Clonoulty Rossmore battled their way past Cappawhite 3-16 to 3-6 to qualify for their eighth consecutive west senior hurling final as a result of their victory in the Tipperary Co-Op SuperValu senior hurling championship semi-final at Cashel on Sunday last.
Clonoulty played against a strong wind, which was blowing into the dressing room end, in the opening half and corner forward Fiachra O’Keeffe opened their account in the first minute. However it was Cappawhite who set a hot pace and raced into a 0-4 to 0-1 after thirteen minutes following three points from Ger O’Neill from placed balls and one from play by James Bradshaw.
Cappawhite took the game to the champions and were rewarded on fourteen minutes, following a long ball into the Clonoulty goalmouth, with full forward Paul Fitzgerald finishing to the net after some hesitancy in the Clonoulty full back line. Timmy Hammersley replied with a pointed free for Clonoulty’s second score on fifteen minutes.
Disaster struck again for the champions one minute later when Timmy Cranley finished to the net after the Clonoulty defence failed to deal with a high ball. Cappa had thrown everything at Clonoulty and with sixteen minutes gone led by 2-4 to 0-2. A shock seemed on the cards.
Alas this was to be Cappa’s final score of the opening half and in fact did not register another until eleven minutes after the break. John O’Keeffe rallied Clonoulty and surged upfield to score a point on twenty two minutes. Tom Butler rattled the Cappa net following a deft pass from John Devane a minute later. Clonoulty were now moving well and Paudie White had a point from play which was quickly followed up with a John Devane goal. Conor Hammersley had his first of the game on twenty eight minutes to leave the half time score Clonoulty Rossmore 2-05 Cappawhite 2-04
The second half was only one minute old when Liam Devane pointed for Clonoulty to stretch the lead. Timmy Hammersley added another from a free and his brother Conor effectively killed off the game with Clonoulty’s third goal after four minutes. Timmy Hammersley with a free and Aidan White from play stretched Clonoulty’s lead to eight points after eight minutes.
Ger O’Neill pointed on eleven minutes for Cappa. Paudie White, John Devane (2) and Timmy Hammersley added to Clonoulty’s lead before Cappa had their third goal on eighteen minutes from Russell Quirke after good play from Paul Fitzgerald. Paddy Ryan replaced the injured Tom Butler and was quickly on the score sheet. Conor Hammersley added another on twenty one minutes. Ger O’Neill had a pointed free before Paudie White closed out the game with a point on twenty seven minutes to leave the final score Clonoulty Rossmore 3-16 Cappawhite 3-06.
This was a game which Clonoulty started very poorly and against stronger opposition would be in serious trouble. Not for the first time this season their full back line were in trouble and conceded three soft goals, and were under pressure with the long direct high ball. Having said that they are back in the west final where they will play Eire Og Annacarty as they bid for seven in a row.
Cappawhite threw everything at Clonoulty in the opening quarter and led by eight points. However in the closing three quarters they were outscored by 3-14 to 1-2 and though they battled bravely had to play second fiddle.
Clonoulty Rossmore: Jimmy Maher, Joey O’Keeffe, Padraig Heffernan, Jason Forrestal, John O’Keeffe (0-1), Ciaran Quirke, Thomas Butler, Paudie White (0-3), Liam Devane (0-1), Conor Hammersley (1-2), Tom Butler (1-0), Aidan White (0-1), Timmy Hammersley (0-4,1F,), John Devane (1-2), Fiachra O’Keeffe (0-1). Subs: Paddy Ryan (0-1) for Tom Butler.
Cappawhite: Franny Quinn, Cathal McCarthy, Sean Ryan (W), Ross Dunne, Tom Treacy, Tom Costello, Michael O’Neill, Russell Quirke (1-0), Denis Kelly, Ger Ryan (P), James Bradshaw (0-1), John McGrath, Ger O’Neill (0-5f), Paul Fitzgerald (1-0), Timmy Cranley (1-0), Subs Kevin Stapleton for Tom Treacy, Pat O’Neill.
Referee: John McCormack (Kickhams)