Thurles Sarsfields captain Padraic Maher receives the silverware from Mid Board Chairman Joe Kennedy
Gallant and brave Upperchurch Drombane come up just short in tense, tough Centenary Agri mid senior hurling championship final.
Thurles Sarsfields 1-14 Upperchurch Drombane 2-10
While Thurles Sarsfields claimed the Centenary Agri Mid Tipperary senior hurling championship title at The Ragg this evening, it was Upperchurch Drombane who dominated the post-match commentary, considering the enormity of their effort and endeavour in the contest.
The Church have never won a mid senior hurling title, but they came agonisingly close in this game with a goal in either half giving them a great platform from which to build. They led by six points ten minutes into the second half, but Sarsfields showed great composure to claw their way back into the game - a Stephen Cahill goal with fifteen minutes helping them enormously.
Many would claim that the county champions showed a lack or urgency in this game, but the reality is that Upperchurch Drombane were hurling off the front foot from the very off. Loughlin Ryans 13th minute goal was the difference between the sides by the break as they led by 1-7 to 0-8 - Tipperary star James Barry landing two massive long range scores for them in the process.
Upperchurch Drombane's James Barry receives the Man of the Match Award.
And, when Padraig Greene shot a fine goal eight minutes after resumption, Sarsfields looked to be in big trouble. Lar Corbett and Conor Lanigan were sent into the fray and Upperchurch keeper Ciaran Shortt made a string of fine saves from Aidan McCormack and Denis Maher. However, he was powerless to prevent Stephen Cahill goalling for Sars' in the 15th minute - the goal had been coming as Sars' applied the pressure and a flurry of points from Lanigan and Pa Burke (3) sent the champions two clear with six minutes to go.
The Church had a number of scoring chances to go along with Paul Ryans great score which left the minimum between them with three minutes of normal time to go - there would be four minutes added time also, but despite many chances for both sides, no other score was to materialise. Sars' held tough to claim the silverware and their eight divisional title since 2000.
It was a heartbreaking defeat for Upperchurch Drombane for whom James Barry was outstanding and received the Man of the Match Award, while Paul Shanahan, Padraig Greene, Matt Ryan, Paul Ryan and keeper Ciaran Shortt had fine games.
For Sarsfields, who acknowledged afterwards that a draw would probably have been the fair result, captain Padraic Maher, Michael Cahill, Billy McCarthy, and Cathal Moloney were impressive.
Pictured Below: Thurles Sarsfields celebrate their win over Upperchurch Drombane.