Cian Hogan plundered a terrific goal in the fourth minute of injury time to earn Lorrha-Dorrha a draw with Thurles Sarsfields at MacDonagh Park, Nenagh on Sunday afternoon following an entertaining Séamus Ó Riain Cup round one clash.
Tipperary Water County Senior Hurling
Championship - Séamus Ó Riain Cup (Roinn II)
Thurles Sarsfields 0-16 Lorrha-Dorrha 1-13
The hearts of Blues supporters must have been bursting with pride when the Sars’ second team fielded at senior level on Sunday and the Thurles lads gave a terrific account of themselves. Indeed, Sarsfields set the pace for long stages of this encounter and led by six points with six minutes of normal time remaining (0-15 to 0-9).
To their absolute credit Lorrha-Dorrha came storming back late on, but the Thurles lads will be disappointed to learn that although both sides fired ten wides each the Blues also dropped eight shots short (Lorrha-Dorrha: one).
Paul Maher, Michael Russell and Richie Ruth were outstanding for Sarsfields while Lorrha-Dorrha found heroes in Ciarán Haugh and the lively Eoin McIntyre. But one really interesting aspect to this clash was the contest between Lorrha-Dorrha’s Patrick Maher and Thurles’ Kevin O’Gorman. The battle between these two under the dropping ball was fascinating and it is probably significant to note that O’Gorman had retired with an injury when Lorrha-Dorrha mounted their dramatic comeback.
Thurles Sarsfields got off to a great start and led 0-4 to 0-2 after eleven minutes thanks to scores from Richie Ruth (three) and Seánie Butler (free). Garry Mernagh’s fingerprints were all over the Blues as the 2018 county intermediate champions pieced together some lovely moves. And, Thurles could well have extended their lead significantly in the 12th minute when Seánie Butler set-up Michael O’Brien, but Lorrha-Dorrha ‘keeper Patrick Reddin conjured a brilliant save; O’Brien fired over the follow-up and Thurles led 0-5 to 0-2.
Lorrha-Dorrha were struggling at this point and although Brian Hogan landed an eye-catching score from play in the 14th minute further efforts from Michael O’Brien, Seánie Butler (free) and Michael Russell left four between them. Patrick Maher converted a free in response in the 23rd minute, but Thurles closed out the half in emphatic terms when Seánie Butler (two frees), Richie Ruth and Pa Crone helped their side into a seven-point interval advantage (0-12 to 0-5).
FACE THE WIND
Sarsfields then had to face the elements and Lorrha-Dorrha soon took advantage with three converted frees during the opening five minutes of the second half cutting the deficit to four points (0-12 to 0-8).
Thurles dropped four efforts short during this period, but the Blues managed to open their second half account in the 45th minute when Seánie Butler converted a tricky free.
Lorrha-Dorrha needed a little encouragement and almost happened upon a critical score in the 47th minute when William Maher’s shot beat Thurles ‘keeper Willie Tierney, but found a post and the ball was cleared to safety.
Following that significant scare Sarsfields fired over consecutive points - which arrived courtesy of Seánie Butler (free) and Michael O’Brien - to open a six-point gap with six minutes of normal time remaining (0-15 to 0-9).
The Lorrha-Dorrha team featured plenty of experienced campaigners and with the wind at their backs Barney Naughnane’s men mustered a late charge. Three Brian Hogan frees and a point from William Maher left two between them in the third minute of second half injury time. And, even though Rory Purcell intercepted a Lorrha-Dorrha puck-out and flashed over a late point for Thurles there was still time for Eoin McIntyre to carve open the Sarsfields’ defence and find Cian Hogan who buried his shot.
Thurles Sarsfields: William Tierney, Harry Fitzgibbon, Kevin O’Gorman, Aidan Ryan, Seosamh Ryan, Jack Derby, Paul Maher, Pa Crone (0-1), Kevin Dunne, Rory Purcell (0-1), Michael Russell (0-1), Seánie Butler (0-6, 0-6 frees), Michael O’Brien (0-3), Richie Ruth (0-4), Eoin Purcell. Subs: (53rd) Kieran Moloney for Kevin O’Gorman.
Lorrha-Dorrha: Patrick Reddin, Michael Dolan, Conor Hogan, Graham Houlihan, Ciarán Haugh, Noel Hogan, David Sullivan, Eoin McIntyre (0-1), Niall O’Meara, Alan O’Meara, Brian Hogan (0-7, 0-6 frees), Cian Hogan (1-0), Christopher Fogarty, Patrick Maher (0-4, 0-4 frees), Niall McIntyre. Subs: (41st) William Maher (0-1) for Christopher Fogarty, (47th) Daniel O’Donoghue for Niall O’Meara.
Referee: Mark Jordan (Golden-Kilfeacle).
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