As espected Clonoulty-Rossmore proved too good for Cappawhite in the West Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship semi-final at Dundrum and won comfortably, 1-25 to 0-17
No sooner was the ball thrown-in by referee, Fergal Horgan, than Clonoulty got into their stride straight away and started to send over points at will. They had seven shots at goal in the first nine minutes and scored seven points. They were moving at speed around the field and leaving their opponents in their wake.
The only response from Cappawhite was a pointed free from Jerry O’Neill in the fourth minute. They came more into the game with two points in the eleventh and thirteenth minutes and confined Clonoulty to one score in the fourteenth minute to leave the score at the end of the quarter at 0-8 to 0-3.
Cappawhite had the better of the exchanges in the second quarter. They succeeded in keeping Clonoulty at bay and limited them to two points in the first nine minutes. They added three points and were now behind by four points. They were moving well and offering a reasonable challenge to Clonoulty.
Then they suffered a severe blow. Clonoulty’s Paudie White, who was going well in the middle of the field, hit a long ball towards the Cappawhite goal. It hit the post and came back into play. Jason Forrestal was on the spot, collected the ball and gave the goalkeeper no chance with his shot. Almost immediately Paudie White had another point and the Clonoulty advantage had doubled to eight points.
Cappawhite worked hard during the remaining time to reduce the margin, scoring five points to Clonoulty’s three, to leave the half-time score 1-13 to 0-11.
Cappawhite opened well on the resumption with a Jerry O’Neill point but they didn’t score again until the tenth minute. In the meantime Clonoulty added three points and were gradually establishing their control. Cappawhite kept in touch with points but they had no penetration in the inside forward line and never threatened the Clonoulty goal. They had their final score in the nineteenth minute and as the game progressed their challenge became less and less.
During the final twelve minutes Clonoulty were completely on top and added six points to finish up well in front.
The winners looked very good. They played a delightful brand of hurling at a fast pace and their passing movements and ability to pick out a player were impressive. They also looked at a peak of fitness and had a lot of talent around the field, and some on the bench also. They have to be a serious force not only for the West title but for higher honours as well. They gave a great team performance but John O’Keefe and Tom Butler were outstanding and they were well helped by Paudie White, James Heffernan and John O’Neill in the second half.
Cappawhite tried hard but they didn’t have the resources to bother Clonoulty. They can be happy to have scored 17 points but were dependent on Jerry O’Neill for 11 of them and 8 came from frees. They had too few forwards to trouble the Clonoulty goal. They were best served by Ross Dunne, Eugene O’Neill, Jerry O’Neill, Tom Treacy and Russell Quirke.
Clonoulty-Rossmore: Declan O’Dwyer, Joey O’Keeffe, James Heffernan, Andrew Quirke, John O’Keeffe, Padraig Heffernan (0-1), Sean O’Connor, Paudie White (0-4), Conor Hammersley (0-2), Tom Butler (0-4), Ciaran Quirke, John O’Neill (0-3), Fiachra O’Keeffe (0-2), Timmy Hammersley (0-8), Jason Forrestal (1-0). Subs: Sean Maher (0-1) for Ciaran Quirke, Jamie Moloney for Jason Forrestal.
Cappawhite: Franny Quinn, Ross Dunne, Thomas Costello, Ger Ryan (P), Sean Ryan (P), Eugene O’Neill, Matthew Ryan, Tom Treacy, Michael O’Neill (0-2), Donagh Heffernan, Niall Hayes, Johnny Ryan (P), Jerry O’Neill (0-11), Russell Quirke (0-3), Kevin Stapleton (0-1). Subs: Paul Fitzgerald for Niall Hayes, Matthew Kennedy for Matthew Ryan, James Bradshaw for John Ryan (P)
Referee: Fergal Horgan (Kickhams)