Four in a row for Toomevara as they oust Nenagh
GAA: Watch Centre North Tipperary Junior ‘A’ Hurling Championship Final
Nenagh Eire Og 0-20
Report: James Hayden in Cloughjordan
Player of the Match: Aidan Cahill (Toomevara)
SCORERS - Toomevara: Aidan Cahill 1-3 (0-1 s-cut); Paddy Grace 0-5 (4 frees); Shane Nolan 0-4; Paraic Shanahan 0-3; Conor Delaney, Eoin Grace, Conor O’Farrell, Niall O’Farrell 0-1 each.
Nenagh Eire Og: Darragh Walsh 0-8 (6 frees); John Cahalan, Anthony Walsh 0-3 each; Craig Hilmi, Alex Jones, Niall Madden (frees) 0-2 each.
Toomevara recorded a historic four in a row of North Tipperary Junior ‘A’ Hurling Championship titles following a thoroughly absorbing battle with Nenagh Eire Og on Saturday afternoon.
In what was a repeat of last year’s decider Nenagh were aiming to atone for their extra-time defeat and came within a whisker of getting their hands on the Michael Cahill Cup.
In a game which ebbed and flowed throughout the defining moment came in the 35th minute when a sweeping Toomevara move involving Kieran Flaherty, Eoin Grace, Conor O’Farrell and Shane Nolan put Aidan Cahill through on goal and his rocket of a shot past Nenagh netminder, Michael McNamara put Toomevara on course for a hard-earned victory.
Add in the fact that Toomevara were further buoyed by a sublimely cut Cahill side-line on 40 minutes, a point which saw them seize the initiative for the first time and a lead they would never relinquish, and you have the defining period of the game in a nutshell.
This title emulates the four in a row heroes from 1910-1913, the last Toomevara team to put four in a row of North titles at any grade together.
Nenagh Eire Og, playing with the aid of a stiff breeze blowing into the dressing room end, couldn’t have had a better start. The Blues were four points to the good after five minutes following early frees from Darragh Walsh and points apiece from John Cahalan and Anthony Walsh.
Nenagh were engaging in a crisp brand of hurling and picking off their scores well before allowing Toomevara to eke their way back into proceedings. Points from the impressive Shane Nolan and Paddy Grace (free) narrowed the gap for Toome’ with Paraic Shanahan also on target before Craig Hilmi put three between the sides with a sweet ninth minute effort.
Aidan Cahill responded for Toome’ before Rory Brislane saved well from Cian O’Farrell with Darragh Spillane following up to clear the sliotar off the line and deny Nenagh an almost certain goal. Toomevara added two further points on the bounce from Paddy Grace (free) and Shane Nolan before a well-struck Darragh Walsh free ensured Nenagh led by 0-7 to 0-6 at the water break.
Nenagh hit the ground running upon the resumption with Sean Geaney picking out John Cahalan for a beautifully worked 22nd minute point. The Blues came at Toome’ in waves but four wides in a six-minute spell between the 23rd & 28th minutes hampered their efforts to pull clear of a resolute Toomevara side.
Despite this, Nenagh led by three by the 28th minute and again in the 33rd minute but Toomevara edged their way back into contention once more deep in time added on with Eoin Grace and Aidan Cahill cutting the gap to just a solitary point at the break, 0-11 to 0-12.
John Cahalan doubled Nenagh’s advantage upon the resumption before Toomevara seized the initiative with Aidan Cahill’s rasper of a goal. Nenagh responded well to level on two further occasions before a 44th minute Shane Nolan point put three between the sides.
Nenagh continued to do their utmost to cut the deficit with Alex Jones on target from distance but Shane Nolan added his fourth point from play to maintain Toome’s advantage. As both sides emptied their benches and with the game still well and truly up for grabs, Nenagh cut the deficit to just a single point as the 60th minute mark approached thanks to points from Darragh Walsh and Niall Madden (free).
Nenagh were afforded the chance to level a minute later but Michael McNamara’s free from way out the field tailed agonisingly to the left and wide. Toomevara rallied once more though with Paddy Grace affording the champions some breathing space, 1-18 to 0-19. Darragh Walsh (free) narrowed the gap again before a sublime Paraic Shanahan side deep in injury time copper-fastened a hard-earned victory for the men in green and gold and a tilt at West champions Arravale Rovers in the county semi-final.
Impressive for Toomevara were Kieran Flaherty, Shane Nolan, Aidan Cahill, Paraic Shanahan, Darragh Spillane and Paddy Grace while Darragh Walsh, John Cahalan, Anthony Walsh, Sean Geaney and Alex Jones caught the eye for Nenagh.
TEAMS - Toomevara: Rory Brislane (7), Darragh Spillane (7), Seamus Farrell (7), Cathal Kennedy (7); Niall O’Farrell (7), Kieran Flaherty (8), Colin Hall (7); Conor O’Farrell (7), Luke Ryan (7); Shane Nolan (8), Aidan Cahill (8), Conor Delaney (7); Paraic Shanahan (8), Paddy Grace (8), Eoin Grace (7).
Subs: Mark Harty (7) for E Grace (47); Jack Ryan (6) for L Ryan (60); Conor Grace (6) for Cahill (60+1); Michael Delaney (NR) for Nolan (60+4); Ciaran Grace (NR) for M Delaney (60+6).
Nenagh Eire Og: Michael McNamara (7), Brian Tuite (7), Mark Carey (8), Mark O’Farrell (6); Alex Jones (7), Sean Geaney (8), Mark Flannery (7); Niall McKeogh (7), Niall Madden (7); Anthony Walsh (8), Bob O’Brien (6), John Cahalan (7); Cian O’Farrell (6), Craig Hilmi (7), Darragh Walsh (8).
Subs: Conor Bonar (6) for M O’Farrell (42); Seth Shayanawako (6) for A Walsh (52); Josh Keller (6) for McKeogh (54); Ben West (6) for C O’Farrell (60); Jamie Cottrell (6) for Hilmi (60+2).
Referee: Alan Tierney (Shannon Rovers).