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  • GAA

Carey's disputed goal guides Nenagh past Annacarty

Thursday, 20th August, 2020 1:59pm
Carey's disputed goal guides Nenagh past Annacarty

Conor McCarthy effects a lengthly clearance with Aidan Griffin advancing. Photograph: Bridget Delaney

Carey's disputed goal guides Nenagh past Annacarty

Conor McCarthy effects a lengthly clearance with Aidan Griffin advancing. Photograph: Bridget Delaney

GAA: FBD Insurance Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship Group 2

 

Nenagh Eire Og 2-20

Eire Og Annacarty 1-14

 

Report: James Hayden at The Ragg

 

Nenagh Eire Og eventually shook off a stiff Eire Og Annacarty challenge to progress to the County Senior Hurling Championship quarter-finals following a tough final round battle on Saturday evening.

John Brennan’s charges were pushed all the way in what was at times a tetchy encounter before a late contentious goal from substitute Adam Carey provided the ‘Blues’ with the necessary impetus to push on for a flattering nine-point victory.

With Nenagh leading by two points, Carey’s 59th minute strike appeared to squeeze in at the butt of the post, despite protestations from Eire Og Annacarty that claimed it had gone in through the side-netting. Nonetheless, the goal stood and it couldn’t have come at a better time for Nenagh as it served to finally kill off a stiff Annacarty challenge.

Billed as the ‘Battle of the Young Irelanders’ this clash proved an absorbing encounter and with Eire Og Annacarty fielding a much-re-jigged side from their second round loss to Holycross-Ballycahill they really put it up to a Nenagh side yet to fire on all cylinders.

Jake Morris was in fine form but Nenagh’s dependence on him in the forwards was all too obvious with Morris bagging 1-11 in total (five from play). In fairness, Tommy Heffernan chipped in with two points also as did Michael Heffernan (two from play and two 65’s) but the ‘Blues’ will need all their forwards firing if they are to achieve their ambition of lifting the Dan Breen Cup.

Nenagh Eire Og needed to secure a win to progress from the group while, after two losses, Annacarty were hoping to derive some solace from a disappointing campaign with a final round victory.

With both sides employing a sweeper, an early brace from Jake Morris sent Nenagh on their way but a Seanie Ryan free coupled with an Eoin Bradshaw point brought Annacarty back on terms. Nenagh surged clear once again thanks to sublime efforts from Michael Heffernan and a Jake Morris free before Morris netted from a 13th minute penalty to fire the ‘Blues’ 1-5 to 0-3 ahead.

Annacarty battled to stay in contention as Nenagh took a grip on proceedings with Barry Heffernan and Daire Quinn mopping up well in defense, and although Seanie Ryan kept the West men in touch with placed balls they still trailed by 0-5 to 1-8 at the 24 minute mark.

With the gloomy skies and extreme humidity coupled with the teeming rain making conditions difficult for all Annacarty mounted a determined fightback late in the half. Unanswered points from Seanie Ryan (free), Tom Fox and Brian Fox cut the deficit to three before Jake Morris responded with a 29th minute free. Annacarty’s goalkeeper Darragh Mooney converted a dubious 31st minute penalty to bring the west side to within one before Mooney departed his net-minding duties to send over a booming 33rd minute point from way out the field to tie up proceedings at the break, 1-9 apiece.

Upon the resumption Conor Hennessy quickly knifed over a beautifully struck point for Nenagh before Annacarty's Conor O’Brien pointed from the toes of the stand. Philip Hickey, Paddy Murphy and Jake Morris linked up well for a 38th minute raid on the Annacarty goal but Darragh Mooney was equal to Morris’s low drive at goal.

Michael Heffernan edged Nenagh in front from the resulting 65’ before Morris once again brought the best out of Mooney with a rasping shot and again Michael Heffernan stepped up to do the honours from the resulting 65’, 1-12 to 1-10.

Nenagh maintained their two-point advantage to lead by 1-13 to 1-11 at the second water break. Annacarty weren’t going to die soft though and by utilising their short-passing and running game well they kept within striking distance with two Seanie Ryan frees cancelling out efforts from Tommy Heffernan and Jake Morris. Heffernan stretched the gap out to three in the 55th minute with a sublime point following great work by James Mackey, but Aiden Griffen responded with a close-range free before Adam Carey netted on 59 minutes to rock Annacarty right back on their heels.

Carey’s late goal effectively killed off the game with Nenagh tacking on four unanswered points in injury-time with Jake Morris (2), James Mackey and Daire Quinn all on target to ensure a hard-earned but thoroughly deserved nine-point win for Nenagh Eire Og.

While nine points was a somewhat flattering margin to win by considering Annacarty were well in the hunt for almost 60 minutes, Nenagh are now in a position to challenge for county honours and their three group games will have undoubtedly identified areas they need to address before a quarter-final against one of the four group winners. Few would be blasé enough to write off their chances this year at this stage and they will be a major threat.

For Annacarty it’s another disappointing campaign with three losses and they now face into a relegation battle.

 

MATCH DIGEST

Player of the Match: Jake Morris (Nenagh Eire Og).

Nenagh Eire Og: Mark Tuite (7), Sean Phelan (7), Hugh Maloney (7), Conor McCarthy (7); Conor Ryan (7), Barry Heffernan (8), Daire Quinn (0-1, 8); Pearse Morris (7), Killian Gleeson (7), Conor Hennessy (0-1, 7), Michael Heffernan (0-4, 2 65s) 7), Paddy Murphy (7), Tommy Heffernan (0-2, 8), Philip Hickey (7), Jake Morris (1-11, 1-0 pen, 0-6f) 9).

Subs: Adam Gratton (7) for Phelan (36); Adam Carey (1-0, 7) for P Morris (45); James Mackey (0-1, 7) for Gleeson (52); Donnacha Quinn (6) for Hennessy (56); Adam Healy (NR) for Hickey (60+4).

Eire Og Annacarty: Darragh Mooney (1-1, 1-0 pen) 8), Diarmaid Ryan (7), Kevin Fox (7), Paul Devlin (0-1, 7); Michael Bradshaw (7), Brian Fox (0-1, 8), Conor O’Brien (0-1, 8), Paul Downey (7), Michael O’Brien (7); Eoin Bradshaw (0-1, 7), Paidi O’Dwyer (0-1, 7), Tom Fox (0-1, 6); Donal O’Dwyer (7), Dinny Crosse (7), Seanie Ryan (0-6f, 8).

Subs: Aidan Griffin (0-1f, 7) for T Fox (27 inj); Liam O’Dwyer (6) for Downey (47).

Referee: John Lillis (Drom & Inch).

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