The Blues’ minor A hurling team recovered a twelve-point deficit to earn a draw against an impressive Newport Gaels outfit at Dolla on Wednesday evening. After just eighteen minutes Éire Óg trailed 0-1 to 2-7, but the lads fought back superbly winning the remainder of this contest on a 2-14 to 1-5 scoreline.
Ger Gavin North Tipperary
Minor A Hurling Championship
Nenagh Éire Óg 2-15 Newport Gaels 3-12
Although Newport Gaels fielded without inter-county star David Gleeson the defending north champions took full advantage of the breeze at their backs during the opening half. An early Newport ’65 was cancelled out by an Adam Carey point in the third minute, but the Gaels took over thereafter and hit 2-6 without reply to take a twelve-point lead (2-7 to 0-1) by the 18th minute.
A Jake Morris free in the 21st minute got Éire Óg moving in the right direction before a second Adam Carey point in the 23rd reduced the Newport lead to eleven. Newport Gaels added two further points to their tally while Conor McCarthy fired over an Éire Óg effort in the 27th minute. On the half hour mark Adam Healy fired home a goal for the Blues following good work from Adam Carey. Alex Jones then added a point to the Éire Óg tally and the sides retired with seven between them at the break (1-5 to 2-9).
The lads fought back brilliantly in the second half. Newport Gaels added to their tally in the 31st minute, but points from Jake Morris (free) and Craig Himli gave supporters of the Blues something to shout about. Newport Gaels hit back with a converted free which was soon cancelled out by a converted placed ball from Jake Morris.
The Newport Gaels ‘keeper conjured the first of a series of terrific saves when denying Conor McCarthy with a superb stop in the 39th minute. Unperturbed Éire Óg poured forward with two Jake Morris strikes (one free, one ’65) cutting the deficit to four (1-10 to 2-11).
Newport Gaels fired home a third goal in the 45th minute to force themselves seven clear (3-11 to 1-10). Éire Óg responded once more with a Jake Morris ’65 before Conor McCarthy was denied a goal by another stunning save from the Newport ‘keeper. With ten minutes to play the Newport Gaels ‘keeper saved once more, this time from Jake Morris, before a Craig Himli point left four in it (1-13 to 3-11) with seven minutes remaining.
Given the effort made by the lads they were probably due a second goal and that strike materialised in the 56th minute when Conor McCarthy picked out Gavin O’Connor and O’Connor lashed home from close range to leave a point between the sides.
Two minutes later Adam Carey was sent off for a second bookable offence and with a minute to play a Newport Gaels free left two in it (2-13 to 3-12). In the first minute of injury time the raiding Adam Healy was hauled down for a free. It is at this point that there appeared to be some confusion about the score. No scoreboard was in operation in Dolla. Anthony Walsh smacked over a 21-yard free and referee Kieran Timmons declared the game a draw.
2015 Minor Championship
The 2015 competition is based on a two-group structure – the respective group winners progress to the semi-finals while the second and third-placed teams qualify for the quarter-finals. The Nenagh Éire Óg minor A hurling team were drawn in group one of the North Tipperary minor A hurling championship alongside Roscrea, Newport Gaels, Borris-Ileigh and Portroe. In previous rounds the Blues beat Borris-Ileigh and Portroe.
Newport Gaels lead group one (three games played, plus 15 score difference) on five points. Éire Óg are second (played three, plus 11 score difference) on five points. Roscrea are third (two games played, plus one score difference) on two points. Portroe are fourth (played three, minus 18) on two points and Borris-Ileigh are fifth on zero points with three games played (minus 9).
The Blues’ final group game will be against Roscrea on Wednesday, August 5th in Toomevara at 7pm. The minor hurlers would appreciate your support in Toomevara. The result of this game will determine Éire Óg’s fate in the knock-out stages of the competition.
Group two has come to a conclusion. Kildangan have won that group with a 100 per cent record with Toomevara second and Kilruane third. Burgess finished fourth in that group on zero points.
Nenagh Éire Óg manager John Manley is joined on the management team by selectors Derek Lillis, Christy McLoughlin and Paudie Gleeson.
Nenagh Éire Óg: Shane Hennessy, Gavin O’Connor (1-0), Jason McKenna, Connie O’Reilly, Ethan O’Brien, Anthony Walsh (0-1, 0-1 frees), Conor Bonnar, Jake Morris (0-7, 0-4 frees, 0-3 ‘65s), Alex Jones (0-1), Craig Himli (0-2), Adam Healy (1-0), Niall McKeogh, Conor McCarthy (0-1), Adam Carey (0-2), Mark O’Farrell. Subs: (43rd) Seán Shanahan for Niall McKeogh.
Referee: Kieran Timmons (Silvermines).
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