Freemount can't cope with Thurles Sars' class in Munster semi

Duhallow outfit were short six of their panel from last year's Cork county final win over Randal Óg
Freemount can't cope with Thurles Sars' class in Munster semi

Freemount captain Shane O'Callaghan wins possession against Thurles Sarsfield in the Munster JBHC semi-final. Picture: John Tarrant

Thurles Sarsfields 2-22 Freemount 1-13

DESPITE their best efforts, Freemount exited the Munster JBHC at the semi-final stage to a strong Thurles Sarsfields at Raheenagh, Limerick.

The Cork champions produced a spirited comeback during the early stages to the second half only to struggle to contain the more attractive play of a formidable Thurles outfit. 

Freemount will be disappointed, short six of their panel from the county final victory over Randal Óg last summer, but ultimately they failed to handle the power and pace of Sars' fourth team, featuring a mix of youth and experience including former Tipp target man Ger 'Redser' O’Grady.

In a competitive opening quarter, there was little to separate the sides, Thurles' points were answered by Freemount’s Tommy Nunan, Kevin O’Connor and Padraig Curtin to tie up the contest for the fourth occasion.

Further scores from Jack Sheahan and Nunan kept Freemount in the hunt only for Thurles to turn the screw during the closing 10 minutes, rewarded on a 25th min goal, a long-range free from team captain Paddy Carroll broke into the path of David Bourke to net. And with the Freemount defence prone to fouling, Thurles marksman Cian Treacy added points for a commanding 1-12 to 0-8 grip at the interval.

However, straight from the restart, Freemount set about changing the scoreboard, the margin cut to three within minutes of the restart, Ronan McAulliffe at the end of a Nunan free to scoop home a goal.

Thurles read the danger. O’Grady forced Freemount keeper Jonathon Morrissey to produce a brilliant save before the Tipperary side made no mistake for Cathal McElgunn to flick home his side’s second goal from close range.

Freemount attempted a response, Nunan obliged off a 65 after McAulliffe was denied by netminder Myles Fitzgerald. 

Still, Thurles held the upper hand, a strong bench offered the opportunity to introduce fresh legs that created an impression to run home worthy winners.

Scorers for Thurles Sarsfield: C Treacy 0-11 (0-8f, 0-2 65), D Bourke 1-3, C McElgunn 1-0, G O’Grady 0-3, D Keogh, A Moloney, P Carroll, C Stapleton, J Lawlor 0-1 each.

Freemount: T Nunan 0-8 (0-7 f, 0-1 65), R McAulliffe 1-0, J Sheahan 0-2, S Fehin, P Curtin, K O’Connor 0-1 each.

THURLES SARS: M Fitzgerald; S Mawe, M Stakelum, P Maher; J O’Connell, P Carroll, C Stapleton; A Moloney, P Stakelum; D Bourke, C Treacy, R Fogarty; C McElgunn, G O’Grady, D Keogh. 

Subs: J Lawlor for C McElgunn (47), D Maloney for A Moloney (50), S Collins for C McElgunn (54), D Mawe for J O’Connell (55), M Brennan for P Maher (58).

FREEMOUNT: J Morrissey; C Broderick, S O’Callaghan, J Walsh; R McAulliffe, M Ballentyne, S McSweeney; T Nunan, D Curtin; K O’Connor, P Curtin, J Sheahan; M Lynes, S Fehin, S Broderick. 

Subs: M McSweeney for S Broderick (37), G Kennedy for M Lynes (44).

Referee: J O’Halloran (Limerick).

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