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Rivals battle it out for precious final spot in an exciting weekend of Tipperary sport

Rivals battle it out for precious final spot in an exciting weekend of Tipperary sport

Can Padraic Maher and the Thurles Sarsfields be stopped?

Will lightning strike twice? That's the question. The circumstances are eerily familiar. In 2011 an all-conquering Thurles Sarsfields team arrived in Semple Stadium for a semi-final chasing a third consecutive county title. Clonoulty-Rossmore, however, had other ideas and beat the defending champions with five points to spare. David Kennedy and Lar Corbett saw red and on the day the questions came much easier for Thurles Sarsfields than the answers.

On Sunday next Thurles face Clonoulty-Rossmore in a semi-final, once more, at Semple Stadium and, once more, Sarsfields are chasing a three in-a-row.

Clonoulty-Rossmore are priced at 10-1 outsiders to win the county title for the fourth time (1888, 1989 & 1997) while Thurles Sarsfields are un-backable three-to-one on favourites to land a 35th title. Indeed, the Sars are chasing their sixth title in eight years (2009, 2010, 2012, 2014 & 2015) and represent a very different proposition to the 2011 vintage.

Since losing to Nenagh Éire Óg in 2013 (round one) Thurles have played eighteen games in the county senior hurling championship and won seventeen of them - Sarsfields lost to Kiladangan (0-12 to 3-15) during the round robin phase in 2015, but their progression to the knock-out stages had already been assured.

Other than that slip up the numbers are staggering - in seventeen games Thurles have scored 27-363 while conceding 15-222; that’s an average winning margin of 10.4 points.

The only club to get close to Sarsfields during that time were Nenagh Éire Óg - in the 2014 quarter-final Thurles required extra-time and a last minute free from Aidan McCormack to progress while a point separated the sides once more in the 2015 county final. Drom & Inch came next closest in 2014 when losing by three points in the last sixteen.

In 2016 Thurles Sarsfileds dealt with the threat of Roscrea with twenty-one points to spare, Éire Óg Annacarty-Donohill with five points to spare and beat Borris-Ileigh twice; most recently in last Saturday’s quarter-final (2-22 to 0-13).

That does not make for heartening reading for Clonoulty-Rossmore, but the West champions are no slouches themselves. In their divisional campaign Philip Quirke’s men took care of Knockavilla Kickhams and Éire Óg Annacarty-Donohill while Clonoulty also topped a Roinn I group which featured Kilruane MacDonagh’s, Lorrha and Portroe.

Clonoulty-Rossmore, who are coached by Donach O’Donnell, then put away Mullinahone in a composed display on Sunday last (1-18 to 1-10).

Clonoulty-Rossmore were left heart-broken in 2010 and 2011 when the club lost consecutive county finals to Thurles Sarsfields and Drom & Inch respectively and would dearly love an opportunity to show what they can do on the greatest of stages.

Clonoulty-Rossmore lost the 2014 semi-final to Loughmore-Castleiney and came undone last season against Thurles at the quarter-final stage (1-14 to 1-23). Clonoulty started that clash in enterprising mood and led 0-7 to 0-5 before Sarsfields upped their game a gear or three and hit 1-7 without reply. How will Clonoulty-Rossmore respond when Thurles Sarsfields ask the more serious questions on Sunday?


This clash is sure to capture the imagination - neither has ever collected the Dan Breen Cup while Kiladangan are chasing a first-ever appearance in the decider. For their part Killenaule were runners-up in 1932 and 1942 and this weekend will be making a first appearance in the last four since 2007; Kiladangan lost out in the last four as recently as 2013 when succumbing after a replay to Nenagh Éire Óg.

Irrespective of their historical pedigree Kiladangan and Killenaule have arrived in the semi-finals as Roinn I group winners and are due the utmost respect.

Kiladangan, especially, are in particularly good form and raised eyebrows right across the county on Sunday last when taking care of Drom & Inch (2-18 to 1-17) in the quarter-finals.

Please note too that Dan Hackett’s men are back-to-back North champions and utterly dominated their Roinn I group when beating Nenagh Éire Óg (1-15 to 0-14), Mullinahone (4-20 to 1-12) and the Templederry Kenyons (2-22 to 2-18).

Killenaule, however, will take heart from the fact that their talisman John O’Dwyer is in sensational form and by the fact that they got the better of Kiladangan, albeit narrowly, in 2014 to the tune of two points (1-13 to 0-14).

All four of Sunday’s semi-finalists are Roinn I group winners with Killenaule getting the better of JK Bracken’s (3-15 to 2-5) before drawing with Upperchurch-Drombane (0-20 to 1-17) and Drom & Inch (4-13 to 2-19) - they progressed on the basis of a healthier scoring difference. In the quarter-finals Killenaule looked after Kilruane (2-20 to 1-20).



Saturday, October 8th
Tipperary Water County Minor B Football Championship Final
Kilsheelan-Kilcash v Cashel King Cormacs in Cahir @ 1.45pm ET
Tipperary Water County Minor A Football Championship Final
Galtee-Golden v Clonmel Commercials in Cahir @ 3.30pm ET
Tipperary Water County Junior A Hurling Championship Quarter-Finals
Nenagh Éire Óg v Ballybacon-Grange in Holycross @ 2.30pm ET
St Patrick's v Kiladangan in Templemore @ 2.30pm ET
Tipperary Water County Intermediate Hurling Championship Quarter-Finals
Ballinahinch v Thurles Sarsfields in Dolla @ 2.30pm ET
Moyle Rovers v Lattin-Cullen Gaels in Leahy Park, Cashel @ 3.30pm ET
Walsh's of Nenagh North Tipperary Under-21A Hurling Championship
Borris-Ileigh v Toomevara in Templederry @ 4.30pm
South Tipperary Chadwicks Minor A Hurling League
Grangemockler-Ballyneale v Mullinahone in Monroe @ 4pm

Sunday, October 9th
Tipperary Water County Senior Hurling Championship Semi-Finals
Clonoulty-Rossmore v Thurles Sarsfields in Semple Stadium, Thurles @ 1.45pm ET
Killenaule v Kiladangan in Semple Stadium, Thurles @ 3.30pm ET
County Tipperary Senior Hurling Relegation Play-Offs
Knockavilla Kickhams v Moyne-Templetuohy in Holycross @ 12 noon
Silvermines v Moneygall in Toomevara @ 12 noon
County Tipperary Intermediate Hurling Relegation Play-Offs
Moycarkey-Borris v Cashel King Cormacs in Boherlahan @ 12 noon
Rockwell Rovers v Golden-Kilfeacle in Leahy Park, Cashel @ 12 noon
Tipperary Water County Intermediate Hurling Championship Quarter-Finals
St Mary's Clonmel v Sean Treacy's in Bansha @ 12 noon ET
Kilsheelan-Kilcash v Newport in Dundrum @ 12 noon ET
Tipperary Water County Junior A Hurling Championship Quarter-Final
Holycross-Ballycahill v Emly in Golden @ 12 noon ET
Jim and Anne Kennedy Junior A Football Championship Final
Gortnahoe-Glengoole v Loughmore-Castleiney in Templemore @ 11.30am ET
Walsh's of Nenagh North Tipperary Under-21B Hurling Championship
Borrisokane v Lorrha-Dorrha in Borrisokane @ 11.30am
Shannon Rovers v Burgess in Ballinderry @ 11.30am
South Tipperary Junior B Football League
Clerihan v Moyle Rovers in Ned Hall Park @ 12 noon


Saturday, October 8th
Ulster Bank League Division 2A
Nenagh Ormond v Queens University @ 2.30pm
Sunday’s Well v Cashel RFC @ 4pm

Sunday, October 9th
Munster Junior League Division 1
Clonakilty v Clanwilliam @ 2.30pm
Kilfeacle v Bandon @ 2.30pm
Richmond v Clonmel @ 2.30pm
Munster Junior League Division 2
Thurles RFC v Presentation @ 2.30pm


North Tipperary & District League

Saturday, October 8th
FAI Under-17 Cup at 3pm
St Michael’s v Ballymackey Youths League at 2.30pm
Lough Derg v Borrisokane
Moneygall v Nenagh Celtic
Silvermines v BT Harps
Clonmore United v Arra Rovers

Sunday, October 9th
Munster Champions Trophy Quarter-Final
Nenagh Celtic v Doolan's Cow 2.30pm
FAI Junior Cup
Wilderness Rovers v Thurles Town 3pm
Premier Division League
BT Harps v Cloughjordan 11.30am
Borrisokane v Roscrea United 11.30am
Division 1 League
Borroway Rovers v Holycross 2pm
Moneygall v Nenagh Celtic 11.30am
Arra Rovers v Ardcroney 11.30am
Portumna Town v Rearcross 10.30am
Clodiagh Rangers v Roscrea United B 11.30am
Division 2 League
Cloughjordan B v Rearcross B 2.30pm
Ballywilliam v Gurtagarry 11.30am
Ballymackey B v BT Harps 2pm
Borrisokane B v Templetuohy 2pm

Tipperary South & District League

Saturday, October 8th
FAI Under-17 Cup First Round
St Michael’s v Ballymackey 3pm
Clonmel Celtic v Clonmel Town 2.30pm
TSDL Youths League Division 1
Cahir Park v Two Mile Borris 2.30pm
Peake Villa v Clerihan 2.30pm
TSDL Youths League Division 2
Cahir Park v Cullen Lattin 2.30pm
St Nicholas v Cashel Town 2.30pm
Burncourt v Kilsheelan United 2.30pm

Sunday, October 9th
FAI Junior Cup Second Round
Wilderness Rovers v Thurles Town 3pm
Munster League Champions Cup
Carrick United v St Michael’s 2pm
Clonmel Credit Union Premier League
Tipp Town v Clonmel Town 3pm
Two Mile Borris v Galbally United 3pm
Old Bridge v Clonmel Celtic 12pm
Peake Villa v Cashel Town 3pm
Clonmel Credit Union Division 1
Cahir Park v Glengoole United 3pm
Rosegreen Rangers v Bansha Celtic 12pm
St Nicholas v Redmondstown 3pm
Vee Rovers v Kilsheelan United 12pm
Clonmel Credit Union Division 2
Cashel Town v Cullen Lattin 12pm
Slieveardagh United v Donohill and District 3pm
Moyglass United v Burncourt Celtic 3pm
Mullinahone v Suirside 12pm
Clonmel Credit Union Division 3
Killusty v Cahir Park 3pm
Ballyneale v Clonmel Town 3pm
Kilmanahan United v Killenaule Rovers 12pm
Bansha Celtic v Tipperary Town 12 pm

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