Sport

Tipperary get to final via controversial new back door rule

Tipperary’s captain Connor Gleeson leads his side to victory at Croke Park in yesterday’s All-Ireland hurling semi final
Tipperary get to final via controversial new back door rule

TIPPERARY booked their place in the All-Ireland Hurling Championship final yesterday – six weeks after they were beaten in the same competition.

Many GAA fans in Ulster watched with dismay as the team that were given a second chance – thanks to a new trial rule which means that the runners-up in Munster and Leinster are not eliminated – defeated All-Ireland champions Wexford.

In July Tipperary were beaten by Clare in the Munster Championship final.

Next month they face Clare once again in the first All-Ireland final to be contested by counties from the same province.

The controversial new rule was brought in partly because the Ulster and Connacht champions were deemed to be too light an opposition to face the champions of the other two provinces, which have stronger hurling traditions.

Ulster champions Down were denied their place in the All-Ireland semi-final.

Instead they were beaten in the new quarter-finals by the beaten Munster champions Tipperary

TERENCE McNaughton has called on the Antrim county board to scrap its senior hurling league division one and turn it into a champions league.

It has been rumoured in recent weeks that the current eight club Division 1A is set for change, with four clubs being added to the make up.

But Saffron star McNaughton has called on the Antrim board to ratify his idea for change.

McNaughton revealed his Cushendall club could only field 11 players in a recent league fixture against champions Rossa in Belfast.

Yesterday he said he felt “embarrassed and disgusted having to pay to watch Dunloy destroy Loughgiel” in the Antrim senior hurling championship semi-final.

DOWN champions Burren, after an indifferent start, cruised past the challenge of Newry Shamrocks to easily qualify for the final in a rather one-sided second half at St Patrick's Park, Mayobridge last night.

Star of the winners in a semi-final game that failed to excite the 4,000 crowd was former Donegal All-Ireland goalkeeper Gary Walsh.

He brilliantly saved a first half penalty from Collie Burns and six minutes into the second half brought off a wonder save from Paul McCartan when a goal looked imminent.

Burren: G Walsh, J Magee, B McKieran, R McGovern, L Magee, C Doyle, G McFerran (0-1), S Ward, G Murdock (1-2), R Musson (0-1), J Trainor (0-5), P McGovern (0-1), J McAlinden (1-2), T Fegan (2-0), A McGivern.

Sub: C Byrne for S Ward.

Shamrocks: P Crimmins, G Loughran, C Murphy, P McGoldrick, D Woods (0-1), D O'Hanlon, D McParland, S Davey, G Lyons, P McCartan (0-3), G Murdock, T Kearney, C Burns (0-5), G Trainor (0-1), B Loughran (1-0).

Subs: D J Kane for G Lyons, K Kelly for T Kearney, P Linden for S Davey

Referee: M Cranney (Warrenpoint)

CLIFTONVILLE'S need for a striker was emphasised in the 2-0 home defeat against Ballymena United on Saturday in the opening round of games in this season's premier division championship.

Reds boss Marty Quinn admitted: “I need another striker on board. It wasn't the start to the league I would have wished for. It was a bit of a blow to our morale.

“The team played quite well. In the opening 20 minutes we pulverised Ballymena. But we badly needed a goal and we didn't get it. We have to take our chances.”

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