The Blues lost an entertaining minor A quarter-final at a windy Puckane on Wednesday evening. The Éire Óg lads gave it everything, but in the end were defeated by an impressive Kilruane team.
Ger Gavin North Tipperary Minor A
Hurling Championship Quarter-Final
Nenagh Éire Óg 1-13 Kilruane MacDonagh’s 3-9
The Blues were denied a goal as early as the second minute when the raiding Adam Healy was bravely blocked by the Kilruane ‘keeper before an Anthony Walsh free presented Éire Óg with the lead in the fourth. Five minutes later a Jake Morris free doubled the Blues’ tally before a brace of Kilruane points tied the game at 0-2 apiece by the 11th minute.
Adam Healy forced Éire Óg back into a narrow lead in the 15th minute before the Kilruane ‘keeper denied Jake Morris with a fine save. Jake Morris was on hand to convert a free in the 20th minute to present Éire Óg with a 0-4 to 0-2 lead.
Kilruane hit back with a point before a goal in the 27th minute presented the MacDonagh’s with a 1-3 to 0-4 advantage – Éire Óg trailed by two points at the break.
The MacDonagh’s enjoyed a goal scoring opportunity during the opening minutes of the second half which flew agonizingly wide before a Kilruane free saw the Blues trail by three.
Éire Óg rallied impressively – Conor McCarthy set up Jake Morris for an equalizing goal in the 37th minute (1-4 apiece) and a minute later an Adam Healy point forced the Blues into a narrow lead.
A Kilruane point tied the game, but with twenty minutes to play Éire Óg led once more thanks to a Shane Hennessy point. A second Kilruane goal in the 41st minute wrestled the advantage away from the Blues before a MacDonagh’s point presented Gilbert Williams’ side with a 2-6 to 1-6 lead.
We have come to associate a great spirit with this bunch of Éire Óg hurlers and the lads responded brilliantly to the challenge presented to them.
Indeed, despite playing into the breeze Éire Óg fired 0-5 without reply to take a 1-11 to 2-6 lead by the 51st minute. A Jake Morris free set the Blues on their way and Shane Hennessy then added to the tally. A converted placed ball from Jake Morris in the 48th minute tied the game before a superb point from Craig Himli presented with the Blues with the lead. Then, with nine minutes to play, a Jake Morris free, following a foul on Adam Healy, helped Éire Óg into a two-point lead.
Kilruane hit back with a point from play and a converted free to tie the game, but Éire Óg edged back into the lead thanks to a Shane Hennessy effort in the 57th minute (1-12 to 2-8).
With Éire Óg hurling well Kilruane required something special and found that something special in the 58th minute when inter-county star Cian Darcy scored a sensational goal to present his side with a precious two-point lead.
Right on the hour mark the Kilruane ‘keeper made a third stunning save of the evening when denying Conor McCarthy from close range. Jake Morris converted the resultant ’65 and we braced ourselves a frantic close to this entertaining contest.
Full credit to Kilruane, however, the MacDonagh’s saw out the game well and added a late effort to secure their place in the semi-finals.
Nenagh Éire Óg would like to wish Kilruane MacDonagh’s all the very best of luck for the remainder of the competition.
Nenagh Éire Óg minor A manager John Manley was joined on the management team this year by selectors Derek Lillis, Christy McLoughlin and Paudie Gleeson.
The club would like to thank the management team and the players for representing the town of Nenagh, the club, their families and most importantly themselves in such a proud manner this season. Well done lads.
Nenagh Éire Óg: Jack McGrath, Mark O’Farrell, Alex Jones, Jake Flynn, Conor Bonnar, Anthony Walsh (0-1, 0-1 frees), Jason McKenna, Craig Himli (0-1), Gavin O’Connor, Shane Hennessy (0-3), Adam Carey, Adam Healy (0-2), Conor McCarthy, Jake Morris (1-6, 0-5 frees, 0-1 ‘65), Brian Tuite. Subs: (35th) Connie O’Reilly for Brian Tuite.
Referee: Michael Murphy (Toomevara).
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