The junior Bs lost by the minimum after extra-time in Sunday’s north Tipperary quarter-final replay at Dolla – Éire Óg fought brilliantly and can hold their heads high after a very encouraging year.
Watch Centre Junior B Hurling
Championship Quarter-Final Replay
Nenagh Éire Óg 1-18 Toomevara 0-22
Éire Óg enjoyed a terrific start to this contest when Aidan Healy’s shot for a point in the second minute hit a post and fell perfectly for Conor Kirwan to belt in the only goal of the game. A minute later Aidan Healy added a right-handed point and Éire Óg led 1-1 to no score.
Toomevara responded with a point in the fifth minute, but an Anthony Walsh effort in the ninth left four between them (1-2 to 0-1). Three Toomevara points (one free) closed the gap to one by the 14th minute before the highly-influential Conor Kirwan won a free which Anthony Walsh converted in the 16th.
Éire Óg notched the score of the game in the 19th minute when Alex Jones won the ball brilliantly and worked it into the hand of Kieran Duffy. Duffy, in turn, found Conor Kirwan who took on the Toome defence before laying off to Aidan Healy and the corner-forward belted over a terrific right-handed point. Brian Darcy converted a terrific long-range free and when Anthony Walsh fired over a placed ball in the 22nd minute Éire Óg led 1-6 to 0-4.
To their credit Toomevara hit back with three consecutive points from play before an Anthony Walsh free in the 33rd minute brought the opening half to a conclusion – 1-7 to 0-7.
Toomevara seized the initiative immediately after the break with two points before Conor Kirwan checked the Greyhounds’ momentum when the full-forward won a free which Anthony Walsh converted in the 34th minute.
That reprieve proved temporary, however, with Toome hitting their consecutive points (one free) to take a 0-12 to 1-8 lead with fifteen minutes to play.
Second half substitute Paddy Harrington landed an equaliser following a fine pass from Conor Kirwan. Kirwan was then fouled for yet another converted Anthony Walsh free in the 47th minute and the Blues led 1-10 to 0-12.
Toomevara re-claimed the lead with two consecutive points (one free) as this entertaining affair entered the final ten minutes.
Anthony Walsh won and converted an equalising free in the 52nd minute and seconds later Walsh landed another free following a foul on Paddy Harrington to force Éire Óg into a 1-12 to 0-14 lead.
Toome hit back with a free of their own to tie the game, but when Anthony Walsh converted a late free it looked as if the Blues had done enough to see off Toome at the second time of asking. To their credit Toome won and converted a late free in the 64th minute to force extra-time.
Éire Óg started extra-time in encouraging form. Thomas O’Brien was fouled for a free which Anthony Walsh converted in the opening minute before Paddy Harrington laid off to Conor Kirwan and the full-forward belted over a terrific score. Then, as early as the second minute of extra-time, a superb Thomas O’Brien point helped the Blues into a 1-16 to 0-16 lead.
Toome hit back with a free, but when Aidan Healy set Anthony Walsh up for a 17th Éire Óg point in the fifth minute it appeared as if the Blues were well on their way to the semi-finals (1-17 to 0-17).
Toomevara, however, had other ideas and won the remainder of this contest 0-5 to 0-1. Two points before the break dragged the Greyhounds to within one of Éire Óg while another immediately after the break tied the game.
In the 77th minute Jamie Gallagher intercepted a Toome clearance and belted over a great point from the middle of the field to force Éire Óg back into the lead (1-18 to 0-20). Toomevara, however, fired over two late points to win this dramatic quarter-final replay.
Our thanks go to the junior B panel for the manner in which they represented Nenagh Éire Óg this year. We also thank the management team for their terrific efforts this year – Conor Ryan (manager), Derek Lillis & David Minogue.
Nenagh Éire Óg: Brian Darcy (0-1, 0-1 frees), Alex Jones, Kevin Gubbins, Paddy Flynn, Michael Hynes, Lenny Ryan, Aodhán Geaney, Gavin O’Connor, Kieran Duffy, Paul Slattery, Anthony Walsh (0-11, 0-9 frees), Thomas O’Brien (0-1), Aidan Healy (0-2), Conor Kirwan (1-1), Jack Sheedy. Subs: (45th) Paddy Harrington (0-1) for Jack Sheedy, (53rd) Jamie Gallagher (0-1) for Kieran Duffy, (60th) Keelan Higgiston for Paul Slattery, (FT) Brian Duffy for Michael Hynes, (77th) Kieran Duffy for Keelan Higgiston.
Referee: Martin Griffin (Silvermines).
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