Nenagh Éire Óg were beaten by Roscrea in an entertaining affair at St Michael’s Park in Toomevara on Wednesday evening. A number of injuries and a little misfortune hampered the Blues’ efforts, but, thankfully, irrespective of this defeat John Manley’s men have successfully progressed to the knock-out stages of this year’s minor A hurling championship.
Ger Gavin North Tipperary
Minor A Hurling Championship
Nenagh Éire Óg 0-21 Roscrea 3-13
Roscrea took an early lead before points from Jake Morris, Anthony Walsh (free) and Adam Healy helped the Blues into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead. Roscrea responded with a second point, but Éire Óg were hurling well and added two Jake Morris points before conceding a goal in the seventh minute (0-5 to 1-2).
The sides traded points thereafter before efforts from Adam Carey, Jake Morris (two) and Alex Jones helped Éire Óg into a 0-10 to 1-3 lead by the 15th minute. Roscrea hit back with three points of their own while Éire Óg relied on ‘keeper Shane Hennessy to make a terrific save to deny their opponents a goal in the 19th minute.
In the 22nd minute a Jake Morris free presented Éire Óg with a 0-11 to 1-6 lead. Morris added a point from play soon after before Conor McCarthy set up Adam Healy for a goal chance which flew narrowly wide from a tight angle. Éire Óg led 0-12 to 1-6 at the break.
A Roscrea point in the opening minute of the second half cut the Éire Óg lead to two before Adam Carey responded for the Blues. A Roscrea point then preceded points from Brian Tuite and Jake Morris and Éire Óg led 0-15 to 1-8 by the 37th minute.
A ninth Roscrea point left three between them before Brian Tuite’s first-time pull flew wide of the goal. Seconds later Roscrea scrambled home a three-pointer when Alan Tynan’s free fell short and the sides were level (0-15 to 2-9) with twenty minutes to play.
Two minutes later an Adam Healy goal was ruled out for a square ball, but Éire Óg responded well to the challenge and surged two points clear (0-17 to 2-9) thanks to efforts from Shane Hennessy and Adam Healy. Roscrea responded with a point of their own before a third goal in the 50th minute helped them into a 3-10 to 0-17 lead.
A Brian Tuite effort left a point in it, but two Roscrea points opened a three-point gap between the sides (0-18 to 3-12) with nine minutes to play. Éire Óg battled on gamely and rallied with points from Shane Hennessy (two frees) and Anthony Walsh (’65) to tie the game by the 59th minute. The Blues were left cursing their luck in the 55th minute when the Roscrea ‘keeper conjured a terrific save to deny Adam Carey a goal following great work from Adam Carey. At the opposite end of the field Conor McCarthy saved a rasper from Alan Tynan in the 60th minute.
Finally, a converted Roscrea free in the 61st minute handed Éire Óg a one-point defeat.
Éire Óg have now completed the group stage of this year’s championship – in the previous rounds the Blues drew with Newport Gaels, but defeated Borris-Ileigh and Portroe.
The 2015 competition is based on a two-group structure – the respective group winners progress to the semi-finals while the second and third-placed teams qualify for the quarter-finals. The Nenagh Éire Óg minor A hurling team were drawn in group one of the North Tipperary minor A hurling championship alongside Roscrea, Newport Gaels, Borris-Ileigh and Portroe.
Newport Gaels lead group one on seven points, Éire Óg are second on five points, Roscrea are third on four points, Portroe are fourth on two points and Borris-Ileigh are fifth on zero points. Roscrea have one remaining game to play against Portroe – should they win that encounter Roscrea will leapfrog Éire Óg into second place. The result of that game will determine the Blues’ seeding in the quarter-finals.
Meanwhile group two has come to a conclusion. Kildangan have won that group with a one hundred per cent record with Toomevara second and Kilruane third. Burgess finished fourth in that group. Therefore Kildangan have qualified for the semi-finals while Toomevara and Kilruane are through to the quarter-finals.
If Éire Óg finish second in the group they will face Kilruane MacDonagh’s in the quarter-finals and if the Blues finish third in their group they will face Toomevara with a place in the semi-finals up for grabs.
Nenagh Éire Óg manager John Manley is joined on the management team by selectors Derek Lillis, Christy McLoughlin and Paudie Gleeson.
Nenagh Éire Óg: Shane Hennessy (0-3, 0-2 frees), Alex Jones (0-1), Jason McKenna, Jack McGrath, Mark O’Farrell, Anthony Walsh (0-2, 0-1 frees, 0-1 ‘65), Ethan O’Brien, Gavin O’Connor, Conor Bonnar, Niall McKeogh, Adam Carey (0-2), Craig Himli, Conor McCarthy, Jake Morris (0-9, 0-1 frees), Adam Healy (0-2). Subs: (30th) Brian Tuite (0-2) for Conor McCarthy, (HT) Seán Shanahan for Jack McGrath, (38th) Daniel Molamphy for Jake Morris, (45th) Conor McCarthy for Seán Shanahan, (51st) Liam Maher for Niall McKeogh.
Referee: Kieran Delaney (Toomevara).
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