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  • GAA

Super Nenagh blow Sars away

Thursday, 3rd September, 2020 12:30pm
Super Nenagh blow Sars away

Nenagh's Conor McCarthy bursts past Conor Lanigan. Photograph: Bridget Delaney

Super Nenagh blow Sars away

Nenagh's Conor McCarthy bursts past Conor Lanigan. Photograph: Bridget Delaney

GAA: FBD Insurance Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship Quarter Final


Nenagh Eire Og 3-12

Thurles Sarsfields 1-8


Report: Shane Brophy at Semple Stadium



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

SCORERS – Nenagh Eire Og: Jake Morris 3-6 (1-0 pen, 0-3 frees); Tommy Heffernan 0-4; Paddy Murphy, Killian Gleeson 0-1 each.

Thurles Sarsfields: Aidan McCormack 0-5 frees; Denis Maher 1-0; Stephen Cahill, David Corbett, John Maher 0-1 each.


Nenagh Eire Og proved they had the anti-dote for Thurles Sarsfields once again as they crushed the county senior hurling championship favourites with a dominant display in Saturday’s quarter final.

Even a couple of days on from the final whistle it is still hard to get the head around what happened, particularly from a Thurles Sarsfields viewpoint where the team under performed so spectacularly. One point in the first half, no score from play, is in comprehensible for a side loaded with attacking talent.

From the moment Jake Morris rattled in Nenagh’s first goal after five minutes, Eire Og had rattled Sarsfields to such an extent they never recovered. Crucially while Sarsfields were off their best, in contrast Nenagh were right on it from the word go in that was the best performance from this group of players in their time together. They were as primed as any team could be for a knockout game and they never relented from the first minute to last.

While Nenagh have always had the touch players, sometimes their intensity levels can let them down but not on this evening as they hassled and harried Sarsfields at every turn with a savage intensity as they wore down Thurles to such an extent, they were a well beaten docket long before the final whistle.

It is easy to point at the contribution of 3-6 from Jake Morris as being the star turn, however, this was a complete team performance from Nenagh, right from goalkeeper Mark Tuite whose puckouts were accurate, through a defence that conceded just one score from play, that being Denis Maher’s second half goal.

Barry Heffernan looked like an inter-county heavyweight player as his presence at centre back was the fulcrum around everything Nenagh did well, with Conor Ryan and Conor Hennessy feeding off him either side while Daire Quinn and Killian Gleeson got through a huge amount of work at midfield.

Up front, Paddy Murphy was the most prominent he has been in the championship so far and while not on the scoresheet he did his job in getting the ball into Morris and Tommy Heffernan who ripped apart the Thurles two man full back line.

There will be two aspects to the defeat Thurles Sarsfields will reflect one, firstly not detailing either Michael Cahill or Ronan Maher to pick up Jake Morris from the start. Sarsfields tendency in their games so far is to get their two man markers to pick up the oppositions two key forwards but they didn’t do so on this occasion and it proved to be a massive mistake, particularly Morris who took Cathal Moloney for two goals before Ronan Maher was switched onto him and from where the Tipp star had a fine game, however, the damage had been done and a confident Morris was up and running.

Secondly, we wondered out the loss of Billy McCarthy from the half forward line and considering this was a total failure by Sarsfields, it would be hard to put it all on McCarthy’s latest injury but it didn’t help as Thurles had no ball-winner in the half forward line from where the lively forwards can play off with Pa Bourke, Conor Lanigan and Aidan McCormack all kept scoreless from play.

Prior to Jake Morris’ first goal on five minutes, Thurles had been given a warning moments earlier when Morris got in behind but shot straight at Paddy McCormack but in the fifth minute, he made no mistake running onto a Paddy Murphy pass.

His second goal four minutes later was almost identical in its finish, this time running onto a Tommy Heffernan pass for a 2-1 to 0-0 score lead.

Seven points ahead, it was still early days and nothing to get too excited about but Thurles never looked like they would settle into a rhythm even though Nenagh only gradually extended the lead with points from Morris (3, 2ree), Heffernan (2), and Murphy up to the 28th minute to lead 2-7 to no score before Aidan McCormack finally opened the Sarsfields account with a free, after they drove six wides up to that.

Nenagh landed a terminal blow right on half time when after Paddy McCormack made a fine save to deny Tommy Heffernan, the ball was worked back into the square when Jake Morris was bundled over with the referee awarding the penalty which Morris converted for a 3-7 to 0-1 half time lead.

A Denis Maher goal in the 37th minute helped cut the margin back to eleven but Sarsfields never threatened to get on a run as Nenagh’s ferocious appetite for work remained, epitomised by a Michael Heffernan turnover on Lar Corbett.

Nenagh kept the scoreboard ticking over in the second half with Jake Morris bringing his tally to 3-6 while Tommy Heffernan finished with four points, while Killian Gleeson also got his name on the scoresheet his performance merited.

Thurles needed a goal but a superb hook from Sean Phelan on Lar Corbett eight minutes from time ended their hopes and their evening was summed up when they were awarded a late penalty for a foul on Ronan Maher, however, he retaliated and ended up being issued with a red card and the loss of the penalty which summed up Sarsfields day.

However, this was all about Nenagh Eire Og!


TEAMS – Nenagh Eire Og: Mark Tuite (7); Adam Gratton (7), Hugh Maloney (6), Conor McCarthy (7); Conor Ryan (8), Barry Heffernan (9), Conor Hennessy (8); Daire Quinn (8), James Mackey (7); Michael Heffernan (6), Paddy Murphy (7), Killian Gleeson (8); Tommy Heffernan (9), Jake Morris (9), Philip Hickey (7).

Subs: Sean Phelan (7) for Maloney (30 inj); Pearse Morris (6) for Gratton (55 inj); Adam Healy (6) for Mackey (58); Donnacha Quinn (NR) for Gleeson (60+1).

Thurles Sarsfields: Paddy McCormack (6); Kieran Moloney (6), Cathal Moloney (6), Stephen Maher (5); Michael Cahill (6), Padraic Maher (7), Ronan Maher (8); Stephen Cahill (7), David Corbett (6); Conor Stakelum (6), Aidan McCormack (6), Denis Maher (6); Eoin Purcell (5), Pa Bourke (5), Conor Lanigan (6).

Subs: Lar Corbett (7) for Bourke (24); Michael Gleeson (7) for Purcell (HT); John Maher (6) for Stakelum (34); Tommy Doyle (6) for Lanigan (49).

Referee: Michael Kennedy (Newcastle)

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