County champions Drom & Inch survived a stern test of their title credentials at Semple Stadium, Thurles on Sunday when a resolute Loughmore-Castleiney pushed them to the limit.
Playing with the wind in the opening half Drom & Inch raced into a 0-7 to 0-1, but Loughmore-Castleiney fought back and following a Noel McGrath penalty six minutes after the break Loughmore led 1-12 to 0-13. Indeed, Loughmore looked well-placed to book their place in the decider when leading 1-12 to 0-13 with nine minutes to play before a misfortunate goalkeeper error handed Drom & Inch a vital goal. Sensing their opportunity Drom & Inch thundered into a 1-16 to 1-13 lead by the 57th minute, but in a frantic finish Loughmore-Castleiney responded in great style to force extra-time - 1-18 apiece. Loughmore-Castleiney came undone in the opening half of extra-time when the combination of a straight red card shown to Liam Treacy and a Séamus Callanan goal clinched this semi-final.
James Woodlock looked a most obvious man of the match from a Drom & Inch point of view while Séamus Callanan, Johnny Ryan and David Butler also made significant contributions. For Loughmore-Castleiney Eddie Connolly, Noel McGrath and Aidan McGrath shone brightly.
Drom & Inch, playing with the wind, took the lead thanks to a Johnny Ryan free after just thirty-five seconds with Séamus Butler and Séamus Callanan adding to that tally inside the opening three minutes. Then, in the eighth minute, David Butler cut a magnificent sideline ball over the bar and Drom & Inch led 0-4 to no-score. See this weeks Tipperary Star for full report.