Toomevara's Kieran Flaherty is challenged by Roscrea's Sam Conlon. PHOTO: ODHRAN DUCIE

Toome point their way to North Final

GAA: Watch Centre North Tipperary Junior ‘A’ Hurling Championship Semi-Final


Toomevara    0-26
Roscrea    2-11

Report Thomas Conway in Templederry

A comprehensive win over Roscrea took Toomevara a step closer to retaining the North Junior ‘A’ Hurling title, setting up a final showdown with Nenagh Éire-Óg – a repeat of last year’s decider. 

Toome hit a total of 4-25 in that game over twelve months ago, and although they managed to exceed that points tally against Roscrea last Sunday evening, goals may be a necessary requirement against a Nenagh side gunning to avenge their 2019 defeat. 

On Sunday, however, amidst the splendour of a sun-soaked Templederry, Tony Delaney’s side were happy to keep knocking over points, and apart from one or two fleeting moments when Roscrea looked as if they might mount a revival, Toome’s place in the final was never really in doubt. 

A series of Paddy Grace frees, complemented by a Luke Ryan effort from play, allowed them to settle with relative ease, opening up a 0-7 to 0-1 lead by the twelfth minute. Roscrea eventually found their feet, slowly edging their way back into the game via frees from Jamie Bergin and managing to generate plenty of action near the Toome goal. A lucky break or a defensive error was all it would have taken to raise a green flag, but Toome were just as robust in defence as Roscrea were in attack, managing to subdue the threat on most occasions.

Toome’s attacking threat was evident from the half-back line up, even extending to keeper Rory Brislane at times, who landed one monstrous free from just beyond his own 45. Shane Nolan and Conor Delaney both contributed to the first-half scoring effort, while Cahill and Eoin Grace also got in on the action, but a key moment arrived at the other end when Brislane pulled off a relatively straightforward but important stop to deny John Ryan. At that stage, they had successfully pulled themselves back into contention, and a goal would have reduced the deficit to two points. Instead, it remained at five when the half-time whistle sounded, Toome in command, 0-11 to 0-6.

Within five minutes of the restart, Toome had reinforced their grip, beginning with that colossal Brislane free, which was followed by an impressive show of agility from Luke Ryan, who picked up the sliotar while running towards the sideline, twisted his body and slotted it over from an acute angle. 

By the time Roscrea forced Toome to concede a penalty in the 41st minute, they were trailing by twelve points, and anything less than a goal would have been signalled an end to the contest. John Ryan whisked the strike low into the right-hand corner, leaving Brislane with little hope and granting Roscrea a little hope. 

They failed to capitalise though, and always looked unlikely to overturn the eight point margin between the sides at the water-break. Toome pushed further ahead in the final quarter, with substitutes Harty, Ryan and Ciarán Grace all contributing points, and although tempers began to flare on occasion, the action never really spiralled out of hand.  

Player of the Match: Rory Brislane (Toomevara)
Toomevara: Rory Brislane; Patrick Tuohy, Seamus O’Farrell, Cathal Kennedy; Niall O’Farrell, Kieran Flaherty, Colin Hall; Cathal O’Farrell, Luke Ryan (0-3); Shane Nolan (0-3, 1f), Aidan Cahill (0-2), Conor Delaney (0-2); Pairic Shanahan (0-1), Paddy Grace (0-10, 8f), Eoin Grace (0-2).  
Subs: Mark Harty (0-1) for P Grace (54); Jack Ryan (0-1) for Cahill (59); Ciarán Grace (0-1) for Shanahan (60+1). 
Roscrea: Enda Moloney; Michael Parlon, Gerry Meagher, Conor Treacy; Stephen Carey, Diarmuid Fitzgerald, Jack Synott; Niall O’Lone, Jack Lee (1-2); John Ryan (1-4, 1-0 pen, 0-3f, 0-1 ’65), Sam Conlon, Luke Seacy (0-1); Jack Gilmartin, Jamie Bergin (0-3), Conor Bergin (0-1). 
Subs: Oisín Tynan for Seacy (38); Gerry Hogan for Synott (44).
Referee: Gerry Treacy (Borris-Ileigh).