The Blues withstood a late Roscrea rally to earn all three points at St Michael’s Park in Toomevara.
Watch Centre North Tipperary
Junior A Hurling Championship
Nenagh Éire Óg 4-12 Roscrea 1-17
Roscrea started well and led 0-2 to no-score following two quick points, but Éire Óg responded with a David Hackett goal following a fine pass from John Cahalan in the second minute.
A Roscrea free levelled matters while points from Darragh Walsh and Philip Hickey helped the Blues into a 1-2 to 0-3 lead.
Two John Cahalan points were off-set by three Roscrea efforts which had the margin down to one by the 14th minute (1-4 to 0-6).
Points from Gary Howard and David Hackett forced the Blues into a three-point lead before David Hackett traded a brace of frees with Roscrea.
A Roscrea effort from play left two in it before two John Cahalan points helped Éire Óg into a 1-10 to 0-9 lead. To their credit Roscrea closed out the half with two fine points to leave just two in it at the break – Éire Óg 1-10 Roscrea 0-11.
Roscrea reduced the deficit to a single point immediately after the break before a David Hickey goal in the 32nd minute left four in it. A David Hackett ’65 added to the Blues’ tally, but a Roscrea goal in the 34th minute left two in it once more – 2-11 to 1-12.
Éire Óg ‘keeper Kevin Flynn was then asked to make a stunning save to deny Roscrea a goal in the 39th minute. A David Hackett free settled the Blues, but Roscrea responded almost immediately with a point.
In the 42nd minute Donnacha Heffernan found Philip Hickey who in turn passed to David Hickey and the full-forward notched the Blues’ third goal – 3-12 to 1-13.
To their credit Roscrea rallied and held Éire Óg scoreless for the ensuing eighteen minutes.
A Roscrea free in the 51st minute closed the gap to four points while ‘keeper Kevin Flynn was also asked to make two more saves. Roscrea also saw a three-pointer ruled out for a square ball in the 54th minute before two frees and a converted ’65 left a single point (3-12 to 1-17) between them entering injury time.
In the 61st minute second half substitute Christopher Ryan scored a fine individual goal to seal the win.
Group two was expected to feature a clash between Kildangan and Silvermines this evening, but that game was called off. Therefore the current standings in group two are as follows: Kildangan five points (three games), Éire Óg five points (three games), Burgess one point (two games), Roscrea one point (three games), Silvermines zero points (one game). The top three teams in the group will progress to the knock-out stage of this year’s championship.
Nenagh Éire Óg: Kevin Flynn, Michael Collins, John O’Donoghue, Adam Grattan, Niall Madden, Donnacha Heffernan, Eoin Fitzgibbon, Darragh Walsh (0-1), Alan Kelly, Gary Howard (0-1), Shane Maher, John Cahalan (0-4), Philip Hickey (0-1), David Hickey (2-0), David Hackett (1-5, 0-3 frees, 0-1 ‘65). Subs: (50th) Brian Flynn for Michael Collins, (52nd) Christopher Ryan (1-0) for Darragh Walsh, (61st) Johnny Slattery for Shane Maher.
Referee: Philip Kelly (Ballinahinch).
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