On Monday afternoon Nenagh Éire Óg beat Kilruane MacDonagh’s 2-13 to 1-13 in the opening round of the north Tipperary under-21A hurling championship – Kilruane are the defending champions and the win gave Blues supporters a great lift following the defeat suffered in Saturday’s junior A county final.
Under-21A Hurling Championship
Nenagh Éire Óg 2-13 Kilruane MacDonagh’s 1-13
Nenagh Éire Óg opened their under-21 campaign with a well-deserved victory over Kilruane MacDonagh’s in Toomevara on Monday afternoon.
Kieran Cahill opened Kilruane MacDonagh’s account in the fifth minute with a well-taken point and it was to be the only time in the game that they led.
From the resultant puck-out Kevin Flynn picked out James Mackey who levelled proceedings. This was followed three minutes later when Philip Hickey caught Killian Gleeson’s excellent line ball to give Nenagh the lead. Conor Ryan added another point before Kieran Cahill closed the gap with a free in the twelfth minute.
The decisive moment of the opening half came in the fifteenth minute when Seán Geaney took a free ninety yards out from the Kilruane goal. His effort landed in the penalty box and first to react was Mark Tuite who goaled from a ground shot.
Two minutes later Geaney played a quick free from an identical position to Killian Gleeson.
Gleeson covered a lot of ground along the left hand side of the pitch before delivering an inch-perfect effort for the point of the game. Kieran Cahill (3) and Conor Cleary traded points with James Mackey and Donnacha Quinn (2) to leave the half-time score at Nenagh Éire Óg 1-7 Kilruane MacDonagh’s 0-6.
Immediately upon the resumption Philip Hickey was fouled and Quinn pointed the free.
Moments later Conor Ryan sent an inch-perfect ball into full-forward Mark Tuite. Tuite made a great catch and was dragged to the ground for a penalty. Tuite stood up to take it, however, his goal bound effort was well saved.
Quinn and Cahill both pointed for their respective sides before Gary Howard sent a searching ball into the full-forward line and Tuite, with the deftest of flicks, brilliantly guided the ball past the onrushing ‘keeper for an outstanding goal. This was followed up with a superb Killian Gleeson point. Cahill responded for Kilruane and two more points were added to the Nenagh tally by John Cahalan and Donnacha Quinn and it looked as if Nenagh were going to run out easy winners.
Kilruane to their credit did not lie down and Cahill added two points before Conor Cleary scored an excellent goal to narrow the gap to five points with eight minutes left to play.
Aidan Boyle, who had just come on for Kilruane, cut through the Nenagh defence and he was pulled down for a penalty. Cahill’s shot narrowly went over the bar for a point.
James Mackey settled the Nenagh nerves with a point of his own before James Cleary and Aidan Boyle finished Kilruane’s scoring.
Nenagh Éire Óg: Kevin Flynn, Brian Flynn, Adam Gratton, Michael Collins, Darragh Walsh, Seán Geaney, Andrew Coffey, Killian Gleeson, Conor Ryan, John Cahalan, Donnacha Quinn, Gary Howard, Philip Hickey, Mark Tuite, James Mackey. Subs: Christopher Ryan for John Cahalan.
Referee: Michael Murphy (Toomevara).
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