Nenagh Éire Óg suffered a defeat in their opening competitive fixture of the year when losing by five points to an impressive Kildangan at MacDonagh Park, Nenagh on Sunday afternoon.
Clean Ireland Recycling County
Senior Hurling Challenge Cup
Nenagh Éire Óg 2-11 Kildangan 1-19
at MacDonagh Park, Nenagh
Éire Óg got off to an enterprising start when John Cahalan set up Philip Hickey for a goal in the second minute. Cahalan then added a point from play before the Blues saw two efforts at goal saved by Kildangan’s Barry Hogan. A James Mackey point in the tenth minute added to the Blues’ tally, but Kildangan soon settled into the game and led 0-6 to 1-2 by the 17th minute.
A James Mackey free tied the game once more before Michael McNamara made a terrific reaction save to deny Kildangan a certain goal. Undeterred, and despite playing into the breeze, Kildangan tacked on further points to lead 0-8 to 1-2 before two James Mackey frees tied the game (1-5 to 0-8) by the 30th minute. Éire Óg were also left to rue their misfortune in the 26th minute when Killian Gleeson’s effort at goal was blocked by an alert Barry Hogan.
A Tadhg Gallagher goal in the first minute of injury time propelled the visitors into a 1-9 to 1-6 interval lead and the defending champions (Johnny Ryan Cup) had it all to do in the second half.
Two Kildangan points during the opening ten minutes of the second half extended the Kildangan lead to five (1-11 to 1-6) before James Mackey managed a response from a placed ball in the 42nd minute. Three more Kildangan points added to their tally and although Paul Ryan hit back for Éire Óg another Kildangan brace saw the Blues trail 1-8 to 1-16 by the 51st minute.
During the ensuring five minutes Éire Óg out-scored Kildangan 0-3 to 0-1 to cut the deficit before Barry Hogan saved once more, this time from the raiding Pearse Morris. A goal at that juncture (1-11 to 1-17) might have transformed the remaining minutes of this encounter, but it was not to be.
Two late Kildangan points helped the visitors toward a deserved win while Philip Hickey set up Pearse Morris for a rasping late goal to reduce the final margin to five points.
Kildangan will now progress to face the Templederry Kenyons in the next round while Nenagh Éire Óg will take on Boherlahan-Dualla who lost to Ballingarry (1-8 to 1-17) in the opening round of this year’s competition.
Nenagh Éire Óg: Michael McNamara, Mark Flannery, Alan Kelly, Conor Ryan, Adam Gratton, Barry Heffernan (0-1, 0-1 ’65), Andrew Coffey, Billy Heffernan, Killian Gleeson, John Cahalan (0-1), Richie Flannery, Pearse Morris (1-1), Philip Hickey (1-0), Paddy Murphy, James Mackey (0-7, 0-5 frees). Subs: (37th) Kevin Tucker for Adam Gratton, (41st) Paul Ryan (0-1) for Richie Flannery.
Referee: Johnny McDonnell (Boherlahan-Dualla).
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