Munster club glory for De La Salle
De La Salle (Waterford) 0-9 Thurles Sarsfields (Tipperary) 0-8
Thurles Sarsfields were made pay for some poor shooting as De La Salle claimed their second ever AIB Munster SHC title thanks to a 0-9 to 0-8 win at Páirc Uí Chaoimh today.
Substitute Eoghan Madigan landed the match-winning score as Sarsfields were left to rue the 17 wides they registered over the course of the final.
The 1,604 spectators in attendance were treated to a high-octane game, played in tough conditions with the pitch hard underfoot due to the wintry weather overnight.
Aided by a very slight wind in the opening half, De La Salle made the more composed start. John Mullane slotted over a free in the second minute.
In contrast, Sarsfields had a series of early missed opportunities in front of the posts, with three wides inside the opening four minutes.
Mullane was certainly in sterling form for De La Salle throughout this contest, and the Waterford star registered five points in the opening half-hour.
De La Salle extended their lead to 0-2 to 0-0 following a sixth minute score from Brian Phelan.
However, Sarsfields upped their game with Aidan McCormack opening their account in the seventh minute following a well-placed pass from Lar Corbett.
Sarsfields now held momentum and levelled the tie thanks to a superb Pa Bourke point in the tenth minute, after some good work by Richie Ruth.
But De La Salle then exposed Sarsfields at the back, with a trio of Mullane scores ensuring a 0-5 to 0-2 lead midway through the half.
Thurles Sarsfields were not without their opportunities. However, Denis Maher and Bourke both registered wides in the 17th minute.
De La Salle, managed by Michael Ryan, added to their tally through John Keane. Mullane added his fifth point soon after, with both sides playing a very defensive game in the closing stages of the opening half, and De La Salle holding a 0-7 to 0-2 advantage at the break.
Mullane may have been held scoreless in the closing 30 minutes, but he continued to play a vital role for the Deise side.
The Waterford champions were coming under increased pressure in defence, but man-of-the-match Kevin Moran came to the fore for them.
Leading by five points at the interval, De La Salle were firmly pegged back with scores from Corbett and Stephen Lillis cutting the gap to three after six minutes of the half.
Keane left the scoreline at 0-8 to 0-4 in the 39th minute, but Sarsfields continued to eat into the De La Salle lead with Bourke again on target.
De La Salle dug deep with Madigan's superb point pushing his side 0-9 to 0-7 clear in the 56th minute. Sarsfields failed to give up with Bourke slotting over a free with three minutes remaining to make it a one-point game.
However, in a tension-filled conclusion, De La Salle stood firm to register a hard-earned victory and maintain their unbeaten record in Munster senior finals.
After the game, Munster Council Chairman Sean Walsh presented the cup to victorious De La Salle captain Ian Flynn.
Scorers - De La Salle: J Mullane 0-5, J Keane 0-2, B Phelan, E Madigan 0-1 each
Thurles Sarsfields: P Bourke 0-3, S Lillis, A McCormack 0-2 each, L Corbett 0-1
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