The senior hurlers enjoyed a hard-earned two-point win over a terrific Borris-Ileigh side in a Hibernian Inn North Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship semi-final played at MacDonagh Park, Nenagh on Sunday afternoon – Éire Óg will now face Burgess in a north final which is scheduled to take place on Sunday, September 14th.
Hibernian Inn North Tipperary Senior
Hurling Championship Semi-Final
Nenagh Éire Óg 2-13 Borris-Ileigh 1-14
Nenagh Éire Óg battled their way into the final of the Hibernian Inn North Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship thanks to a two-point win over an excellent Borris-Ileigh side at a soaking wet MacDonagh Park, Nenagh on Sunday afternoon.
Borris-Ileigh pushed Éire Óg to the very limit. Indeed, despite playing into the breeze in the second half Borris-Ileigh fired five points without reply to take a 1-12 to 1-11 lead. With just nine minutes to play and with Conor Kenny in superb form Borris-Ileigh appeared to have wrestled the momentum away from the Blues. Nenagh Éire Óg, however, responded well to the challenge with a second Paddy Murphy goal in the 52nd minute propelling Liam Heffernan’s men to victory.
Brendan Maher initially presented Borris-Ileigh with the lead, but Éire Óg responded through Killian Gleeson and Tommy Heffernan. Conor Kenny levelled matters in the ninth minute, but seconds later Paddy Murphy dispossessed Philip Maher and fired home the opening goal of the game (1-2 to 0-2). Éire Óg’s advantage was short-lived, however, as Borris-Ileigh notched a goal of their own through Conor Kenny in the 13th minute to tie the game.
Despite playing into the breeze Éire Óg were hurling well and added to their tally through Donnacha Quinn and Michael Heffernan before Paddy Murphy’s shot for goal drifted agonisingly wide of Jack Bourke’s left-hand post.
A Seán McCormack point got Borris-Ileigh moving in the right direction once more, but an Andrew Coffey effort in the 23rd minute re-opened a two-point gap. Points from Dan McCormack and Brendan Maher (free) tied the game by the 28th minute, but Éire Óg closed out the half well with points from Dáire Quinn and Donnacha Quinn helping the Blues into a 1-7 to 1-6 interval advantage; a Brendan Maher free accounted for Borris-Ileigh’s final score of the opening half.
Éire Óg started the second half in enterprising fashion with points from Paul Ryan, James Mackey and Tommy Heffernan forcing the home side into a 1-10 to 1-6 lead by the 35th minute. Aidan Cowan hit back for Borris-Ileigh, but when a Donnacha Quinn free helped the Blues into a 1-11 to 1-7 advantage Conor Stakelum’s men looked in trouble.
Full credit though to Borris-Ileigh who came roaring back into this encounter. Indeed, Borris-Ileigh hit five points without reply between the 43rd and 51st minutes to take a 1-12 to 1-11. Considering the prevailing wind and rain this surge represented a stunning rally from a determined Borris-Ileigh side. Éire Óg, however, responded in style in the 52nd minute when Donnacha Quinn set up Paddy Murphy and the full-forward rifled home a right-handed shot. Seconds later Andrew Coffey’s surge into the Borris-Ileigh half was brought to an abrupt end and Donnacha Quinn converted the resultant free to hand Éire Óg a 2-12 to 1-12 lead.
Conor Kenny and Donnacha Quinn (free) traded points thereafter before a Brendan Maher free left two in it as this game ticked into injury time. Borris-Ileigh enjoyed one final opportunity to rescue the game when Conor Kenny won a ball a right corner-forward – Éire Óg’s Hugh Maloney turned over Kenny and cleared his lines in rousing fashion.
Nenagh Éire Óg will face Burgess in the north final on Sunday, September 14th.
Éire Óg would like to wish Borris-Ileigh all the very best in their county championship campaign.
Nenagh Éire Óg: Michael McNamara, Mark Flannery, Noel Maloney, John Brennan, Dáire Quinn (0-1), Hugh Maloney, Barry Heffernan, Kevin Tucker, Andrew Coffey (0-1), Pearse Morris, Michael Heffernan (0-1), Tommy Heffernan (0-2), Killian Gleeson (0-1), Paddy Murphy (2-0), Donnacha Quinn (0-5, 0-3 frees). Subs: (HT) Paul Ryan (0-1) for Killian Gleeson, (HT) Billy Heffernan for Mark Flannery, (33rd) James Mackey (0-1) for Kevin Tucker.
Borris-Ileigh: Jack Bourke, Martin Treacy, Philip Maher, Séamus Bourke, Paddy Stapleton, Thomas Fahy, Mathew Stapleton, Keith Ryan, Brendan Maher (0-7, 0-6 frees), Seán McCormack (0-1), Dan McCormack (0-1), Vincent Stapleton, Jack Hogan, Conor Kenny (1-4), Eoin Stapleton. Subs: (30th) Aidan Cowan (0-1) for Jack Hogan, (38th) Seán Maher for Mathew Stapleton.
Referee: Pat Gibson (Burgess).
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