Nenagh and Kiladangan tipped for senior final three-peat

By Liam Hogan

The North Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship semi-finals take centre stage this Sunday, 7th July, either side of the All-Ireland Senior Hurling semi-final between Cork and Limerick, proving a full-day of action for hurling followers.

Nenagh Eire Og v Toomevara in MacDonagh Park, Cloughjordan on Sunday, 7th July at 1.30pm

The Nenagh Eire Og versus Toomevara rivalry captured the attention of hurling followers in the 1990s and 2000’s, and this latest version could be the start of another run between the two great rivals.

They met at the quarter final stage last year when Nenagh Eire Og won 0-24 to 0-21 in Dolla. It was the first championship meeting between the teams in ten years.

Toomevara had a good season in 2023 and they reached the last four of the county championship when losing to Kiladangan.

Much was expected when they met Roscrea in the recent quarter final and while they won by a point, the view of many suggests they were lucky. Toome led by nine at half time, but the second half belonged to Roscrea who were caught by the finish line at the end of a fine game.

Toome’s form show they are solid at the backline, but their forwards have potential to score where Jack Delaney, Mark McCarthy, Kevin McCarthy and the dynamic Darragh McCarthy can answer the call.

Nenagh Eire Og have plenty of scoring forwards as well as evident of their big win over Lorrha in the quarter final. Jake Morris stole the show with 2-10 while Josh Keller, James Mackey, Filip McIntyre, Philip Hickey and Cian Crowley contributed, not to mention what Michael Heffernan and Sam O’Farrell from their midfield berths.

And while the performance from the front line impressed, the one question hanging over Nenagh Eire Og is the fact they conceded 2-19. The return of Barry Heffernan, Sean Phelan, Conor Hennessy, and Conor McCarthy from injury might remedy those worries. Verdict: Nenagh Eire Og

Kiladangan v Templederry Kenyons in Dolla on Sunday, 7th July at 7.00pm

A repeat of the 2019 North semi-final when Kiladangan won a high scoring encounter 1-28 to 2-22.

It was the latest chapter in a run of five games which resulted in wins for the 2023 County champions. The North quarter final clash in 2013 resulted in a two-point victory, followed by a further win in 2014 before the teams clashed in the 2015 North final which Kiladangan won 1-18 to 0-18 in Nenagh. In 2016, there was a County championship meeting resulting in a four-point victory for Kiladangan.

Templederry arrive in this semi-final thanks to an impressive quarter final win over Kilruane MacDonaghs. Manager Ger Cunningham has brought the side to a new level since their disappointing defeat at the hands of Nenagh in last year’s semi-final.

There seems to be no end to the produce of the evergreen Christy Coughlan, Tomas Stapleton, Gearoid Ryan, Eanna Murray, Padraig O’Leary, and Colm Murray who played key roles in the win, not forgetting the contribution of Sean Ryan at full forward.

The Kiladangan defence will need to be on their game to thwart the Templederry full forward. There was plenty evidence of all that is positive based on their quarter final win over Borris-Ileigh.

Barry Hogan, James Quigley, Fergal Hayes, David Sweeney, Willie Connors, Alan Flynn, and Joe Gallagher continued where they left off in 2023. Tadgh Gallagher was man of the match at midfield while up front both Paul Flynn and Billy Seymour caught the eye. Sean Hayes’ return from suspension should boost their chances of victory.

Verdict: Kiladangan