John McGrath led Loughmore/Castleiney outlast Borrisileigh to book place in Tipperary senior hurling final

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Loughmore/Castleiney are back into the Tipperary senior hurling final.

That’s after the mid-side defeated 2019 county champions Borrisiliegh in Semple Stadium on a full-time score of 1-18 to 1-15.

In an epic battle, Borrisileigh looked the fresher team in the first half, scoring 1-03 without supply in the early stages, with James Devaney finding the back of the net in the fourth minute.

Loughmore looked like they had no answers early on with the North side winning battles all over the field with Jerry Kelly and Conor Kenny to the fore.

With pre-match talk centred around the fitness of Brendan Maher, it was Loughmore who had to play without a county defender, as Brian McGrath did not play as a result of a broken thumb.

However, Loughmore, in large parts thanks to the free-taking of John McGrath, managed to slowly build their way into the game, as the sides went in 1-09 to 0-07 at half-time.

The second half was again a very physical affair but Loughmore looked to have found their stride as momentum began to swing in their favour.

Points from John McGrath again, including some sublime free-taking from difficult angles in the wet and windy conditions saw Loughmore narrow the lead to four points at the second half water break.

The final quarter saw the momentum fully swing in the direction of the green and red jerseys as they took the lead for the first time in the 55th minute.

The following passage of play saw players battle for possession around Loughmore’s defending 45-yard line with challenges going in from both sides at a frantic pace.

Loughmore eventually boke out with the ball and a stray flick of the hurley from Kieran Maher into the faceguard of the Loughmore player resulted in the Borris man receiving a second yellow card, ending his day early.

John McGrath pointed to take a two point lead into the last three minutes of normal time.

As Borrisileigh pushed men forward to try regain possesion, a long ball into the edge of the square was caught by a Loughmore man who was then dragged to the ground.

Referee Peter Carroll motioned for a penalty, which John McGrath hit low into the bottom left hand corner, to deliver the killer blow to Borrisileigh and take his personal tally for the day to 1-12.

Loughmore progress to their second county final in a row to play mid rivals Thurles Sarsfields on November 14th.