Nenagh Éire Óg travelled to Roscrea to take on the hosts in our opening game of the north Tipperary junior A league and despite a battling performance left empty-handed as the hosts emerged victorious thanks to Jim McDonnell’s late goal.
Junior A Hurling League
Nenagh Éire Óg 0-19 Roscrea 1-19
The Blues started brightly with a David Hackett pointed free following a foul on Christopher Ryan in the second minute. However playing with a strong wind Roscrea led 0-6 to 0-4 by the mid-way point with Nenagh’s other scores coming from the hurley’s of David Cleary and two John Cahalan efforts.
It was looking good for Nenagh up to this stage, however, the home side took control of the match for the remainder of the half with nine points of their own – their scoring spree only interrupted by a point from the impressive John Cahalan after he intercepted a short puck-out to leave proceedings 0-11 to 0-5 at the break.
Nenagh started the second half brightly with three well-taken frees from David Hackett and another effort from John Cahalan inside the first ten minutes with Roscrea’s only reply an excellent free from Mark Ryan.
In fact the second half almost became a free-taking contest between Hackett and Ryan as both players gave an exhibition with Hackett converting five to Ryan’s six.
Éire Óg worked very hard in the second half and by the 24th minute a superb seventy-yard effort from Gavin O’Connor levelled the teams for the first time in the second half and it looked as if we were in for a grandstand finish until Jim McDonnell used all his experience to collect a high ball and despite intense pressure from full-back Michael Collins he managed to shoot past the advancing Kevin Flynn for the decisive score.
Nenagh, to their credit, battled right to the end to get a three-pointer of their own, but the Roscrea backs soaked up all the pressure and earned a deserved victory.
Nenagh Éire Óg: Kevin Flynn, Brian Flynn, Michael Collins, Leonard Ryan, Seán Geaney, Adam Gratton, Darragh Walsh, Niall Madden, Alan Kelly, David Cleary, John Cahalan, Kieran Duffy, Christopher Ryan, Brendan O’Brien, David Hackett. Subs: Gavin O’Connor for Madden, John O’Donoghue for Cleary.
Referee: John Cleary (Knockshegowna).
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