Tipperary Water County Senior Hurling Championship Final – Borris-Ileigh v Thurles Sarsfields

The showpiece event across the county this coming weekend is undoubtedly the Tipperary Water County Senior Hurling Championship Final between Borris-Ileigh and Thurles Sarsfields in Semple Stadium on Sunday next, October 8th at 3:30pm. It promises to be a wonderful occasion and will be sure to bring the crowds flocking to the famous venue to witness what should be an intriguing battle, one not witnessed between the sides since they last met at this stage back in 1955.

Defending champions Thurles Sarsfields are no strangers to the big occasion as they look to complete a four in a row of Dan Breen success. Borris-Ileigh on the other hand will be looking to bridge a gap to 1986 since they last lifted the famous trophy.

Previous meetings between the sides at county final stage are scarce with only two meetings dating back to the early 1950’s with Thurles Sarsfields winning both starting with 14/9/1952 Thurles Sarsfields 5-6 Borris-Ileigh 1-8 and on 2/10/1955 Thurles Sarsfields 4-10 Borris-Ileigh 0-6.

The Thurles Sarsfields captains for their Tipperary county title wins to date are – 1887 Denis Maher; 1904/1906/1907/1908/1909 &1911 Tom Semple; 1929 Jack Stapleton; 1935 /1936/1938/1939 &1942 Jim Lanigan; 1945 &1946 John Maher; 1946 Ger Cornally; 1952 Tommy Doyle; 1955 &1956 Mickey Byrne; 1957 Larry Keane; 1958 &1959 Tony Wall; 1961 Martin Maher; 1962 Mick McElgunn; 1963 Bobby Mockler; 1965 Patsy Dorney; 1964 &1974 Jimmy Doyle; 2005 Ger O’Grady; 2009 Johnny Enright; 2010 Patrick Mc Cormack; 2012, 2015, 2016 Padraic Maher and 2014 Pa Bourke.

In comparison the Borris-Ileigh captains for their Tipperary county title wins to date are – 1949 & 1950 Sean Kenny; 1953 Tim Ryan; 1981 Timmy Stapleton; 1983 Francis Spillane and 1986 Michael Ryan.

The Dan Breen Cup was first presented in 1931 with Martin Kennedy (Toomevara) the first winning captain. Moyne-Templetuohy was the last club to lift the old trophy in 1971.

A new version materialised in 1972 where Roscrea captained by Jackie Hannon collected the cup having defeated Borris-Ileigh in what would be the late Liam Devaney’s last county final. Incidentally the minor game between Moycarkey-Borris and Kilruane MacDonaghs was postponed on that day. The second cup was stood down after the 2005 final and mark 3 of Dan Breen Cup was presented in 2006 to Tommy Dunne (Toomevara).

Best wishes to Fergal Horgan (Knockavilla-Donaskeigh Kickhams) who will referee this year’s final. Fergal is the fourth Tipperary referee to do so in the same year as refereeing the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Final, the previous being Phil Purcell 1947, John Moloney 1974 and Willie Barrett 2000.

Other Tipperary All-Ireland final referees who unfortunately didn’t get to ref the county final the same year for one reason or another were – JJ Callanan 1940, Bill O’Donnell 1941, Bob Stakelum 1955, George Ryan 1979 &1985, Willie Barrett 1994 and Seamus Roche 2005.

Best wishes also to Fergal’s officials on Sunday who will be standby referee – John McCormack, linesman – Phil Ryan, fourth official – Padraig Skeffington and umpires – Paul Ryan, John Ryan, Sean Bradshaw and Mickey Butler.

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