Darragh Ryan clears despite the attentions of Thurles Sarsfields’ captain Paddy Creedon.

Stylish Thurles blow Kiladangan away

GAA: FBD Insurance County Under 19 ‘A’ Hurling Semi-Final

Thurles Sarsfields 6-23

Kiladangan 4-5

Report: Liam Hogan in Dolla

Thurles Sarsfields turned on the style with an emphatic win over Kiladangan in the County Under 19 ‘A’ Hurling semi-final on Saturday.

No team could match this excellent Thurles side who once they got over a poor start- when conceding three goals in the opening ten minutes - had the game pretty much in the bag by the 35th minute when their half time lead stretched to twelve points as the Mid champions added two goals inside four minutes of the restart which was part of a dominant middle third when they held Kiladangan scoreless between the 24th and 46th minutes.

Thurles entered this game as hot favourites based on a string of recent lobsided underage victories in under 14, ’16 and minor since 2017 making it a huge task for Kiladangan but if any club from North could take on the Mid men, then Kiladangan were one of those clubs.

The evidence was what they could do became very clear in the opening minutes when the North champions had two goals in the bag, the first after just ten seconds when Paul Seymour fired home the rebound after Thurles keeper Aidan Stakelum had parried a great shot from Shane Gleeson.

Two minutes later, Conor Sheahan veered past the Thurles defence to send a shot to the net from the narrowest of angles. A quick response by Liam McCormack got Thurles off the mark. Shane Gleeson replied with a point from play before man of the match Darragh Stakelum scored a second Sarsfields point in the sixth minute.

With play going from end to end, Kiladangan were next up when goal number three arrived after Paul Seymour reached for a high ball on the edge of the square following a long delivery from Conor Byrne, with the ball deflected into the net from the full forward’s hand.

Darragh Stakelum hit back with a ninth minute point, but Shane Gleeson replied with a pointed free three minutes later. A quick response in the shape of a Daniel Rossiter point kept Thurles close and with the Mid champions improving by the minute they won a penalty in the 17th minute when Jock Fogarty was hauled down following a move involving Philly Hayes and Paddy Creedon. Darragh Stakelum fired home and the scoreline read 3-2 to 1-4 at the water-break.

After play resumed, Thurles really began to stamp their class on the game scoring 1-2 in four minutes with Philly Hayes nabbing the goal with Creedon and Tommy Maher involved in the lead-up.

A Shane Gleeson free levelled matters in the 24th minute but Thurles were really coming at Kiladangan and three minutes before the break goal number three arrived when Philly Hayes was onto the rebound after Eoin O’Brien had saved Liam McCormack’s effort from close range.

By half time, Thurles led 3-9 to 3-3 and from the resumption they went for jugular as Daniel Rossiter and Jock Fogarty added a goal each. With Stakelum and Creedon on song in front of goal, Thurles added seven unanswered points before Shane Gleeson had Kiladangan’s first score in 22 minutes with a score from play. It was 5-17 to 3-4 at the three-quarter mark and after the water-break, Kiladangan scored their fourth goal thanks to a successful penalty by Shane Gleeson.

But from there it was one-way traffic with Liam McCormack turning on the style when scoring five excellent points before Dean Fanning’s goal put the icing on the cake in added time.

Player of the Match: Darragh Stakelum (Thurles Sarsfields)

Thurles Sarsfields: Aidan Stakelum (6); Emmett Fogarty (6), Jack O’Mara (7), Kieran Woodlock (6); Killian Rafter (7), James Armstrong (7), Conor Fogarty (7); Henry Fogarty (8), Darragh Stakelum (1-6, 1-0 pen) 9); Philly Hayes (2-0, 8), Tommy Maher (0-4, 3f, 1 ‘65) 7); Daniel Rossiter (1-1, 7); Liam McCormack (0-6, 8), Paddy Creedon (0-4, 8), Jock Fogarty (1-1, 7).

Subs: Robbie Stapleton (7) or Rossiter (43); Peter Aleshinoye (7) for Maher; Dean Fanning (1-1, 7) for Hayes (50); Luke Fogarty (NR) for Woodlock (52); Stephen Mawe (NR) for Fogarty (53).

Kiladangan: Eoin O’Brien (6); Cian Ryan (6), Cathal Ryan (6), Sean T Ryan (6); Davy O’Brien (7), Darragh McGrath (7), John O’Meara (7); Bill Cleary (6), Conor Byrne (6); Conor Sheahan (1-0, 6), Shane Gleeson (1-5, 1-3f) 6), Noel Gleeson (6); DJ McGrath (6), Paul Seymour (2-0, 7), Neil Cahalan (6).

Subs: Jos Slattery (6) for ST Ryan (49); Callum O’Shea (6) for Sheahan (49); Sean T Ryan for O’Brien (58).

Referee: Phil Ryan (Knockavilla Kickhams)