The Blues’ junior B hurlers narrowly lost to Newport in a thrilling junior B championship clash played at Newport on Friday evening – despite this defeat Éire Óg will progress to the quarter-finals of the north championship.
Watch Centre North Tipperary
Junior B Hurling Championship
Nenagh Éire Óg 2-11 Newport 0-18
Playing with the aid of stiff breeze in the opening half Éire Óg got off to an encouraging start. Jack Sheedy gave the Blues the lead and although Newport responded almost immediately the opposition ‘keeper misjudged the flight of an Aidan Healy delivery in the eighth minute and presented Éire Óg with a 1-1 to 0-1 lead.
Five minutes later Newport hit back with a point before a brace of long-range efforts from the influential Aodhán Geaney in the 15th and 16th minutes (one off his left and one off his right) handed Éire Óg a 1-3 to 0-2 lead.
Newport managed a response almost immediately before Niall O’Gorman set up Oisín Ryan for a neat point. In the 21st minute Newport veteran Dinny Ryan made a telling save to deny Niall O’Gorman a goal following good work by Aidan Healy.
Points from Kieran Duffy and Thomas O’Brien book-ended a Newport effort from play and the Blues led 1-6 to 0-4 with twenty-seven minutes played.
In the 29th minute Éire Óg ‘keeper Brian Darcy made a stunning full length save to deflect a Newport onto his right-hand post. The Blues then poured forward on the counter-attack to where Thomas O’Brien created the room for Niall O’Gorman to beat Dinny Ryan. The sides retired with eight between them at the break – Nenagh Éire Óg 2-6 Newport 0-4.
Considering the strength of the breeze there was still every chance of Newport making a comeback. Indeed, that comeback looked more than likely when Newport hit three points without reply during the opening six minutes of the second half.
A point from Aodhán Geaney in the 36th minute settled Éire Óg once more, but the Blues then went twelve minutes without a score – during that time fired six points (three frees).
It is worth mentioning, however, that Éire Óg fought on gamely during this period and in the 43rd minute Dinny Ryan made a great save to deny the raiding Conor Kirwan.
With the scores tied (2-7 to 0-13) Éire Óg created yet another goal-scoring opportunity in the 48th minute – following good work from Conor Kirwan to turn over the ball Thomas O’Brien passed to Jack Sheedy whose shot was deflected over by the Newport ‘keeper.
Within a minute Newport hit back to equalise, but with ten minutes to play Kieran Duffy intercepted a clearance from the home side and fired Éire Óg into a 2-9 to 0-14 lead.
A Newport free tied the game before Brian Darcy made a second telling save in the 53rd minute. Conor Kirwan then won a rousing free in the 57th minute and Kieran Duffy converted the placed ball to force Éire Óg back into the lead.
To their credit Newport responded in style with two points (one free) helping the home side into a 0-17 to 2-10 lead by the 61st minute.
Éire Óg conjured another goal-scoring opportunity in the 62nd minute, but a Keelan Higgiston effort was smothered by the advancing Dinny Ryan following good work from Conor Kirwan. There was still time, however, for Dylan Walsh to set up Thomas O’Brien for a terrific equaliser in the 63rd minute. Seconds later Newport took the lead once more and referee Kieran Timmons blew the full-time whistle.
This was a terrific performance from an Éire Óg team which is improving all the time. This game concludes the group stage of the 2014 championship and the lads would appreciate your support for the up-coming quarter-final. Please keep an eye on the fixtures section of the website and the various social media channels for updates on same.
Nenagh Éire Óg: Brian Darcy, Alex Jones, John Kelly, Paddy Flynn, Michael Hynes, Leonard Ryan, Jamie Gallagher, Aodhán Geaney (0-3), Kieran Duffy (0-3, 0-1 frees), Jack Sheedy (0-2), Thomas O’Brien (0-2), Aidan Healy (1-0), Oisín Ryan (0-1), Conor Kirwan, Niall O’Gorman (1-0). Subs: (HT) Dylan Walsh for Oisín Ryan, (50th) Paddy Harrington for Niall O’Gorman, (57th) Keelan Higgiston for Jack Sheedy.
Referee: Kieran Timmons (Silvermines).
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