Monday, 14 October 2013

Loughmore-Castleiney Claim Crown

County Tipperary SHC Final:

Loughmore-Castleiney 1-17; Nenagh-Eire Óg 1-16

Loughmore-Castleiney defeated Nenagh-Eire Óg by one point in a dramatic finish to yesterday's Tipperary Senior Hurling Final played at Semple Stadium, Thurles. Nenagh had many chances to win the game as they were well on top in the first half, but it just was not their day. They have a lot of good young players in the club at present and their day will soon come. Loughmore-Castleiney were much improved in the second-half when Noel McGrath moved towards mid-field and gave a superb performance.

Loughmore-Castleiney is the leading GAA club in Tipperary in the promotion of both hurling and Gaelic Football. Until the early '70's it was primarily a Gaelic Football club in the heart of a strong hurling area. Then a big effort was made by Fr. O'Rourke, and others, to promote hurling at juvenile level. During the '70's, they won many titles, in both hurling and football, at under-age level both in the Mid division and in the county. They progressed to senior hurling in 1981 having won the county intermediate title in 1980. They won the Mid senior hurling title for the first time in 1983 having been beaten in the two previous finals. They won the county senior hurling title for the first time in 1988 when they beat Borrisoleigh in a replay—they had been beaten by the same opposition in the 1983 final. They had also lost the 1987 final by a point to Cappawhite.

The present members of the McGrath clan who play for Tipperary teams are the the third generation of that family to do so in my lifetime. In the '50's, brothers Dick and John played on the Tipperary senior football team. In the '70's and '80's, Tom and Pat played both hurling and football for Tipperary. Tom's son, Liam was the captain of the Tipperary minor football team on that never-to-be-forgotten day when they won the the All-Ireland crown for the first time since 1934. Wouldn't it be great if Pat's son, Noel, led Tipperary to victory in next year's All-Ireland senior hurling championship--compensating for the disappointment of 1989 when Pat should rightfully have been captain when Tipperary secured All-Ireland senior honours.

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