BLOWN AWAY; GAA: SAINTS WIN ALL-IRELAND HURLING SEMI-FINAL; Champions Shamrocks Shot Down in a Clones Cyclone
Byline: PAUL KEANE email@example.com
ST THOMAS 0-15
LOUGHGIEL SHAMS 0-7
A STORMING second-half performance in Clones booked St Thomas a first ever AIB All-Ireland club hurling final spot.
A week after they were caught with a last-gasp goal in an extra-time epic at Parnell Park, the Galway champions made no mistake in yesterday's replay.
They led by just a point at half-time but turned on the style after the break, outscoring the holders nine points to two.
Conor Cooney shot 12 points in the drawn game but this time it was all about the collective.
Cooney was on the mark in that impressive second half, shooting five points.
But there were also eye-catching scores from corner-forward Bernard Burke who boomed over three beauties in a row while Richie Murray was on the mark too. The win secures a St Patrick's Day clash with fellow first time finalists Kilcormac-Killoughey.
Tensions were high in the opening half which St Thomas edged by 0-6 to 0-5. Both sides felt aggrieved not to be doing better.
From champions Loughgiel's perspective they started best and had three goal chances inside the opening 10 minutes, two of them gilt-edged.
Benny McCarry firstly shot wide, then Shay Casey had his shot blocked by St Thomas keeper Patrick Skehill after a great passing move.
The third fell to star man Liam Watson who dragged a pot shot wide of the upright.
It meant that the scores were tied on 0-2 apiece after 12 minutes when the Ulster and All-Ireland champions should have been clear. …