St Thomas claim their first ever All-Ireland title against 13-man Kilcormac-Killoughey
GALWAY champions St Thomas have claimed their first ever All-Ireland club title after they defeated 13-man Kilcormac-Killoughey 1-11 to 1-9 at Croke Park.
The Offaly side were two points in front midway through the second half and in the ascendancy but the dismissals of Killian Leonard and Daniel Kilmartin were crucial as Richie Murray and Conor Cooney struck late scores to seal the win for St Thomas.
There was a frenetic start to the game with both sides giving no quarter and they were level at three points apiece with Ciaran Slevin deadly from placed balls for the Offaly champions.
Conor Cooney then put St Thomas in front before Trevor Fletcher was first to react to a breaking ball around the St Thomas square and kicked to the net for Kilcormac-Killoughey.
Conor Cooney added two more frees before St Thomas struck for a goal of their own.
Cooney's 20metre free was brilliantly kept out by the Kilcormac-Killoughey defence but the ball spilled to Richie Murray who slammed to the net.
Kenneth Burke added another point before the break to leave St Thomas' 1-7 to 1-5 in front at the break.
The Leinster champions came out like a whirlwind in the second half and hit four unanswered points through three Ciaran Slevin frees and a point from Trevor Fletcher.
A brace of points for Richie Murray levelled matters before one of the big talking points of the game as Killian Leonard received a straight red for striking David Burke in the elbow.
There didn't appear to be any malice in the challenge.
Conor Cooney put St Thomas ahead and then Kilcormac-Killoughey were reduced to 13 men as Leonard's midfield partner Daniel Kilmartin was sent-off for a second bookable offence.
Cooney added another point late on and despite a brave effort from the Offaly men, St Thomas held on for a two point victory.