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  • GAA

Loughmore floored again by a piece of Quinlivan magic

Friday, 2nd October, 2020 9:52am
Loughmore floored again by a piece of Quinlivan magic

Michael Quinlivan puts the ball into the Loughmore-Castleiney net. Photograph: Bridget Delaney

Loughmore floored again by a piece of Quinlivan magic

Michael Quinlivan puts the ball into the Loughmore-Castleiney net. Photograph: Bridget Delaney

GAA: FBD Insurance Tipperary Senior Football Championship Final


Clonmel Commercials    1-16
Loughmore/Castleiney    1-15

Report: Shane Brophy at Semple Stadium

Player of the Match:
Michael Quinlivan (Clonmel Commercials)
SCORERS - Clonmel Commercials: Jason Lonergan 0-5 (3 frees); Michael Quinlivan 1-1; Sean O’Connor 0-3 frees; Seamus Kennedy, Jack Kennedy (1 free) 0-2 each; Colman Kennedy, Conal Kennedy, Ryan Lambe 0-1 each.
Loughmore/Castleiney: Conor Ryan 0-6 (4 frees); Conor McGrath 1-0; John McGrath, Joseph Nyland, Evan Sweeney 0-2 each; Ciaran Connolly, Aidan McGrath, Liam Treacy 0-1 each.

Clonmel Commercials retained the Tipperary senior football title for the first time on thirty years on Sunday but as much of the story from the game as about Loughmore/Castleiney who suffered more senior final heartache on Sunday.

For the second Sunday in a row, Loughmore came up just a point short with Jack Kennedy’s 60th minute point proving to be the winner as Commercials saw a six point half time lead eroded by a Loughmore side driven not to endure a second final loss in the space of seven days. 

However, when the club GAA year in the county is remembered, the story of Loughmore/Castleiney will linger as much as the titles won by Kiladangan and Clonmel Commercials, for what they provided in two of the best county finals in both codes in recent memory.

These two sides have provided some cracking encounters over the last few years and this didn’t disappoint with players littered with Tipperary players and while Loughmore were behind on that regard, if they weren’t on the hurling squad they would walk into the football set-up.

However, they will lament the second quarter performance where they allowed Commercials open up a six-point half time lead. One wondered were the exertions of the previous Sunday beginning to show but not a bit of it as what we saw from Loughmore in the second half was pure grit, determination and no little skill, and but for a piece of individual brilliance from Michael Quinlivan, Loughmore could have pulled off once of the greatest comeback wins in their history.

The damage was done in the first half where Clonmel used their power and pace to open up holes in the Loughmore defence to score thirteen points, ten from play, with the Mid men also playing their part in a free-flowing open game. Loughmore struggled to win their own kickout as Commercials turned that possession into scores but in the second half the tables were turned with Loughmore clogging up the middle to prevent Commercials powering through, and much like the hurling final, Loughmore’s efficiency was hugely impressive in attack, posting just three wides.

Tipperary manager David Power will have been an interested observer and will have been pleased by the performances of his panellists Jack Kennedy, Jason Lonergan and Michael Quinlivan, while Loughmore’s Conor Ryan is one to keep a close eye on for the further with another impressive performance with five points, two from play while Conor McGrath scored his fifth goal in the championship but apart from that Loughmore couldn’t feed him enough quality ball.

8                                   Wides                    3
24                          Frees Conceded          17
12/19                     Own Kickouts won    15/25
0                                    Sin-bin                  0
1                                Yellow Cards             2
0                                  Red Cards               0

Loughmore/Castleiney showed no hangover early on from their heart-breaking loss in the hurling final seven days previous, kicking the first three points from Conor Ryan, Ciaran Connolly, and Joseph Nyland.

Commercials slowly settled to their task with Jason Lonergan getting them up and running on six minutes and they rattled off three in a row from Jack Kennedy (free), Seamus Kennedy and Ryan Lambe to take the lead on eleven minutes in a free-flowing opening quarter final.

Conor Ryan converted two frees either side of a similar Jason Lonergan effort for Clonmel as the sides were level at 0-5 apiece at the water break. 

However, the brief interlude saw Commercials find another gear as they scored the next six points from Jason Lonergan (2), Sean O’Connor (2), Colman Kennedy and Seamus Kennedy before Aidan McGrath ended a thirteen-minute barren spell for the Mid men. 

Conor Ryan added a free but two points from play from Conal Kennedy and Michael Quinlivan had Commercials 0-13 to 0-7 to the good at half time.

Loughmore were always going to respond and a 32nd minute goal from Conor McGrath brought them right back into the game which upped another gear in terms of intensity. Commercials responded with a Jason Lonergan point after Michael Quinlivan had a goal chance brilliantly saved by Shane Hennessy.

After being starved of possession in the opening half, it was Loughmore who dominated the ball in the second half with sub Liam Treacy, Conor Ryan, John McGrath and Evan Sweeney all taking their chances to bring the sides level on 44 minutes.

A Sean O’Connor free edged Commercials ahead at the second water-break but all the momentum was with Loughmore and points from John McGrath and Evan Sweeney nudged them in front on 51 minutes.

Then came the score of the game, worthy of winning any final as Michael Quinlivan ran onto a ball 65 yards out and burning past Brian McGrath ran into the square and fired to the roof of the net from close range.

Again, Loughmore came back with Conor Ryan (free) and Evan Sweeney bringing the sides level on 59 minutes before Jack Kennedy slotted over what would prove to be the winning score from 35 yards.

Michael Quinlivan will be a relieved man that his side hung on as he missed an open goal deep in added time, but it didn’t matter as Clonmel Commercials claimed their 20th Tipperary senior football title.

TEAMS – Clonmel Commercials: Michael O’Reilly (6); Jamie Ahearne (7), Liam Ryan (6); Jamie Peters (7); Kevin Fahey (6), Seamus Kennedy (8), Pauric Louram (6); Conal Kennedy (6), Jack Kennedy (7); Colman Kennedy (6), Michael Quinlivan (8), Ross Peters (7); Jason Lonergan (8), Sean O’Connor (6), Ryan Lambe (6). 
Sub: Cathal McGeever (6) for Conal Kennedy (53).
Loughmore/Castleiney: Shane Hennessy (7); Joseph Hennessy (7), Brian McGrath (7), Willie Eviston (7); Eoin Ryan (6), John Meagher (7), Aidan McGrath (7); Noel McGrath (7), Joseph Nyland (8); John McGrath (7), Evan Sweeney (7), Ciaran Connolly (6); Conor McGrath (6), Ciaran McGrath (7), Conor Ryan (8). 
Subs: Liam Treacy (7) for Connolly (29); Lorcan Egan (6) for E Ryan (35).
Referee: Seanie Peters (Aherlow).

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