Value Of GAA Underlined In Tipp

There's a big push on right now to remind people about the importance of sport.

In rural Ireland even in penal times sport provided a diversion.

It's not quite Cromellian in rural Ireland right now, but some areas have been economically devastated.

So much so that thousands took to the streets of Tipperary town in protest to highlight their plight.

Less than 24 hours later one of the communities struggling to hold onto it's youth, had neighbours, family and friends in Semple Stadium for the 2018 County Senior Hurling Final.

As things turned out in this 'townies versus country dwellers' contest, it was the West Tipperary parish of Clonoulty Rossmore which emerged victorious over Nenagh to bag the Dan Breen cup for the first time in over 2 decades.

Great celebrations after Clonoulty Captain John O'Keeffe raised the trophy aloft.

On a fine autumnal day in Semple, Clonoulty hit the ground running against the raging hot favorites.

Timmy Hammersley burst through for a goal chance in the opening minutes to set the tone for how the West Tipp parish were approaching the match.

Hammersley scored 12 points on the day as Clonoulty-Rossmore bridged a 21-year gap to land the Tipperary SHC title with a 0-23 to 2-13 victory over Éire Óg Nenagh in Thurles.

Both of these sides had to go back over two decades since the last time they had lifted the Dan Breen Cup. 

Clonoulty-Rossmore were 0-12 to 1-08 ahead at half-time.

Philip Hickey hit the net for Nenagh Éire Óg but Hammersley then led the comeback.

Clonoulty-Rossmore were the west divisional champions but Nenagh Éire Óg had already defeated them when the sides met in the group stages of the championship this year and very few beyond the parish boundary gave the eventual winners a chance before throw in.

Nenagh were given some hope in the third quarter when a clearance was blocked down and Paddy Murphy drove the ball past Declan O’Dwyer.

Suddenly, Nenagh had a 2-12 to 0-17 lead with seven minutes of normal time remaining.

But Timmy Hammersley took control once again and scored five more points before the end to seal the win.

As the locals would say after years of underage disappointment Hammersley was 'fair delighted afterwards.

A proud day too for captain John O Keeffe.

No mention of Clonoulty would be complete without reference to one of the clubs great characters Joe Hayes.

Only 2 of the players live and work in the parish. That's the reality of the world today but the celebrations will continue for a few days.

And there IS a bit of work going locally!