly also Paudie O'Dwyer, to emigration in the coming weeks. "That's a major concern, that we're losing quality lads who have to go away," he said. "We should be able to keep young fellas like that in the country and keep them hurling, because it's the greatest game of all when played like that."

Scorers -- Thurles: P Bourke 1-5 (4f), L Corbett 1-2, J Enright 0-3 (3f), M O'Brien, D Maher 0-1 each. Kilmallock: E Ryan 0-6 (4f), P O'Brien, S O'Donnell 0-3 each, R Egan, P O'Dwyer, K O'Donnell 0-1 each.

Thurles Sarsfields -- P McCormack; D Maher, K O'Gorman, S Maher; D Kennedy, P Maher (Capt), M Cahill; M Gleeson, J Enright; P Bourke, J Corbett, L Corbett; M O'Brien, D Maher, A McCormack. Subs: B O'Dwyer for S Maher (28), G O'Grady for J Corbett (42), J Maher for Enright (46), R Ruth for McCormack (57).

Kilmallock -- B Hennessy; L Hurley, P O'Loughlin, K O'Mahony; L Walsh, G O'Mahony, B O'Sullivan; R Egan, P O'Brien (Capt); J Mulcahy, P O'Dwyer, E Ryan; G Mulcahy, K O'Donnell, S O'Donnell. Sub: K Kennelly for J Mulcahy (48).

Ref -- C Lyons (Cork)

Irish Independent.

Corbett does talking on the pitch for Thurles

By Jackie Cahill

Monday, October 29, 2012

Thurles Sarsfields (Tipperary) 2-12 Kilmallock (Limerick) 0-15
As hurling fans from Tipperary and beyond tucked into Lar Corbett’s autobiography, the man himself got back to doing what he does best yesterday.

To say that the last couple of months have been difficult for the 2010 Hurler of the Year would be an understatement.

For many, he was the scapegoat following Tipperary’s 19-point defeat against Kilkenny in the All-Ireland semi-final back in August. Some don’t even want him back in the blue but when Corbett’s on his game, he’s still one of the finest forwards in the country. And after announcing on television last Friday night that he’s available for selection in 2013, he gave new Tipp boss Eamon O’Shea some food for thought in Kilmallock.

Having been held scoreless in the county final victory over Drom & Inch, Corbett showed flashes of his old brilliance yesterday. He blasted over the game’s opening score after 10 seconds, nailed his side’s opening score of the second half and finished a brilliant 43rd minute move for a second Sars goal.

And like they did in 2010, the Premier county flag-bearers survived a stern test on Kilmallock soil. They march on to face Cork champions Sarsfields on November 11 and this hugely entertaining game will have steeled them for what might lie in store down the line. Sars have won 32 Tipperary SHC titles but have never won a Munster crown — that’s something they want to put right.

And yet it was Kilmallock who got off to a rip-roaring start in front of an official attendance of 3,600. With more than a hint of winter in the air, both sides would go on to make light of the conditions.

With just three minutes on the watch, they were 0-1 to 0-3 behind as Kilmallock midfielder Paudie O’Brien drilled over three long-range points.

A brace of points from Pa Bourke, who collected 1-5 in total, levelled matters and when Robbie Egan and Bourke traded scores, the sides were deadlocked at 0-4 apiece. Then, in the 19th minute, Bourke went for the jugular from a 20m free and struck the game’s opening goal.

It was a strike that helped to open up a 1-7 to 0-5 lead for Sars at half-time as Kilmallock, who registered eight second half wides despite not hitting one in the first half, went 17 minutes without a score after Egan’s point.

A free from leading scorer Eoin Ryan on the half hour stopped the rot but Bourke responded in kind with the final score of the first half. 

Kilmallock boss Tony Considine was incensed by the first-half performance of referee Colm Lyons (who flashed eight yellow cards in total). Considine even marched on to the field to remonstrate with the Cork whistler.

Considine explained afterwards: "I felt for a long time we weren’t getting them (calls). I think everyone else in the ground felt we weren’t getting them either. I don’t know how ye felt looking at it from a different position to me. I’d say he looked at himself at half-time, he definitely wasn’t having a good game. 

"And that’s not sour grapes. It’s a long time since I went into a referee. I don’t usually do things like that but I did it today. I just felt that frees were very easily conceded and it’s a manly game as well, especially in this weather."

Three times in the second half Kilmallock got to within a point but they could never draw level as the Sars defence, held together magnificently by Pádraic Maher, repelled them. And Corbett’s goal was such a tonic for the winners as he finished a quite brilliant move that passed through the hands of Bourke, Denis Maher and Mikey O’Brien before Corbett applied the finish. 

Having weathered the storm, Sars picked off the late scores to get over the line and delighted boss Seamus Quinn gasped: "People in our own county question the character of this team and we just keep producing it. 

"Anybody that was here today would know that. It should go around the county that we have character and we have bottle. That’s what it’s going to boil down to, if you’re going to win these games at this time of the year."

Scorers for Kilmallock: E Ryan 0-6 (4f), P O’Brien & S O’Donnell 0-3 each, R Egan, P O’Dwyer & K O’Donnell 0-1 each.

Scorers for Thurles Sarsfields: P Bourke 1-5 (1-3f), L Corbett 1-2, J Enright 0-3f, D Maher & M O’Brien 0-1 each.

KILMALLOCK: B Hennessy; L Hurley, P O’Loughlin, K O’Mahony; L Walsh, G O’Mahony, B O’Sullivan; R Egan, P O’Brien; J Mulcahy, P O’Dwyer, E Ryan; G Mulcahy, K O’Donnell, S O’Donnell.

Sub: K Kennelly for J Mulcahy (48).

THURLES SARSFIELDS: P McCormack; S Maher, K O’Gorman, David Maher; D Kennedy, P Maher, M Cahill; M Gleeson, J Enright; P Bourke, J Corbett, L Corbett; M O’Brien, Denis Maher, A McCormack.

Subs: B O’Dwyer for S Maher (inj, 28), G O’Grady for J Corbett (42), J Maher for Enright (47), R Ruth for A McCormack (57).

Referee: C Lyons (Cork).

Irish Examiner


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