Sarsfields captain Padraic Maher
The Blues survived a scare at Semple Stadium to advance to the Tipperary Water County senior hurling semi-final.
Thurles Sarsfields 3-26 Kilruane MacDonagh 1-22
Thurles Sarsfields advanced to the Tipperary Water County senior hurling semi-final after a hard fought battle with Kilruane MacDonagh which went to extra time.
A close fought game all the way through, the defending champions had to dig very deep to get over the line against a well drilled Kilruane MacDonagh side which made the very most of the chances they created.
The greasy conditions and constant rain made for difficult conditions for the players with the underfoot tricky and leading to many mistakes throughout the game.
A goal in the 6th minute from Denis Maher gave Sarsfields a 1-2 to no score lead and by the time Kilruane MacDonagh goalled in the 20th minute from Conor Cleary, the advantage was back to two points, after it had topped five at one stage.
Kilruane MacDonagh had fought their way back into the game and though Sarsfields canceled their goal with four points in quick succession, the north men had three of their own to go in 1-11 to 1-8 in arrears at the break. The lead could have been much more but for the saves of Thomas Williams who saved from Aidan McCormack and Michael O'Brien.
A flurry of points for Kilruane MacDonagh saw the sides level by the 11th minute, with veteran Seamus Hennessy getting the leveler. However, Sarsfields hit four without reply to take control again, but Kilruane MacDonagh showed great resilience to fight back to level once more as time slipped into injury.
Then, two big moments - an Aidan McCormack pointed free for Sarsfields after Conor Lanigan was pulled down, and a similar effort from Cian Darcy in the 36 minute after James Cleary was adjudged to have been fouled - a very soft free it has to be said.
So, extra time it was and within five minutes of commencement, Lar Corbett had the ball in the Kilruane MacDonagh net. And, just before the end of the first half, Pa Bourke bagged another to leave Sarsfields two goals clear as they headed into the second period 3-21 to 1-21.
Sarsfields saw out the game to win by ten points - a margin which did little justice to the effort of the Kilruane MacDonagh men.