Drom/Inch shock champions Thurles Sarsfields in County Senior Hurling Championship

Seamus Callanan

Seamus Callanan scored three points when Drom/Inch beat Thurles Sarsfields in the County Senior Hurling Championship

Drom-Inch produced their best hurling performance for some time to rescue their season with a superb victory over defending champions Thurles Sarsfields in the Tipperary Water County Senior Hurling Championship tie played at Holycross on Sunday evening.

Full credit to Drom-Inch for their victory, but their cause was certainly assisted by the 6th minute dismissal of key Sarsfields attacker Aidan McCormack by referee Fergal Horgan – a straight red card shown for a late tackle.

But this was not the winning or losing of the game - the winning of the game was in the manner in which Drom-Inch took the game to their opponents, didn't allow them time of the ball, and in the aggression they displayed in the 50/50 battles. 

Sarsfields didn't like the close attention, but they still managed to put the frighteners on their opponents, reducing an 11 point deficit to just 3 in five second half minutes, only to see Drom-Inch steady up and see out the victory.

These teams must do it all again as part of a round robin play-off, which also involves Upperchurch Drombane – each team finished on four points and scoring difference could not be counted, as Carrick Swans had given a walkover to Sarsfields.

The draws for the three-way playoff are as follows – Round 1-Drom and Inch v Upperchurch Drombane. Round 2- Winner of Round 1 v Thurles Sarsfields. Round 3- Loser of round 1 v Thurles Sarsfields.

On Sunday last Drom-Inch failed to capitalise on their extra man for some time and Sarsfields had scores from Conor Stakelum (2), Pa Burke (2), Rory Purcell and Michael Cahill to take a 0-8 to 0-4 lead into the last ten mintues of the half – Seamus Callanan, Johnny Ryan and Shane Hassett getting the Drom-Inch scores.

However Drom-Inch hit the next nine scores of the half to take a 1-12 to 0-8 advantage to the dressing rooms. 

The goal came from Michael Campion in the 27th minute and Drom-Inch had fired four points from David Butler, Seamus Callanan, Butler again and Johnny Ryan just before their green flag. 

And, they had four more from David Collins, David Butler, Callanan and Collins again to leave them hopping off the ground as they made their way off.

 Drom-Inch had the ball in the net within 15 seconds of the re-start – this time Shane Hassett had the goal and they tagged on a brace from Johnny Ryan to give them an 11 point lead with 10 minutes gone in the half.

Then Drom-Inch full back Liam Ryan was sent off  for a second yellow card and with parity of personnel now restored, Sarsfields started to make inroads. 

Pa Bourke had three points in as many minutes and when Conor Stakelum goaled in the 13th minute after a Stephen Cahill effort had been beaten away by Damien Young, the deficit was diminishing rapidly. 

Ronan Maher and Burke hit two more scores to leave just a goal in it.

Drom-Inch responded. and restored their 8 points advantage again.

Sarsfields came again with Pa Bourke (2) and Ronan Maher, but the victors saw out their deserved victory when Johnny Ryan, Stephen Nolan and a brilliant Shane Hassett score put the affair beyond the Blues.

Drom-Inch - Damien Young, Robbie Long, Liam Ryan, Jamie Moloney, Kevin Hassett, James Woodlock, Michael Purcell, Johnny Ryan 0-6, David Collins 0-3, Stephen Nolan 0-3, David Butler 0-4, Joe Lupton, Shane Hassett 1-2, Seamus Callanan 0-3, Michael Campion 1-0.

Substitute - Paraic Campion for Purcell.

Sarsfields - Patrick McCormack, Rory Purcell, Denis Maher, Cathal Moloney, David Corbett, Padraic Maher, Stephen Lillis, Ronan Maher 0-2, Michael Cahill 0-1, Rory Purcel 0-1, Rory Dwan, Aidan McCormack 0-1, Stephen Cahill 0-1, Conor Stakelum 1-2, Pa Bourke 0-10. 

Substitutes - Lar Corbett for Rory Purcell; Stephen Maher for Rory Dwan.

Referee - Fergal Horgan (Knockavilla/Donaskeigh Kickhams).