Lorrha’s Patrick Maher gave Moneygall net minder Ciaran Quinlan no chance when he smashed home Lorrha’s first goal. Photo: Rose Mannion

Lorrha hit the ground running

GAA: Kelly’s of Fantane North Tipperary Intermediate Hurling Championship Semi-Final

Lorrha 5-24

Moneygall 2-13

Report: Liam Hogan in Roscrea

Lorrha produced a brilliant display to defeat holders Moneygall in a one-sided North Tipperary Intermediate Hurling Championship semi-final played at new look St. Cronan’s Park, Roscrea on Sunday evening.

Having been relegated last year, Lorrha wasted little time getting up to speed at intermediate level again and did much of the spade work for the win in the first half when their incisive hurling helped them to a 3-16 to 0-5 lead.

The second half saw a depleted Moneygall side stage a mini-comeback but the mountain was much too steep to climb and Lorrha marched onto the final against neighbours Shannon Rovers.

Sharpness was the key and Lorrha were miles ahead in that regard as they had 1-6 on the board at one end while a young backline of Tom Duggan, Oisin Guinan and Denis O’Meara kept Moneygall scoreless for the opening eight minutes.

Cian Hogan had Lorrha’s opening score after just fourteen seconds before Patrick Maher – back after a year out of action - had the ball in the net after three minutes. The trend continued as Colm Fogarty, Eoin McIntyre, Christopher Fogarty added a point each before Maher and Colm Fogarty doubled their point tally to give Lorrha a nine-point advantage.

Moneygall’s first score came in the ninth minute when the busy Adam Hogan scored a sixty-five metre free. Hogan was playing well both at centre-back and sometimes a sweeper, but it would take his side another nine minutes before they doubled their account.

In the meantime, Lorrha would find another 1-2 beginning with a super Patrick Maher point from the wing, quickly followed by one from Christopher Fogarty after Conor Ryan was dispossessed while Eoin McIntyre scored the goal after an intricate move involving Maher and Colm Fogarty.

Lorrha continued with more scores coming at a fast rate with Niall McIntyre pointing from halfway quickly followed by points from Colm and Christopher Fogarty.

Lorrha were fifteen points clear, but Phil Fanning reduced the margin with his second point from a free in the 23rd minute. A quick point from Niall McIntyre and after a poorly executed short puckout by Ciaran Quinlan, Lorrha forced Quinlan to a save at the expense of a 65 which Brian Hogan converted.

Phil Fanning relied with another free but when David Fogarty hit the target in the 28th minute - Lorrha’s six starting forwards had scored. After another Fanning free, Lorrha came again with Colm Fogarty increasing his tally. Meanwhile Ciaran Quinlan produced a double save and Brian Hogan converted the resulting 65 and as the half drew to a close Patrick Maher found the net for the second time after an assist from Brian Hogan.

Lorrha didn’t switch off on their return for the second half because within a minute of action they had registered another goal from Colm Fogarty after assistance by Maher and Cian Hogan.

As expected Moneygall were not going to give in without a fight and a minute later the evergreen Ger Kirwan worked his way through for a goal, quickly followed by another Phil Fanning pointed free.

Three points in a row from Lorrha, the first a long-range point by Brian Hogan, before Christopher Fogarty (free) and Colm Fogarty added one each. Points by Conor Ryan and Phil Fanning (free) kept Moneygall in touch, but David Fogarty scored his second point in the 44th minute.

Moneygall responded quickly and a ball towards the edge of the small square dropped nicely for Phil Fanning to steer the ball past the advancing Patrick Reddin. The Lorrha keeper was brave but his bravery cost him as he had to be replaced due to a knee injury with Brian Hogan moving into goal with Ciaran Hough coming in as a replacement.

When play resumed there was a glut of scores as Cian Hogan’s point was cancelled out by Roddy Teehan before Colm Fogarty registered his first free to his already increasing total with Cian Hogan scoring once more with nine minutes remaining.

The Moneygall goal had a lucky escape as Eoin McIntyre’s powerful effort hit the crossbar and when play swung back to the other end it was Brendan Toohey scored two quick points.

Lorrha continued to forage for more scores and in the 55th minute, Cian Hogan registered his team’s fifth goal after Eoin McIntyre supplied the final pass quickly followed by another Colm Fogarty free.

As the game entered the dying seconds Phil Fanning added a free and as the final whistle the new look Lorrha side looked forward to the final against Rovers on Saturday week.

Moneygall will have to reflect for the county championship and with Willie Greene and Michael Ryan not in the frame for the moment they will hope for the return of the highly rated Joe Fogarty and Sean Kenneally along with Paddy Fogarty and Mark Fanning.

Player of the Match: Patrick Maher (Lorrha)

Lorrha: Patrick Reddin (7); Tom Dugan (7), Conor Hogan (7), Oisin Guinan (7); Denis O’Meara (7), Brian Hogan (0-3, 2f) 8), Michael Dolan (7); Niall McIntyre (0-2, 8), Alan O’Meara (7); Eoin McIntyre (1-1, 7), Cian Hogan (1-3, 8), David Fogarty (0-2, 7); Christopher Fogarty (0-4, 1f) 7), Patrick Maher (2-2, 8), Colm Fogarty (1-7, 0-2f) 8).

Sub: Ciaran Hough (6) for Reddin (47 inj).

Moneygall: Ciaran Quinlan (8); Cathal Greene (6), Cathal Kennedy (6), Liam Carroll (6); Jack Kirwan (6), Adam Hogan (0-1 65, 7), Roddy Teehan (0-1, 6); Conor Ryan (0-1, 6), Eoin Whyte (6); Bob Kenny (0-1, 6), Brendan Toohey (0-2, 7), Ger Kirwan (1-0, 6); Tommy Devereux (6), Phil Fanning (1-7, 0-6f) 7), Aodhan Ryan (6).

Referee: Shane Hodgins (Knockshegowna)