OFFALY’S Kilcormac-Killoughey produced an awesome display as the underdogs put Thurles Sarsfield’s to the sword to reach their first ever All-Ireland club final.
Both sides were looking for their first appearance in All-Ireland decider having won their first ever provincial championships last year but Ciaran Slevin’s 11 point haul meant it would be the Offaly side in the final as they won 1-20 to 1-14
The game started off at a blistering pace with both sides showing a lot of tenacity and accuracy in front of goals.
Tipp star Pa Bourke cancelled out Peter Geraghty's fine early score and the sides traded points.
There was certainly no quarter being given by either side and after 20 minutes there was a solitary point between the sides as Denis Maher and James Gorman of Kilcormac-Killoughey traded points to leave it 0-06 to 0-05 in favour of the Munster men.
Two Ciaran Slevin's frees, part of his first half four point haul, saw the lead change hands again but Adrian McCormack leveled matters before and then Pa Bourke finished expertly to the net from a tight angle to give Sarsfield’s a three-point lead.
Kilcormac-Killoughey responded brilliantly with a free and Dan Currams fortuitous goal at the very end of the first half to restore the Offaly side’s lead and they went in at half-time 1-8 to 1-7 to the good.
Conor Mahon’s tremendous point, a Slevin free, a long-range from Brian Leonard and a fine Currams effort opened the second half scoring and stretched Kilcormac-Killoghey’s lead to five.
On 44 minutes Conor Slevin produced an incredible save that would have brought Thurles back to within a point.
Pa Bourke traded points with Ciaran Slevin before Ronan Maher and two Pa Bourke efforts reduced the arrears to the minimum with 10 minutes remaining.
The Offaly champions responded in great style with five points which included two great scores from Cillian Leonard and Peter Geraghty to restore their six point lead.
Pa Bourke had a goal-bound 21 yard free saved as Thurles began to become desperate.
Slevin hit a long range beauty to cap an incredible man-of-the-match performance and although the final whistle was blown prematurely the result was already beyond doubt.