Burgess v Thurles Sarsfields 2005

A famous win over the reigning senior county champions after our elevation to senior ranks.

Champs on verge of exit as Burgess win in thriller

By Shane Brophy in MacDonagh Park, Nenagh
Photos: Bridget Delaney

2005 County Intermediate Hurling Champions Burgess have put 2005 County Senior Hurling Champions, Thurles Sarsfields on the brink of elimination from this years championship after emerging winners in an enthralling game in Nenagh on Friday evening.
The reigning champions can only hope that Cashel King Cormacs do them a favour and beat Burgess in the last remaining group game but that looks highly unlikely with Burgess now strong favourites to go through to the next round.
This was the game that the senior championship badly needed to kick it into life after lacklustre divisional and county championship games so far.
The scoring was terrific; the physical exchanges were ferocious and full of commitment from both sides who both desperately wanted to win.
There is no doubt that Burgess were deserving winners. They came from four points down midway through the first half to lead by two at the break with goals from Brian Hogan and Tony Scroope who finished with a haul of 2-6.
A disputed Pat Lawlor goal nine minutes after the resumption brought the champions back into the match but Burgess were never phased and reasserted themselves and a second Tony Scroope goal in the 47th minute proved too much for Sarsfields to claw back.
We sensed something special before the game even started as Shane Maher and Ger ‘Redser’ O’Grady took into one another and this drew in as many as twenty other players in an incident, which threatened to get out of hand. The two culprits and Burgess full back, David Maher were all booked prior to throw-in.
This needle between the sides stayed throughout the entire match and was a crucial aspect in making the game as good as it was.
While Tony Scroope will receive the main plaudits, his colleagues in defence were magnificent in the face of what was an impressive looking Sarsfields attack.
Thurles looked impressive early on as Lar Corbett, Patrick Bourke and Ger O’Grady all raised white flags. But brothers David and Shane Maher really came into their own keeping Redser and Pat Lawlor in check for long stages. Leo and Conor Quigley also had very fine games particularly late cut cutting out wave after wave of Thurles attacks.
Brian Hogan made a massive contribution from midfield along with Noel McDonnell. Tony Dunne and Damien O’Brien chipped in with three points each in the half forward line while Tony Scroope and Donagh Maher always looked dangerous inside.
If Scroope continues this form, a recall to the county panel won’t be too far away.
For the reigning champions, they will look at their defence and the ease at which Burgess bagged their three goals as the reason for their downfall. Tom King and Stephen Lillis had fine games in defence along with Padraig Maher who played very well at centre back after Brendan Carroll was substituted at the break.
Jim Corbett was very impressive at midfield along with Eddie Enright who made a major contribution when introduced at the break. Patrick Bourke, Lar Corbett and Johnny Enright were best in attack.
It was a very good quality game with 37 scores in the hour while Burgess shaded the wides tally, ten to nine.
After the early get to know you between the players just prior to throw-in, the game began at a high tempo with Paul Hogan being fouled after ten seconds and Tony Scroope pointed the free.
Gary Mernagh was then booked for an incident with Noel Gleeson. Lar Corbett replied for Sarsfields before Patrick Bourke who was an impressive first half performer but the champions in front.
Tony Dunne responded for Burgess in the eighth minute but Sarsfields hit a purple patch shooting four points in the next two minutes from Ger O’Grady (2), Lar Corbett and Patrick Bourke.
Burgess settled again after that scoring blitz and the gap was down to one by the 14th minute with Donagh Maher, Damien O’Brien and Tony Scroope (free) pointing.
Donagh Maher should have goaled for Burgess a minute later but shot wide after taking a pass from Brian Hogan. Jim Corbett and Donagh Maher traded points before Burgess struck for a deserved goal in the 23rd minute.
Tony Scroope’s attempt at goal came back off the crossbar to Donagh Maher and he passed to Brian Hogan but as it looked like he had been bottled up, he managed to get his shot in past Patrick McCormack.
Thurles responded and were level two minutes later after points from Johnny Enright (free) and a super long range point from Patrick Bourke.
Burgess grabbed their second goal three minutes from the break as Noel McDonnell caught the puckout and passed to Tony Scroope who flashed a shot high to the net. Johnny Enright and Pat Lawlor reduced the gap before Tony Dunne sent Burgess into the break 2-7 to 0-11 leaders after an enthralling first half.
Eddie Enright was introduced at the break and was soon on the scoreboard to reply to an early Tony Dunne point. Johnny Enright hit another free before Tony Scroope hit two points for Burgess.
Thurles were level by the ninth minute of the half after a super move involving Lar and Jim Corbett saw Cian McDonnell save from the midfielder but Pat Lawlor was on hand to put the rebound to the net but he looked suspiciously in the square.
Tony Scroope and Johnny Enright traded long range points before Scroope bagged his second goal in the 47th minute as he fended off Gary Mernagh before shooting low to the net.
The crowd were fully engrossed at this stage with the Burgess fans sensing a famous win. Their expectation increased as Scroope converted a free but the gap was back to two with ten minutes to go after points from Johnny Enright (free) and Lar Corbett.
Points from Damien O’Brien and Tony Scroope were cancelled out by two points from Johnny Enright as they game entered injury time with Burgess hanging on. Lar Corbett almost got in for a goal but Cian McDonnell did well to push the county stars shot away.
As Thurles desperately looked for a goal, Damien O’Brien surged up field to score as the Burgess fans leapt with joy on the grassy bank. Their joy was confirmed two minutes later when John Ryan blew the full time whistle, and probably on Thurles’s participation in this years title race.
Man of the Match: Tony Scroope (Burgess)
Scorers – Burgess: Tony Scroope 2-6, 0-4 frees, Damien O’Brien 0-4, Tony Dunne 0-3, Brian Hogan 1-0, Donagh Maher 0-2
Thurles Sarsfields: Johnny Enright 0-7, 5 frees, Pat Lawlor 1-1, Patrick Bourke, Lar Corbett 0-3 each, Ger O’Grady 0-2, Jim Corbett 0-1, Eddie Enright.
Burgess: Cian McDonnell, Ger Fogarty, David Maher, Leo Quigley, Conor Quigley, Shane Maher, Robbie Cremin, Brian Hogan, Noel McDonnell, Tony Dunne, Paul Hogan, Damien O’Brien, Noel Gleeson, Tony Scroope, Donagh Maher. Subs: Jonathon Maher for N Gleeson (40), Shane Ryan for L Quigley (53 inj).
Thurles Sarsfields: Patrick McCormack, Michael Cahill, Gary Mernagh, Tom King, Stephen Lillis, Brendan Carroll, Brian Graydon, Johnny Enright, Jim Corbett, Patrick Bourke, Ger O’Grady, Lar Corbett, Richie Ruth, Pat Lawlor, Eoin Costello. Subs: Padraig Maher for B Graydon (20 inj), Barry Dwyer for R Ruth (27 inj), Eddie Enright for B Carroll (H/T), Michael Gleeson for E Costello (48). Referee: John Ryan (Cashel King Cormacs).

The full match video:

 

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