Nenagh Éire Óg’s reign as Watch Centre north Tipperary junior A hurling champions came to a dramatic end at Puckane on Saturday evening when the Blues were beaten by Knockshegowna.
Watch Centre North Tipperary Junior A
Hurling Championship Semi-Final
Nenagh Éire Óg 2-10 Knockshegowna 3-11
Éire Óg’s reign as north Tipperary junior A hurling champions came to an end at Puckane on Saturday evening when the Blues were beaten by a superb Knockshegowna team.
Éire Óg played with the breeze in the opening half and led 2-5 to 0-8 thanks to goals from Paul Ryan and Conor Kirwan. Knockshegowna, however, notched three goals in the opening twelve minutes of the second half to establish a lead which Knockshe refused to relinquish thereafter.
Having lost to Knockshegowna (0-19 to 3-15) during the league Éire Óg knew they were up against it in this encounter. Indeed, Éire Óg began in determined fashion with a Paul Ryan goal in the third minute – a terrific interception by Michael Collins and a clever Michael Hackett delivery featured in the build-up before Ryan beat the Knockshe ‘keeper with a smart left-hand shot.
David Hackett added to the Éire Óg tally with a point from play, but Knockshegowna hit back with three points to leave one between them (1-1 to 0-3) by the tenth minute. A Michael Hackett point forced the Blues two clear, but Knockshe responded with a brace of their own to tie the game in the 13th minute.
Éire Óg were fortunate to notch a second goal in the 14th minute when the Knockshe ‘keeper spilled Gary Howard’s delivery and Conor Kirwan was on hand to smack in the loose ball – 2-2 to 0-5.
Three David Hackett frees kept the scoreboard ticking over prior to the break from an Éire Óg point of view, but Knockshegowna regularly threatened and trailed by just three points at the break – 2-5 to 0-8.
Indeed, Knockshe came close to scoring a goal in the 27th minute, but Kevin Flynn pulled off a neat save at his near post. Knockshegowna were not to be denied, however, in the opening minute of the second half when the Knockshe lads scooted in for their opening goal – 2-5 to 1-8.
Six minutes later a Paul Ryan point helped Éire Óg back into the lead, but, in the 38th minute, Knockshe struck for a vital three-pointer when the Blues’ full-back line coughed up a penalty for a third-man tackle and, suddenly, Nenagh trailed 2-6 to 2-8.
Four minutes later Éire Óg conceded a third goal when the ball broke inside the full-back line and Knockshegowna helped themselves to an opportunist strike – 2-6 to 3-8.
Éire Óg soon settled back down to their work with points from David Hackett (free) and Conor Ryan reducing the gap to three points by the 48th minute.
The sides then traded points to leave three between them (2-10 to 3-10) with five minutes to play. A Knockshegowna point in the 56th minute opened a four-point gap and despite the best efforts of the Blues Éire Óg failed to score a goal which could have rescued the situation. Indeed, the Knockshe ‘keeper made a terrific save to deny Darragh Walsh a certain goal in the 63rd minute.
Our thanks go to the management team of Martin Morris, Michael Ryan and Christy McLoughlin who put such a great effort into preparing this team. We wish Knockshegowna all the very best in the north final.
Nenagh Éire Óg: Kevin Flynn, Lenny Ryan, John O’Donoghue, Michael Collins, Conor Ryan (0-2), Niall Cahill, Donnacha Heffernan, Brian Maxwell, Eoin Fitzgibbon (captain), Gary Howard, Paul Ryan (1-1), Bob O’Brien, David Hackett (0-6, 0-5 frees), Conor Kirwan (1-0), Michael Hackett (0-1). Subs: (42nd) Philip Hickey for Bob O’Brien, (46th) Darragh Walsh for Brian Maxwell, (51st) Aodhán Geaney for Michael Collins, (55th) Paddy Harrington for Conor Kirwan.
Referee: Anthony Sherlock (Kildangan).
If you need to contact Éire Óg please do so via our Contact page. You can also keep in touch by accessing our Facebook page or by following @nenagheireog on Twitter. We would also ask you to consider supporting Éire Óg by entering the club lotto and by paying your club membership.