St Thomas come up just short after epic come-back

John Burke's men can be extremely proud of their courageous come back in the All-Ireland semi-final last weekend against Munster champions Ballyea in Thurles.

The Galway champions found it really hard to find any rhythm for the first 45 minutes with Ballyea bossing proceedings around the middle, and the 2013 All-Ireland club champions found themselves 1-17 to 1-5 behind with about 10 minutes left on the clock.

They could very easily have thrown in the towel at that stage, packed their bags and headed home. Instead to their immense credit, they got up off the canvass and started fighting for their reputation.

It worked, and St Thomas’ then hit seven points in a row to really get back into the game and give themselves a bit of hope.

However Cathal Doohan scored a crucial point for Ballyea to stop the rot at that juncture and, despite two further points from Darragh Burke, and a super overhead flick from Anthony Kelly for a goal to leave just one between the sides, extra time was not to be. Clare superstar Tony Kelly sealed the win for his team with a late injury-time point from play.

Niall Deasy was the main man for the victors, scoring 1-11, as Ballyea reached their first All-Ireland SHC club final by 1-19 to 2-14.

They will face either Cuala (Dublin ) or Slaughtneil (Derry ) in the final.

The Clare men fully deserved their victory, but the men from Peterswell and Kilchreest did themselves immense credit and showed their character by battling to the final whistle and being carried out of the stadium on their shields.

Had they won the game last Saturday evening, it would have been right up with the New England Patriots as the supersonic comeback of the year.

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