The Nenagh Éire Óg junior A hurling team maintained their one hundred per cent start to the north championship in Puckane on Sunday evening when registering a nine-point win over Silvermines.
Watch Centre North Tipperary
Junior A Hurling Championship
Nenagh Éire Óg 1-19 Silvermines 0-13
A David Hackett free in the fifth minute presented the Blues with the lead and a minute later Éire Óg struck for the only goal of the game. Thomas O’Brien and John O’Donoghue combined well to set up a David Hackett goal chance; although Hackett’s effort was saved David Cleary swept home the rebound and Nenagh led 1-1 to no-score.
In the eighth minute the sides were reduced to fourteen men when David Hackett and his direct marker were shown straight red cards following a melee.
Silvermines notched their opening point of the game in the tenth minute. A brace of points from Anthony Walsh (one free) helped Éire Óg into a five-point lead (1-3 to 0-1) before a Silvermines goal chance in the 13th minute flew narrowly wide.
A smashing David Cleary effort forced the Blues six clear and although Silvermines responded with a point an Alan Kelly point and an Anthony Walsh free left seven between them with nineteen minutes played (1-6 to 0-2).
Silvermines doubled their tally prior to the break (one free), but efforts from Thomas O’Brien, David Cleary, Gary Howard and Anthony Walsh (two frees) helped Éire Óg into a 1-11 to 0-4 interval advantage.
Now playing with the aid of the breeze Silvermines made an encouraging start to the second half with a converted free in the opening minute. The ‘Mines threatened a goal a minute later, but Willie Bolger saved well before scrambling the ball clear.
Éire Óg hit back with points from Bob O’Brien and Anthony Walsh (free) and led 1-13 to 0-5 with thirty-six minutes played.
The ‘Mines then out-scored Éire Óg by 0-4 to 0-1 (three frees) with Bob O’Brien responding for the Blues in the 41st minute. Entering the final quarter Éire Óg led 1-14 to 0-9.
An Anthony Walsh free left nine between them before Éire Óg ‘keeper Willie Bolger made a fine stop to deny Silvermines a goal in the 47th minute. A minute later Bolger saved once more, this time from a 21-yard free – Silvermines converted the resultant ’65 to leave eight between the sides with ten minutes to play.
The Silvermines ‘keeper denied David Cleary a goal with a terrific save in the 51st minute. The Éire Óg full-forward added a brace of points in the 55th and 56th minutes before the ‘Mines responded with a point.
An Adam Healy point helped Éire Óg into a ten-point lead before Ger O’Gorman saved a 21-yard free with time fast running out – the ‘Mines converted the resultant ’65 before adding another point from play in the first minute of injury time.
Éire Óg, however, enjoyed the final say in the matter in the 62nd minute when Aidan Healy drilled over a fine effort to bring this contest to a conclusion.
The Watch Centre North Tipperary Junior A Hurling Championship is being run on a two-group system with the top team in each group progressing to the semi-finals and the second and third teams qualifying for the quarter-finals.
Nenagh Éire Óg, the defending champions, are in group one alongside Kildangan, Kilruane MacDonagh’s, Silvermines and Burgess. In the group phase Éire Óg still have to play Kilruane and Burgess following wins registered against Kildangan and the ‘Mines. Meanwhile group two features Toomevara, Borris-Ileigh, Roscrea, Knockshegowna and Templederry.
This year the junior A team is managed by Greg Browne (manager), Con Morris, Michael Ryan and Conor Ryan.
Nenagh Éire Óg: Willie Bolger, Michael Collins, Noel Maloney, Ger O’Gorman, Eoin Fitzgibbon, Seánie Geaney, Anthony Walsh (0-7, 0-6 frees), Alan Kelly (0-1), Gavin O’Connor, Gary Howard (0-1), Thomas O’Brien (0-1), Bob O’Brien (0-2), David Hackett (0-1, 0-1 frees), David Cleary (1-4), John O’Donoghue. Subs: (40th) Aidan Healy (0-1) for Noel Maloney, (48th) Adam Healy (0-1) for John O’Donoghue.
Referee: Mike Murphy (Toomevara).
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