The Borris-Ileigh lads who took on St Thomas' of Galway this afternoon in Limerick
Brendan Maher bags 0-10 in superb performance
AIB All-Ireland Club senior hurling semi-final
St Thomas 1-14
Ten points from Tipperary star Brendan Maher sent Munster club champions Borris-Ileigh back into the All-Ireland club final for the first time since 1987 when they defeated St Thomas' of Galway this evening in a tight, tense game.
A goal right at the death from teenager James Devaney put much daylight between the sides, but it had been a mighty battle right to injury time.
The pitch at LIT Gaelic Grounds in Limerick was in immaculate condition for the game which was eagerly anticipated with a big attendance from both parishes backed up by many neutrals who predicted a humdinger – 4192 was the official attendance. Though the day was dry and bright, the floodlights were on from the start of the game which kicked off at the later time of 4:00pm. But, the rather strange timing of the game didn't detract from the interest in it, or the quality of the fare on offer.
Despite St Thomas grabbing a 10th minute goal from Eanna Burke, which was brilliantly created by Conor Cooney, it was Borris-Ileigh which was the happier of the sides at half time. They led by 0-11 to 1-6 – eleven scores to seven was more of a reflection of the action of the half, rather than the two point differential.
Tipp star Brendan Maher had five of those Borris' scores while Conor Kenny and Kevin Maher chipped in with two apiece, and Jerry Kelly and James Devaney, one apiece.
St Thomas' showed in patches what they could do, but they needed more consistency in the second half. Bernard Burke, Conor Cooney (2) Oisin Flannery, James Regan and Darragh Burke had thier first half points.
It was a nip and tuck second half with the sides to be level on nine occasions in total. St Thomas were back on terms within five minutes of play, but Borris went in front again by two, only to see the lead eliminated again.
However, Borris' were to hit five points in ten minutes to St Thomas' one and that set the foundations to their victory which was cemented when Brendan Maher bagged two late points, and James Devaney grabbed that late goal.
Teams and Scorers:
St Thomas: James Barrett Cian Mahoney, Sean Skehill, Cathal Burke, Donal Cooney, Shane Cooney 0-1, David Sherry, James Regan 0-1, David Burke 0-1, Fintan Burke, Darragh Burke 0-4, Bernard Burke 0-2, Eanna Burke 1-0, Conor Cooney 0-3, Oisin Flannery 0-1.
Borris-Ileigh: James McCormack, Seamus Burke, Paddy Stapleton, Liam Ryan, Sean McCormack, Brendan Maher 0-10, Ray McCormack, Tommy Ryan, Dan McCormack, Kieran Maher 0-1, Niall Kenny, Conor Kenny 0-3, Kevin Maher 0-4, Jerry Kelly 0-1, James Devaney 1-1. Subs: J Hogan for N Kenny; C Cowan for J Kelly.
Referee: Paid O'Dwyer (Carlow)