Ger Tucker’s junior A hurlers booked their place in the county junior A hurling semi-finals thanks to a sixteen-point win over Knockavilla Kickhams at The Ragg on Saturday afternoon – Philip Hickey and Richie Flannery fired home the goals in an impressive display from the Blues.
Clean Ireland Recycling County
Junior A Hurling Quarter-Final
Nenagh Éire Óg 2-18 Knockavilla Kickhams 0-8
Philip Hickey demanded an outstanding save from the Knockavilla ‘keeper as early as the second minute, but the men from the west took the lead in the fourth.
A David Hackett free following a foul on Philip Hickey in the fifth tied the game, but Knockavilla, who were playing with the aid of the breeze, fired two consecutive points to take a 0-3 to 0-1 lead by the sixth minute.
Some brilliant play from Niall Madden at centre-back created the opportunity for David Hackett to land a neat point in the seventh minute. Hackett was on hand two minutes later to tap over a rebound after the Knockavilla ‘keeper saved once more, this time from David Hickey.
In the 12th minute Alan Kelly played a neat one-two emerging out of the Éire Óg defence with Gary Howard before picking out David Hackett. The corner-forward then fired over a great point and the Blues led 0-4 to 0-3.
Four minutes later David Hackett found himself on the end of another good Éire Óg move which featured terrific work from Bob O’Brien. Unfortunately Hackett’s effort at goal flew narrowly wide of the right-hand post.
A Richie Flannery point from long-range in the 17th minute helped Éire Óg into a two-point lead before the Blues struck for their opening goal in the 19th. David Cleary won Richie Flannery’s cross and moved the ball onto to David Hickey; David Hickey laid off to the advancing Philip Hickey who beat the ‘keeper with a left-handed shot and Éire Óg led 1-5 to 0-3.
A Knockavilla free in the 21st minute brought fifteen scoreless minutes to a conclusion for the men from the west.
Brian Flynn was responsible for a terrific assist in the 22nd minute when Bob O’Brien re-claimed a five-point lead for the Blues (1-6 to 0-4).
A converted free presented Knockavilla with their fith point, but Éire Óg closed out the half with two David Hackett frees to leave six between them (1-8 to 0-5) at the break.
An early Knockavilla free was cancelled out by a David Hackett effort from a placed ball in the 39th minute.
A minute later Richie Flannery won a great turnover before setting Bob O’Brien up for the Blues’ tenth point. Within seconds Gary Howard created the room for Richie Flannery to score and then, in the 42nd minute, a David Hackett hook allowed Richie Flannery to land a rousing effort off his right – 1-12 to 0-6.
Knockavilla responded with a converted free, but Éire Óg struck for a second goal in the 48th. Once more Richie Flannery won a turnover ball before firing home a rasping right-handed shot (2-12 to 0-7).
David Hackett added three points from play as this quarter-final cantered to an inevitable conclusion. In the 58th minute Bob O’Brien landed his third point from play while David Hackett managed his 11th from a placed ball in the 62nd minute.
John Cahalan brought the scoring to a close from an Éire Óg point of view there minutes into injury time while Knockavilla enjoyed the final say in the matter in the 64th.
Éire Óg now join Kildangan and St Patrick’s in the semi-finals. On Saturday afternoon Kildangan required extra-time to beat west champions Clonoulty-Rossmore on a 1-20 to 0-19 scoreline. Meanwhile St Patrick’s beat Drom & Inch 3-11 to 0-15 in their respective quarter-final. The final match in the last eight takes place on Sunday when Thurles Sarsfields face off against Skeheenarinky.
Nenagh Éire Óg: Kevin Flynn, Brian Flynn, Alan Kelly, Michael Collins, Adam Gratton, Niall Madden, Eoin Fitzgibbon, Gary Howard, John Cahalan (0-1), Philip Hickey (1-0), Richie Flannery (1-3), Bob O’Brien (0-3), David Cleary, David Hickey, David Hackett (0-11, 0-5 frees). Subs: (46th) Christopher Ryan for David Hickey, (49th) John O’Donoghue for Eoin Fitzgibbon, (51st) Eddie Tucker for Richie Flannery, (51st) Darragh Walsh for Gary Howard.
Referee: Seán Everard (Moyne-Templetuohy).
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