The Blues’ dominance of the north Tipperary minor A grade was brought to an abrupt end at MacDonagh Park, Cloughjordan on Wednesday evening when Toomevara surged to a 3-17 to 1-13 win over the defending champions.
Ger Gavin North Tipperary
Minor A Hurling Championship Semi-Final
Nenagh Éire Óg 1-13 Toomevara 3-17
Playing with the aid of the breeze in the opening half Toomevara raced into 0-3 to no-score lead inside the opening seven minutes.
An Anthony Walsh free got Éire Óg off the mark in the tenth minute. Seconds later Brian Tuite set up John Cahalan for a fine left-handed effort and then, in the 12th minute, Adam Carey tied the game at 0-3 apiece.
Toome converted a ’65 soon after, but Éire Óg hit back with two Anthony Walsh frees to take a 0-5 to 0-4 lead by the 18th minute.
Within seconds Toome were back on terms and although a second Adam Carey effort helped the Blues back into the lead in the 19th minute the Greyhounds responded with two frees before stealing in for a vital goal in the 24th (0-6 to 1-7). In the 25th minute Toomevara’s Paul Ryan was raiding once more, but Adam Healy made a telling save.
An Anthony Walsh free following a foul on Philip Hickey dragged Éire Óg to within three, but Toome closed out the half with two converted frees and led 1-9 to 0-7 at the break.
Four minutes into the second half Toome extended their lead before John Cahalan landed a long-range effort in reply in the 38th minute (0-8 to 1-10). During the ensuing eight minutes a relentless Toomevara side, which benefitted from playing a sweeper in defence, fired 2-3 without reply.
Three Toomevara points opened an eight-point gap before Jack Delaney rifled home two goals in the 44th and 46th minutes (0-8 to 3-13).
The Toome ‘keeper made telling saves in the 48th and 49th minutes to deny Anthony Walsh (free) and Andrew Coffey before an Adam Carey point in the 49th minute left thirteen points between them (0-9 to 3-13).
In the 51st minute an Anthony Walsh effort clipped the bar as it flew over before points from Adam Carey and John Cahalan reduced the deficit to ten (0-12 to 3-13) with seven minutes to play.
Toome steadied themselves with two points before Conor Ryan struck for Éire Óg in the 57th minute. A 16th Toome point preceded Adam Healy saving from Paul Ryan on the hour mark. At the other end of the field the Toome ‘keeper denied Andrew Coffey with a fine reaction save while the scoring came to a close from a Toomevara point of view in the 63rd minute.
Éire Óg charged forward in search of goals and found one in the 65th minute thanks to the efforts of Philip Hickey. Adam Carey forced another effort home in the 66th minute, but that three-pointer was ruled out for a square ball while the Toome ‘keeper also made telling saves to deny Philip Hickey and Conor Ryan in a frantic finish.
The club would like to thank the players for their dedication to the cause this season and management team consisting of Greg Browne (manager), Con Morris, John Manley, Eamon O’Brien & Christy Mcloughlin for their efforts.
This semi-final defeat brings Éire Óg’s campaign to an end and concludes a sequence which saw the Blues win seven consecutive minor A north titles (2007-2013). Between 1992 and 2007 Éire Óg failed to win a title at the grade, but the recent success enjoyed by the club has been down to outstanding work carried out at underage level.
Nenagh Éire Óg would like to wish James McGrath and this Toomevara team all the very best in the north final against the Newport Gaels on Saturday – on that occasion the Greyhounds will be chasing their first minor A north title in sixteen years.
Nenagh Éire Óg: Adam Healy, Alex Jones, Conor Ryan (0-1), Brian Flynn, Gavin O’Connor, Aodhán Geaney, Jack Molamphy, Andrew Coffey, Connie Reilly, John Cahalan (0-3), Anthony Walsh (0-5, 0-4 frees), Adam Carey (0-4), Jake Morris, Philip Hickey (1-0), Brian Tuite. Subs: (38th) Oisín Ryan for Alex Jones, (40th) Craig Himli for Brian Tuite, (61st) Jack Sheedy for Jake Morris, (64th) Dylan Walsh for Gavin O’Connor.
Referee: Ger Fitzpatrick (Roscrea).
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