Loughmore-Castleiney 2-14 Thurles Sarsfields 2-13
County star John McGrath converted an injury time free to give Loughmore-Castleiney the slenderest of victories over Thurles Sarsfields in a rousing Tipperary senior hurling final replay.
McGrath also scored the winning goal a week earlier as Loughmore won the Tipp senior football final – an extraordinary double which has seen the club, with largely the same players, in action for 17 consecutive weeks.
They last won the hurling final in 2013 when they also achieved a hurling-football double.
Next week they travel to Ennis to play the Clare champions in the Munster Club football championship. A week later they play a provincial hurling semi-final.
It took a long time for the replay to come to life. Sarsfields made the early running and with Pa Bourke and Denis Maher prominent, they led 0-09 to 0-06 at half-time, McGrath hitting four points for Loughmore.
A Brian McGrath goal for Loughmore after 36 minutes gave them the lead for the first time (1-09 to 0-09) but right on the second water break Denis Maher netted for Sarsfields to cut their deficit to a point.
Liam McGrath goaled for Loughmore after 50 minutes to put them four points clear but Sarsfields fought back for a Daragh Stakelum goal after 56 minutes followed by a levelling pointed free from Ronan Maher shortly afterwards.
With extra-time looking likely, Loughmore won a free on the touchline, 20 metres out, and John McGrath showed nerves of steel as he sent the ball between the posts for a winning point.
Having lost both finals last year in last minute drama, no one would begrudge Loughmore this success.
While John McGrath was the match-winner, the player of the match award went to John Meagher, but Ciaran Connolly, Brian McGrath, Willie Eviston and sub Evan Sweeney also played key roles.
Sarsfields were left to rue some erratic shooting in the second half as they sought their 37th title but Padraic Maher, Paul Maher, Patrick McCormack in goal, Stephen Cahill and Denis Maher worked very hard to try to turn the tide in their favour.
Loughmore-Castleiney: A McGrath; W Eviston, J Hennessy, L Egan; T Maher, J Meagher (0-01), B McGrath (1-00); C Connolly (0-01), T McGrath (0-01); L Treacy, L McGrath (1-00), N McGrath (0-02); E Connolly, Ciaran McGrath, J McGrath (0-07,5f).
Subs: E Sweeney (0-01) for E Connolly (ht), C McCormack (0-01) for Treacy (46), J Ryan for T Maher (57), Conor McGrath for T McGrath (61).
Thurles Sarsfields: P McCormack; Paul Maher, Padraic Maher, S Ryan; D Corbett (0-01), R Maher (0-02,1f), J Derby; M Cahill, S Cahill; D Stakelum (1-00), B McCarthy, A McCormack (0-03,3f); P Bourke (0-04), D Maher (1-02), P Creedon.
Subs: C Moloney for M Cahill (43), C Stakelum for Creedon (46), S Butler (0-01) for A McCormack (51), E Purcell for D Stakelum (61).
Ref: J McCormack (Knockavilla Kickhams).