Clonmel Commercials 1-16
A Jack Kennedy point in the final minute of normal time saw Clonmel Commercials retain the Tipperary senior football title as they held off Loughmore/Castleiney in a thrilling final at Semple Stadium.
For the second Sunday in a row, Loughmore came up just a point short in a senior final with Kennedy's 60th minute long range effort proving to be the winner as Commercials saw a six-point half time lead eroded by a Loughmore who died with their boots on once more.
Loughmore/Castleiney showed no hangover early on from their heart-breaking loss in the hurling final seven days previous, kicking the first three points from Conor Ryan, Ciaran Connolly and Joseph Nyland.
Commercials settled to their task with Jason Lonergan getting them up and running on six minutes and they rattled off three in a row from Jack Kennedy (free), Seamus Kennedy and Ryan Lambe to take the lead on eleven minutes.
Conor Ryan converted two frees either side of a similar Jason Lonergan effort for Clonmel as the sides were level at 0-05 apiece at the water break.
However, the brief interlude saw Commercials find another gear as they scored the next six points from Jason Lonergan (2), Sean O'Connor (2), Colman Kennedy and Seamus Kennedy before Aidan McGrath ended a 13-minute barren spell for the Mid men.
Conor Ryan added a free but two points from play from Conal Kennedy and Michael Quinlivan had Commercials 0-13 to 0-07 to the good at half time.
Loughmore were always going to respond and a 32nd minute goal from Conor McGrath brought them right back into the game as it was they who dominated the ball in the second half with sub Liam Treacy, Conor Ryan, John McGrath and Evan Sweeney bringing the sides level on 44 minutes.
A Sean O’Connor free edged Commercials ahead at the second water-break but all the momentum was with Loughmore and points from John McGrath and Evan Sweeney nudged them in front on 51 minutes.
Then came the score of the game, worthy of winning any final as Michael Quinlivan ran onto a ball 65 yards out and burning past two Loughmore defenders, fired to the roof of the net from fourteen yards.
Again, Loughmore came back with Conor Ryan (free) and Evan Sweeney bringing the sides level on 59 minutes before Jack Kennedy slotted over what would prove to be the winning score.
Michael Quinlivan will be a relieved man that his side hung on as he missed an open goal deep in added time but it didn’t matter as Clonmel Commercials claimed their 19th Tipperary senior football title.
Clonmel Commercials: M O'Reilly; J Ahearne, L Ryan; J Peters; K Fahey, S Kennedy (0-02), P Louram; Conal Kennedy (0-01), J Kennedy (0-02, 1f); Colman Kennedy (0-01), M Quinlivan (1-01), R Peters; J Lonergan (0-05, 3f), S O’Connor (0-03f), R Lambe (0-01).
Sub: C McGeever for Conal Kennedy (53).
Loughmore/Castleiney: S Hennessy; J Hennessy, B McGrath, W Eviston; E Ryan, J Meagher, A McGrath (0-01); N McGrath, J Nyland (0-02); J McGrath (0-02), E Sweeney (0-02), C Connolly (0-01); Conor McGrath (1-00), Ciaran McGrath, C Ryan (0-06, 4f).
Subs: L Treacy (0-01) for Connolly (29); L Egan for E Ryan (35).
Referee: S Peters (Aherlow)
Referee: S Peters (Aherlow)