County Senior Hurling Championship 2007
Loughmore-Castleiney won their second county senior hurling chammpionship when they captured the 2007 final with a facile win over a disappointing Drom-Inch side at Semple Stadium on October 21. It was a marvellous victory for the winners in the context of poor early season promise, close survival against J. K. Brackens in the Mid semi-final and defeat by Thurles Sarsfields the final. But then a transformation took place with a quarter-final victory over J. K. Brackens. It gathered momentum with a substantial victory over favourites, Borrisoleigh, in the semi-final and Loughmore showed greater class, determination and superiority in the final, so that the result was never in doubt at time in the game.
The format for the championship remained the same as in 2006, with just one change in the teams taking part. Galtee Rovers we're relegated and Eire 6g, Amnacarty were promoted in place of their fellow West men. There was a direct link between the divisional and county championships.
Round One took place in the divisions and it resulted in fourteen teams qualifying for the Round Robin as a result of losing their first-round games. The North provided five teams, Burgess, Portroe, Kilruane MacDonaghs, Roscrea, Moneygall, the Mid four, Holycross-Ballycahill, Dram Inch, Boherlahan-Dualla, Upperchurch-Drombane, the West three, Cappawhite, Cashel King Cormac's, Eire Og Annacarty, and the South two, Carrick Swan and Mullinahone.
Round Two saw the division of the fourteen teams into four groups and the play-off on a league basis to decide on four winners. Group 1, with three teams, saw Burgess come through over Holycross and Carrick Swan. Group 2 saw Drom Inch cone out on top over Portroe, Kilruane MacDonaghs and Cappawhite. Group 3 saw Roscrea come out on top of Boherlahan-Dualla and Moneygall. Group 4 saw Mullinahone doing a clean sweep over Eire 6g, Annacarty, Upperchurch-Drombane and Cashel King Cormac's.
Round Three was a play-off between the Round Robin winners and the defeated divisional semi-finalists. There were three of the latter, two from the North and one from the Mid. Drom Inch were given a bye, and J. K. Brackens defeated Burgess by 1-16 to 4, Roscrea defeated Kildangan by 2-11 to 2-10, and Toomevara defeated Mullinahone by 0-13 to 0-10.
The next stage was for the winners of Round 3 to play the divisional final rumners-up. The West was the first division to stage their final and Cashel was the venue for a repeat of the previous 'year's encounter between Clonoulty- Rossmore and Kickhams. The change in the twelve months was dramatic. Whereas Kickhams had pulled off a coup in 2006, it was Clonoulty who were very much to the fore on this occasion, winning comfortably by 1-18 to 0-11 in a disappointing final. The winners led by 1-10 to 0-4 at the interval.
The result was much tighter in the South final, which was played at Fethard on August 19. Killenaule came out on top over Ballingarry by 0-14 to 0-13 as a result of three points in additional time, and claim their seventeenth South senior hurling title. Ballingarry held a three-point advantage at half-time on a scoreline of 0-8 to 0-5.
The two remaining divisional finals were played on September 9. In the Mid Thurles Sarsfields gave a very impressive display in defeating Loughmore-Castleiney by 0-22 to 3-9 at Semple Stadium. In fact their victory, to claim their fortieth title, was much more comprehensive than the scoreline would suggest. They dominated the game right through, having led by 0-13 to 1-5 at the interval.
On the same date the North final, between Borrisioleigh and Nenagh Eire 6g, was played at Nenagh. In a close contest in which neither side could establish their dominance, Borrisoleigh led by a solitary point at the break, on a scoreline of 0-9 to 0-8, Nenaah having hit eight wides to their opponents' one during the period .. In fact they had a total of thirteen wides to Borrisoleigh's five in the course of the game. During the closing ten minutes the sides were level four times but, in a late surge, Borrisoleigh fired over three points to give them victory by 0-19 to 0-17 and their fourteenth title .
Round 4 brought the winners of Round 3, plus Dram Inch, into .opposition against the divisional final losers. These games were played on the weekend on September 15/16. Dram-Inch defeated Kickhams by1-25 to 0-15, and Nenagh Eire 6g defeated rivals, Toomevara, 1-18 to 0-14 at Semple Stadium. Roscrea got the better of Ballingarry by 1-9 to 0-10 at Boherlahan, and Loughmore- Castleiney overcame J. K. Brackens by 2-16 to 3-10 at the Ragg.
The quarter-final stage stage was now reched and it pitted the winners of Round 4 against against the four divisional champions. These games were played at two venues, Cashel and Semple Stadium.
Drom Inch defeated Clonoulty-Rossmore by 0-15 to 0-13 at Cashel on Saturday, and Killenaule overcame Roscrea by 0-15 to 2-7 at the same venue. The following day at Thurles Loughmore-Castleiney impresed in dismissing part-favourites, Borrisoleigh by 3-13 to 1-13, while Nenagh Eire 6g surprised the other favourites, Thurles Sarsfields by 4-17 to 3-17.
The semi-finals were played at Semple Stadium on October. 7. After the whole complexity of games the original twenty-five teams were reduced to four. Of the four teams involved KiIenaule were the only undefeated side. Drom Inch were first round losers, while Nenagh Eire 6g and Loughmore-Castleiney were divisional final losers. All four fancied their chances of a place in the final, though Dram Inch were slight favourites to beat Killenaule, while Nenagh Eire Og were rated slightly ahead of Loughmore-Castleiney.
First up were Drom Inch and Killenaule. The latter got a superb start and after twelve minutes were leading by 0-7 to 0-1 as a result of some great hurling and using the ball well. But once Drom Inch found their range, they began to score at will and, in the next eighteen minutes, registered 1-8 against just a point for Killenaule. At half-time the Mid men were ahead by 1-10 to 0-9, and Killenaule were wondering where had it all gone wrong. Inaccuracy was partly to blame.
Matters didn't change on the resumption. Seamus Callanan, who gave a great performance for Drom, scored four points within eight minutes and, following other scores, Drom were ahead by 1-17 to 0-11 within twelve minutes. Killenaule tried for goals when points could have been scored but they did begin to tack on points, and got five without replay to reduce the deficit to four. Drom had a point before Killenaule reduced the deficit to three points and then there was a real game. Resolute defending on the part of Drom deprived Killenaule of the goal they needed. In the final minutes there was an exchange of points to leave the final score 1-19 to 0-19 in Drom Inch's favour.
While Seamus Callanan inspired Drom Inch to their victory with a personal tally of 1-8, young Noel McGrath inspired Loughmore-Castleiney to their victory over Nenagh Eire 6g in the second semi-final. The sides were evenly matched in the opening half though, as the period progressed, Loughmore inched a bit ahead and were two points in front, 0-7 to 0-5, at the interval.
Results at a Glance County Senior Hurling Championship
22/09/2007 Cashel Drom & Inch 0-15 Clonoulty-Rossmore 0-13 Johnny McDonnell
22/09/2007 Cashel Killenaule 0-15 Roscrea 2-07 Denis Curtis
23/09/2007 5emple Stadium Borrisoleigh 3-13 Loughmore/Castleiney 1-13 Richie Barry
23/09/2007 Semple Stadium Nenagh Eire Og 4-17 Thurles Sarsfields 3-17 Seamus Roche
07/10/2007 Semple Stadium Drom & Inch 1-19 Killenaule 0-19 Tommy Ryan
07/10/2007 Semple Stadium Loughmore/Castleiney 0-22 Nenagh Eire Og 0-13 Phil Ryan
21/10/2007 Semple Stadium Loughmore/Castleiney 0-22 Drom & Inch 0-13 TommyRyan
30/08/2007 Newport Cappawhite 3-15 Portroe 0-13 John Kelly
16/09/2007 Nenagh Portroe 1-13 Kilruane McDonaghs 3-11 Philly Ryan
08/09/2007 Dundrum Cashel King Cormacs 1-23 Upperchurch/Drombane 2-16 Paddy Ivors
16/09/2007 Boherlahan Upperchurch/Drombane 1-13 Eire Og Anacarthy 1-12 Tommy Ryan
29/09/2007 The Ragg Carrick Swans 1-15 Portroe 2-10 Paddy Russell
06/10/07 The Ragg Moneygall 3-15 Eire Og Anacarty 0-20 Brian Whyte
21/10/2007 The Ragg Portroe 3-12 Eire Og Anacarty 0-17 Willie Barrett
Nenagh were first to score on the resumption but Loughmore moved ahead to four points in front after ten minutes. A few changes on the Nenagh side freshened things up and three unanswered points had them reduce the deficit to one point by the 43rd mintes. However, some magnificent scores by Noel McGrath edged Loughmore ahead again and they were three points in frant with seven minutes remaining. Nenagh didn't die and with three points they had the sides level by the 59th minute. With a draw likely Noel McGrath delivered a great pass to substitute, David McGrath, who sent over for the Loughmore lead. In the remaining minutes, Loughmore defended stoutly and had one more point in the dying moments to give them victory by 0-15 to 0-13.
It was an unusual pairing for the final at Semple Stadium on October 21. There were two teams from the Mid and they were adjoining parishes also, and many of them school mates as well. As the game drew near it appeared that the rising tide of favouritism was favouring Loughmore-Castleiney. They were goiing for a second, to add to their first in 1988, while Drom Inch ere going for their first, having been beaten finalists in 2005 and beaten semi-finalists last year. Whereas the sentiment of neutrals might lean towards Drom, reality was directing towards the experience, strength and stout performers from Loughmore.
On the day it was a no-contest final, a game that never got going because one side failed to turn up.
It was one of the poorest finals for years in which Loughmore-Castleiney hit the ground running and never gave up, while Drom Inch failed to get started and were striving to get going for the hour. Loughmore thoroughly deserved their victory and final score does not do justice to their superiority. With six minutes remaining they led by 0-22 to 0-8 and that was a better reflection of their superiority than the final score of 0-22 to 0- 13 which flattered Dram's performance.
Drom-Inch has their only bright moment in the opening minutes when Seamus Callanan gave them the opening score. After that it was to be Loughmore all the way, inspired by a brillant display by half-forward, Evan Sweeney, who scored nine points, and wing-back, Tom King, who gave a splendid performance also. Loughmore led by 0-13 to 0-5 at the interval and Dram's poor performance is reflected in the fact that they scored only three points in the second half, until the last six minutes, when the game was all but over.
For Loughmore-Castleiney it was a brilliant victory and a fitting achievement for a club that is one of the most formidable in the county, as far as commitment and dedication to the games of hurling and football are involved. They had started the year poorly but built up a head of steam as the hurling season progressed and, despite a number of injuries going into the final, came through in brilliant style to win a well-deserved second senior hurling championship.
For Dram-Inch and all their hopes and expectations there is little consolation. They must have felt their chances were good and that the experience of the previous two years would have helped them. Instead they failed to deliver on the day and don't even have the alleviation of a decent performance to fall back on. It will be difficult for them to recover from such a defeat.
Loughmore-Castleiney: Johnny Gleeson (capt.), Alvy Stapleton, Derek Bourke, Paul Ormond, Eoin Ryan, David Kennedy, Tom King, Ciaran McGrath (0-2), Gary Sweeney, Paul Brennan, Evan Sweeney (0-9), Noel McGrath (0-6), Eddie Connolly (0-1), Michea Webster (0-1), Ronan Stapleton (0-3). Subs: David McGrath for BrelU1an, Tommy Long for Ronan Stapleton, Seamie Bohan for Connolly, Ger Morris for Long. Also: Jody Sweeney, Colm Campion, Johnny Campion, James Egan, John Paul Foy, James Connolly, Martin Ryan, Tommy Ormond, Diarmuid Brennan. Management: Eamon Sweeney, Frankie McGrath, Michael McGrath. Physio: Cathy Doran.
Drom Inch: Damien Young, Edward Costello, Eamonn Buckley, Kevin Butler (0-1), Padraig Butler, Donncha Kennedy, Thomas Cantwell, Paul Collins, James Woodlock (0-1), Matthew Ryan, Seamus Callanan (0-5), Johnny Ryan (0-2), Eric Woodlock (0-1), Seamus Butler (capt.) (0-2), Declan Ryan (0-1). Subs: Micheal Butler for Padraig Butler, Michael Cantwell (0-1) for Collins, Enda Walsh for Matthew Ryan, Liam Kennedy for Costello, Frank McGrath for Declan Ryan. Also: Paul Connors, Michael Costello, Martin Butler, Michael Long, Paddy Kennedy, James Ryan, Liam Brett.
Management: Pat Looby, Ramie Ryan, Seamus Fahy. First Aid:
Ena de Burca. Masseur: Rita O'Dwyer.
Man of the Match Award: Evan Sweeney. Referee; Tommy Ryan (Kildangan).
Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2008