Borris-Ileigh’s novel appearance in the final of the Tipperary Water County Senior Hurling Championship against Thurles Sarsfields (3.30pm) could well attract a bumper crowd to Semple Stadium on Sunday, October 8th. Indeed, the curtain-raising Séamus Ó Riain Cup final clash between Toomevara and Roscrea (1.15pm) should add to the whole occasion.
Although Thurles Sarsfields are not known for the size of their following despite the Blues’ extraordinary achievements Borris-Ileigh will hope to attract sons and daughters of the North Tipperary village from all corners of the world to witness their first appearance in the county final for twenty-nine years (1988).
The largest crowd to attend a county final during the past sixteen years materialized in 2005 when 12,710 paid in to watch Thurles Sarsfields end a thirty-one year wait for the coveted Dan Breen Cup against their Mid Tipperary rivals Drom & Inch, but that tally falls well short of the staggering 17,000-plus crowd which watched Clonoulty-Rossmore see off Mullinahone in 1997 and the 14,137 which took in the 1995 decider between Nenagh Éire Óg and Boherlahan-Dualla.
Perhaps the disappointing attendances at the last three county senior hurling finals (all less than 7,000) are a compliment and an acknowledgement of the excellence of the current generation of Thurles Sarsfields players. Do followers of hurling in Tipperary simply deem the destination of the Dan Breen Cup to be a foregone conclusion?
Incidentally, the 1952 county final between Thurles Sarsfields and Borris-Ileigh was played in MacDonagh Park, Nenagh and attracted a whopping 15,000 spectators. Is there any chance that we could match that tally or even get near it on October 8th?
2000-16 County Senior Hurling Final Attendances
2016 (6,546) Thurles Sarsfields 0-27 Kiladangan 1-15
2015 (5,606) Thurles Sarsfields 1-18 Nenagh Éire Óg 3-11
2014 (5,752) Thurles Sarsfields 2-22 Loughmore-Castleiney 3-11
2013 (7,195) Loughmore-Castleiney 1-17 Nenagh Éire Óg 1-16
2012 (7,000) Thurles Sarsfields 1-21 Drom & Inch 2-15
2011 (7,038) Drom & Inch 1-19 Clonoulty-Rossmore 2-14
2010 (6,224) Thurles Sarsfields 1-16 Clonoulty-Rossmore 1-7
2009 (9,967) Thurles Sarsfields 0-14 Drom & Inch 0-5
2008 (5,835) Toomevara 2-14 Thurles Sarsfields 0-17
2007 (6,898) Loughmore-Castleiney 0-22 Drom & Inch 0-13
2006 (8,500) Toomevara 1-21 Nenagh Éire Óg 2-14
2005 (12,710) Thurles Sarsfields 1-17 Drom & Inch 0-15
2004 (8,300) Toomevara 4-12 Éire Óg Annacarty-Golden-Kilfeacle 2-12
2003 (10,200) Toomevara 3-19 Thurles Sarsfields 3-16
2002 (10,905) Replay: Mullinahone 2-10 Thurles Sarsfields 1-11
2001 (12,140) Toomevara 1-22 Thurles Sarsfields 1-13
2000 (8,500) Toomevara 2-10 Thurles Sarsfields 0-11