Éire Óg recovered a nine-point first half deficit to force extra time, but ultimately struggled to get the better of a resolute Burgess side at St Michael’s Park, Toomevara on Sunday.
County Senior Hurling Challenge Cup
Fr Fogarty Cup Final
Nenagh Éire Óg 1-18 Burgess 1-18 AET
A superb long-range Eoin ‘Tossy’ Hogan point in the 80th minute earned Burgess a draw (AET) in a dramatic Fr Fogarty Cup final (County Senior Hurling Challenge Cup) played at St Michael’s Park, Toomevara on Sunday evening.
Three minutes earlier Michael Heffernan had fired Éire Óg into the lead for the first time (1-18 to 1-17), but Burgess battled gamely on and were good value for Hogan’s late equaliser.
Indeed, Burgess set the pace in this encounter racing into a 1-10 to 0-4 interval lead. Éire Óg struggled to make any sort of impression on a resolute Burgess defence in the opening half – the Blues only managed two points from the play, one in the third minute and another in the 27th. Meanwhile Burgess had Eoin Hogan (three), Eoin ‘Tossy’ Hogan (three), Kevin Nealon, Noel Gleeson, Jonathan Ryan and Conor Quigley to thank for pointed efforts while Kevin Nealon broke a ball for Brian Hogan to sweep home in the 26th minute to hand Burgess a fully-deserved 1-8 to 0-3 lead.
Éire Óg made wholesale changes to their team either side of the interval and gained significant impetus from same. Indeed, during the opening seven minutes of the second half the Blues out-scored Burgess 1-3 to a single point. Richie Flannery (two) and James Mackey were responsible for the points while Richie Flannery scrambled home a goal in the 37th minute following Niall McGrath’s superb save from a stinging Michael Heffernan shot.
Burgess dug in impressively and despite playing into the wind traded scores with Éire Óg to leave four between them (1-13 to 1-9) with fifteen minutes to play. Points from Richie Flannery and Andrew Coffey reduced the deficit to just two points (1-11 to 1-13) by the 48th minute before Eoin Hogan drove over a magnificent long-range free to leave three between them in the 50th minute.
Éire Óg’s Paul Ryan reduced the deficit to two before the Blues fired three consecutive wides and Michael Heffernan spurned a goal-scoring opportunity in the 56th minute. There was still time, however, for Éire Óg to make a late rally with a point from Michael Heffernan reducing the margin to just one in the 58th minute. Then, right on the hour mark, Paul Ryan was fouled and Kevin Tucker converted from a tight angle to force extra time.
Eoin Hogan (free) and Paul Ryan traded points during the opening exchanges of extra time before another Eoin Hogan free left Burgess nursing a 1-16 to 1-15 lead at the interval.
A terrific Andrew Dunne point immediately after the break forced Burgess two points clear, but with the wind at their backs Éire Óg responded in impressive fashion with a superb Andrew Coffey point and a long-range Kevin Tucker free levelling matters at 1-17 apiece with four minutes to play. Seconds later Michael Heffernan drove over a terrific point to hand Éire Óg the lead for the first time, but credit to Burgess. Pat Cremin’s men stuck to their task and, finally, Eoin ‘Tossy’ Hogan grabbed a ball and swung over a long-range effort.
Nenagh Éire Óg: Michael McNamara, Mark Flannery, Noel Maloney, John Brennan, Barry Heffernan, Hugh Maloney, Billy Heffernan, Pearse Morris, Alan Kelly, Kevin Tucker (0-5, 0-4 frees), Michael Heffernan (0-3), Seánie Geaney, Brian Quinn, Richie Flannery (1-5), Adam Gratton. Subs: (31st) Andrew Coffey (0-2) for Pearse Morris, (HT) Paul Ryan (0-2) for Seánie Geaney, (HT) David Hackett for Alan Kelly, (HT) James Mackey (0-1) for Adam Gratton, (34th) Conor Ryan for Brian Quinn, (72nd) Adam Gratton for Barry Heffernan, (74th) Seánie Geaney for David Hackett.
Burgess: Niall McGrath, John O’Dwyer, Shane Maher, Jonathan Mulqueen, Jack O’Flaherty, Conor Quigley (0-1), Michael O’Flaherty (0-1), Noel Gleeson (0-1), Damien O’Brien, Eoin ‘Tossy’ Hogan (0-4), Brian Hogan (1-1), Jonathan Ryan (0-1), Eoin Hogan (0-7, 0-5 frees), Kevin Nealon (0-1). Subs: (HT) Brian Tucker for Jack O’Flaherty, (35th) Daniel Ryan for Jonathan Ryan, (56th) Andrew Dunne (0-1) for Kevin Nealon, (ET) Jack O’Flaherty for Brian Tucker, (73rd) Kevin Nealon for Daniel Ryan.
Referee: Phil Ryan (Knockavilla-Donaskeigh Kickhams).
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