Nenagh Éire Óg will face Kildangan in the final of the north Tipperary junior A hurling championship following a hard-fought one-point win over an excellent Kilruane MacDonagh’s team at Moneygall on Saturday evening.
Watch Centre North Tipperary
Junior A Hurling Championship Semi-Final
Nenagh Éire Óg 0-13 Kilruane MacDonagh’s 0-12
Playing with the aid of a very strong breeze in the opening half Kilruane raced into a 0-3 to no-score lead thanks to three points in the opening four minutes.
Philip Hickey’s cross-field pass created the room for Gary Howard to notch Éire Óg’s first point in the fifth minute.
Kilruane hit back almost immediately before a David Hackett free left two between them in the seventh minute (0-2 to 0-4).
A Kilruane free concluded eight scoreless minutes in the 15th; two minutes later the MacDonagh’s added another free and led 0-6 to 0-2.
The Éire Óg lads made a determined stand thereafter. In the 19th minute David Cleary won a free which David Hackett converted to get the Blues moving in the right direction.
The Kilruane ‘keeper made a fine reaction save following a clever David Hackett flick in the 24th minute before Shane Maher was fouled for a free which David Hackett converted in the 27th.
Two minutes prior to the break Gary Howard worked a sideline short to John Cahalan who drilled over an impressive long-range shot to leave the minimum between them.
Then, a minute into first half injury time, David Hackett won and converted a free which retired the sides all square at 0-6 apiece.
Éire Óg began the second half impressively with Shane Maher cracking over a right-handed effort in the 31st minute.
Kilruane enjoyed a sniff of the Éire Óg goal in the 33rd minute, but corner-back Brian Flynn was on hand to make a telling block.
In the 35th minute Bob O’Brien set up John Cahalan for an eighth Éire Óg point, but a Kilruane free in the 38th left the minimum between them.
In the 39th minute Éire Óg struck for two scores which forced the Blues three clear (0-10 to 0-7) – Niall Madden landed a long-range free following a foul on David Hickey while Hickey turned provider for John Cahalan seconds later.
Kilruane responded in the 41st minute with a converted free, but a Gary Howard point from play re-established Éire Óg’s three-point advantage (0-11 to 0-8).
The Kilruane ‘keeper made a telling save to deny Richie Flannery a goal in the 42nd minute, but when Christopher Ryan flashed over a 12th Éire Óg point in the 45th the Blues looked assured of their place in the final (0-12 to 0-8).
To their credit, however, Kilruane came roaring back into this contest with two frees and a converted ’65 during an impressive four-minute period (50th-54th) cutting the deficit to just a single point (0-12 to 0-11).
Éire Óg tried valiantly to respond, but three consecutive wides frustrated their efforts.
In the 56th minute Kilruane landed an equaliser – the score represented the MacDonagh’s first score from play since the sixth minute and although the effort looked to have drifted wide of Kevin Flynn’s left-hand post the score was awarded and the game was level (0-12 apiece).
Within a minute Éire Óg hit back with the match-clinching score – Philip Hickey was fouled at right wing-forward and centre-back Niall Madden drilled over the placed ball from long-range to propel the Blues into the final.
Nenagh Éire Óg last appeared in the junior A north Tipperary hurling final in 2012. The lads will face Kildangan in the decider and would appreciate your support. Please keep an eye on the fixtures section of the website and the various social media channels for updates on same.
During the group stage of the 2014 Watch Centre North Tipperary Junior A Hurling Championship Nenagh Éire Óg drew with Kildangan (1-16 to 3-10) at MacDonagh Park, Nenagh.
Nenagh Éire Óg: Kevin Flynn, Brian Flynn, Alan Kelly, Michael Collins, Adam Gratton, Niall Madden (0-2, 0-2 frees), Eoin Fitzgibbon, Gary Howard (0-2), John Cahalan (0-3), Philip Hickey, Shane Maher (0-1), Christopher Ryan (0-1), David Hickey, David Cleary, David Hackett (0-4, 0-4 frees). Subs: (HT) Bob O’Brien for David Cleary, (41st) Richie Flannery for David Hackett, (54th) Eddie Tucker for Christopher Ryan.
Referee: Jim Lees (Newport).
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