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  • GAA

Loughmore just do what they do

Thursday, 3rd September, 2020 12:21pm
Loughmore just do what they do

Clonoulty's Conor Hammersley goes on the attack. PHOTO: EAMONN MCGEE

Loughmore just do what they do

Clonoulty's Conor Hammersley goes on the attack. PHOTO: EAMONN MCGEE

GAA: FBD Insurance Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship Quarter Final


Loughmore/Castleiney  2-21

Clonoulty/Rossmore  0-20


Report: Michael Dundon at Semple Stadium



Player of the Match: John Meagher (Loughmore/Castleiney)

SCORERS - Loughmore-Castleiney: John McGrath 0-9 (8 frees); Ciaran McGrath 2-1; Evan Sweeney, Noel McGrath, Brian McGrath 0-2 each; Conor McGrath, Tomas McGrath, Aidan McGrath, Joey Nyland, John Meagher 0-1 each.

Clonoulty/Rossmore: Timmy Hammersley 0-13 (12 frees); Cathal Bourke 0-2; Fiachra O’Keeffe, John O’Keeffe, Enda Heffernan, Ronan Heffernan, Thomas Butler 0-1 each.


Two third quarter goals from Loughmore/Castleiney’s Ciaran McGrath decided this tightly balanced County Senior Hurling Championship quarter-final against Clonoulty/Rossmore on Sunday, enabling the Mid representatives keep their bid for a county hurling and football double alive.

It was not the epic that many had forecast but it was absorbing all the way with Loughmore/Castleiney that shade better motivated than a Clonoulty/Rossmore side that were uncharacteristically flat, showing little of the hunger and aggression that is an intrinsic part of their game.

In many ways it was a typical Loughmore performance. They went about their business with the minimum of fuss, doing the simple things well, and taking their scores as the opportunities presented. They had ten players on the scoresheet and the great spread of marksmen was in direct contrast to Clonoulty’s heavy reliance on the accuracy of veteran free-taker Timmy Hammersley who shot thirteen of their scores, twelve from frees.

Clonoulty needed more from others but with too many of their men under-performing and with no goal threat in their attack, it was always going to be a difficult day for them. They started slowly and found themselves 0-5 to 0-2 behind after seven minutes. A hat-trick of Timmy Hammersley points from the 12th to the 17th minutes got them moving and left them only one behind at the water break, 0-6 to 0-7.

Loughmore had done most of the hurling in that period and with John Meagher supreme in defence and John McGrath leading the attack by example, they ought to have been further clear.

There was little change in the second quarter. Loughmore continued to set the pace but two Hammersely pointed frees approaching half-time gave the West lads an unlikely 0-12 to 0-11 lead at the break. For Clonoulty it was not a bad situation considering the level of their first half performance.

The game was decided in the third quarter and to veteran Ciaran McGrath fell the opportunities to give Loughmore an advantage they never subsequently relinquished. Two minutes after resuming he availed of Evan Sweeney’s good work to blast home Loughmore’s first goal, to which John McGrath added three points without reply for a 1-15 to 0-13 lead. Thomas Butler earlier had a good Clonoulty effort for a goal stopped by David Kennedy in the Loughmore goal but points from Enda Heffernan and Timmy Hammersley kept Clonoulty on Loughmore’s heels.

Just before the water break Ciaran McGrath again netted for Loughmore after Conor McGrath made the opening, and Conor quickly added a point for a 2-16 to 0-15 lead. Advantage Loughmore big time!

Clonoulty needed a big effort in the last quarter to retrieve the situation but while effort was forthcoming, the results were not, and they could do no better than share ten points with their opponents who were content to keep their  scoreboard ticking over while protecting their lead. Cathal Bourke had a twenty-metre blast for a goal from a free at the death but it was saved and Loughmore were safely through to the last four.

Loughmore/Castleiney manager Frankie McGrath had every reason to be pleased with how his side dealt with a considerable challenge from a Clonoulty side that had serious title aspirations. They have put their dismal showing against Sarsfields behind them and appear to be firing on all cylinders. In John Meagher they had a towering influence in defence. His tackling, covering and deliveries were of a high quality and an inspiration to those around him and typified the Loughmore approach throughout the field were the work ethic was extremely high.

He was not alone in his endeavours. Ciaran McGrath had one of his best games in the club’s colours winning some great ball in one-to-one situations. Brian McGrath revelled in his midfield role while the work of Joseph Nyland, Lorcan Egan and Evan Sweeney was also of a very high order. On top of that John and Noel McGrath add the class that makes Loughmore such formidable opponents and potential title winners.

Clonoulty-Rossmore had an off day after looking so good in previous games. They showed none of the aggression and competitiveness which normally fires their game with their attack being particularly ineffective. Thomas Butler was their main outlet for ball-winning with Dillon Quirke occasionally showing flashes of what he can do. Timmy Hammersley’s free-taking was crucial to them and Cathal Bourke chipped in with two points from play. Enda Heffernan and Joey O’Keeffe were solid in a defence that was frequently at full stretch to contain lively opponents. For most of the Clonoulty contingent it was a day best consigned to history as quickly as possible and it marked a disappointing end to their campaign.


TEAMS - Loughmore-Castleiney: David Kennedy (6); Lorcan Egan (7), Willie Eviston (6), Joseph Hennessy (6); John Ryan (6), Aidan McGrath (6), John Meagher (9); Noel McGrath (7), Brian McGrath (7); Joseph Nyland (7), Ciaran McGrath (8), Ciaran Connolly (6); Evan Sweeney (7), John McGrath (7), Tomas McGrath (6).

Subs: Conor McGrath (6) for Connolly (40); Peter Nyland (NR) for Ciaran McGrath (60+3).

Clonoulty/Rossmore: Declan O’Dwyer (6); Joey O’Keeffe (7), Ciaran Quirke (6), Jimmy Ryan (6); Enda Heffernan (7), John O’Keeffe (6), Sean O’Connor (6); Michael Ryan (6), Conor Hammersley (6); Cathal Bourke (6), Dillon Quirke (6), Ronan Heffernan (6); Timmy Hammersley (7), Thomas Butler (7), Stephen Quinn (6).

Subs: Fiachra O’Keeffe (6) for R Heffernan (49); James Hammersley (6) for Butler (57).

Referee: Conor Doyle (Silvermines)

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