Andy Loughnane wins an aerial dual with Kevin Hassett. Photograph: Bridget Delaney

Energetic Kiladangan wear down Drom

GAA: FBD Insurance Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship Semi-Final


Kiladangan    1-21
Drom & Inch    0-9

Report: Shane Brophy at Semple Stadium

Player of the Match:
Billy Seymour (Kiladangan)
SCORERS – Kiladangan: Billy Seymour 0-10 (9 frees); Bryan McLoughney 1-1; Paul Flynn 0-3; Willie Connors 0-2; Alan Flynn, Tadhg Gallagher, Sean Hayes, Joe Gallagher, Ruairi Gleeson 0-1 each.
Drom & Inch: Seamus Callanan 0-7 (6 frees, 1 65); Michael Connors, David Collins 0-1 each.

If there is one team you don’t want to come in not being fresh for it is Kiladangan and Drom & Inch found out first-hand in this hugely disappointing county senior hurling championship semi-final on Sunday.

While Drom & Inch did have the excuse of a physically demanding extra time quarter final in over Borris-Ileigh the previous week, it doesn’t explain the margin between the sides but certainly Kiladangan exploited Drom’s game perfectly to progress to a third county final in five years.

The first quarter of the game didn’t indicate the blow out we would get, despite Kiladangan leading 0-7 to 0-4 at the water-break. That period was played at a very high tempo, just how Kiladangan wanted to, to suck any of the remaining energy out of the legs of the Drom players and as the game wore on physical and mental fatigue developed in the Mid men and they were a beaten docket.

If there is one team you can’t be sluggish against it is Kiladangan who move the ball around at such pace and have players willing to run all over the field. 

Kiladangan also tend to set their team up to suit themselves and tend to start in the numbered positions, however, they are cute enough to know what might be coming and in this case, after scoring four goals against the same opposition, they fully expected to see Drom play a sweeper in the form of Robbie Long, and while it kept their goal largely intact, apart from Bryan McLoughney’s superb individual goal on 23 minutes, Kiladangan were able to find the pockets of space to score 21 points.

At the other end, as now witnessed against Roscrea and Drom, if you give Kiladangan an extra defender to mind their own goal, not only will they keep you out, they won’t hit the ball wastefully back to you. Declan McGrath played in the extra man role well but even if he wasn’t there Kiladangan’s full back line played to a high level with James Quigley once again outstanding and must be close to a Tipperary call-up. Darragh Flannery and Fergal Hayes went about their business without fuss while in front of them the ever consistent Alan Flynn and David Sweeney kept a close eye on Seamus Callanan who couldn’t find any space either in the half or full forward line and was largely restricted to dead-balls.

Two points from play, both in the first half from Michael Connors and David Collins was a miserable effort by Drom whose game plan started to breakdown before half time and it never looked like they would generate any momentum and championship super sub David Butler couldn’t turn things around on his introduction in the second half.

Kiladangan began in lively fashion with Willie Connors and captain Paul Flynn opening scoring but Drom stayed on their coattails for much of the opening quarter with Seamus Callanan nailing some very tough frees with Michael Connors also on target. 

Billy Seymour landed his one and only point from play on seven minutes, but the half forward was hugely impressive with his work rate. His free-taking radar was on and struck four before Bryan McLoughney struck for the only goal as he ran onto a breaking ball, flicked it over the advancing Robbie Long, and ran onto finish between the legs of Eoin Collins.

Drom hit back with a Seamus Callanan free but scoring chances from play for Drom were few and far between with being a man short in attack but there were no such problems for Kiladangan as the worked some super scores from Joe Gallagher, Paul Flynn, Alan Flynn, Tadhg Gallagher to help them into a 1-11 to 0-7 half time lead.

Any hopes of a second half contest evaporated within the first eight minutes of the second half as Kiladangan rattled off five points without reply from Sean Hayes, McLoughney, and three frees from Billy Seymour to take the game right away from Drom who by this stage knew the game was up and while they played onto the bitter end, trying to force a goal to inject some life into the game, Kiladangan refused to yield and indeed kept Drom scoreless from play in the second half with two Seamus Callanan frees the only scores the Mid men managed.

Kiladangan could afford the luxury of using five subs late on with Ruairi Gleeson showing good energy after coming on and that depth of bench could be pivotal as Kiladangan go in search of a first county title at the third attempt on Sunday week.

TEAMS – Kiladangan: Barry Hogan (7); Darragh Flannery (7), James Quigley (8), Fergal Hayes (7); Declan McGrath (6), Alan Flynn (8), David Sweeney (7); Willie Connors (8), Tadhg Gallagher (7); Sean Hayes (7), Joe Gallagher (7), Billy Seymour (8); Dan O’Meara (6), Paul Flynn (8), Bryan McLoughney (7).
Subs: Andy Loughnane for T Gallagher (46); Ruairi Gleeson (7) for McLoughney (46); Darren Moran (6) for McGrath (52); Martin Minehan (6) for Seymour (54); Ciaran Kelly (NR) for F Hayes (57)
Drom & Inch: Eoin Collins (6); Michael Purcell (6), Kevin Hassett (6), Jamie Moloney (6); Fintan Purcell (6), Podge Campion (7), Robbie Long (7); Johnny Ryan (6), Emmett Moloney (6); Seamus Callanan (7), John Campion (6), Joey Maher (6); Lorcan Campion (6), David Collins (7), Michael Connors (7).
Subs: David Butler (6) for Ryan (36); Liam Ryan (6) for Connors (43); Tommy Nolan (6) for Maher (46). 
Referee: Michael Kennedy (Newcastle)