County Bord na nOg Match Report
Nenagh Eire Óg ............................. 1-6
Two years ago Nenagh Eire Óg left Semple Stadium disappointed after having lost the County Under 12 hurling final to a last minute point to Holycross-Ballycahill. It was a different story last Saturday as an injury time point gave them a dramatic win over Durlas Óg in a thrilling County Under 14 ‘A’ final at the “Field of Legends”. This was a fabulous contest with the result in doubt right up to the full time whistle. When it looked as if the game would go to extra time up came wing back Michael Collins in the 2nd minute of injury time to strike over the winning point.
Nenagh Eire Óg had the better of the early exchanges but once Conor Lanigan struck a Durlas Óg goal in the 9th minute it was the Thurles boys that were on top for the remainder of the half. Nenagh opened the scoring with a point from a ‘65’ by Barry Heffernan in the 2nd minute and five minutes later they increased their lead with a pointed free from James Mackey. Durlas Óg’s influential centre forward Conor Lanigan received an injury in the 8th minute and this forced their mentors to switch him to corner forward with Graham Maher going into the centre. This move proved inspired as a minute later Lanigan got on the end of a delivery from midfield to flick it to the back of the Nenagh net and he followed this with a point from play and David Fogarty also pointed to leave the scoreboard reading Durlas Óg 1-2 Nenagh Eire Óg 0-2. Eire Óg’s Michael Collins scored a great point in the 18th minute when he gained possession in his own half and soloed twenty metres before striking between the posts from 60 metres on the Ardan Ui Riain stand side. Lanigan replied with a Durlas Óg point before Eire Óg had a great chance of a goal but corner forward Gary Ryan saw his effort shave the upright and go wide. Killian Gleeson brilliantly pointed an Eire Óg free from 70 metres in the 25th minute to leave his team in arrears by 1-3 to 0-4 at the interval.
Eire Óg had the first score of the second half when midfielder Shane Hennessy had a point to leave the minimum between the teams. Durlas Óg replied with two Conor Lanigan points and the teams were level after ten minutes of the half when Barry Heffernan got in behind the Durlas Óg defence to finish to the net. The tempo of the game increased and it was end to end stuff from here until the full time whistle. Both teams had scoring opportunities but the defences were on top with Donnacha Quinn and Killian Gleeson outstanding in the centre of the Eire Óg defence while Durlas Óg’s Jack Lineen and Ronan Maher got in an amount of good defending and cleared many a dangerous situation. The next score which proved to be the winning one didn’t arrive until the 2nd minute of injury time when attacking Eire Óg wing back Michael Collins received possession some 40 metres from the Durlas Óg goal and his strike went straight between the posts to give his team a one point advantage with time almost up. Durlas Óg got one further chance but the Eire Óg defence cleared and the final whistle sounded to end a fabulous contest.
This was a magnificent win for Nenagh Eire Óg who had to dig deep for their success. They had many top class displays none more so than Donnacha Quinn who gave a very impressive performance at full back, Killian Gleeson was a commanding figure at centre back while wing back Michael Collins scored two great points. Shane Hennessy was always involved in the action at midfield and Barry Heffernan was an excellent leader of the attack where James Mackey and Paul O Laoire were also prominent.
Durlas Óg were bitterly disappointed at the final whistle and who could blame them. They came so close to victory. Best on day were Jack Lineen, Ronan Maher, Brian Hanrahan, Kevin Dunne, Graham Maher and top scorer Conor Lanigan who finished with a tally of 1-4.
Team and scorers:
Nenagh Eire Óg : Michael Hallinan; Aodhan Geaney, Donnacha Quinn, Gerard O’Gorman; Michael Collins (0-2), Killian Gleeson (0-1), Andrew Coffey; Philip Hickey, Shane Hennessy (0-1); Christopher Ryan, Barry Heffernan (1-1), James Mackey (0-1); Gary Howard, Paul O Laoire, Conor Ryan. Subs: Paul Browne, Jack Molamphy.
Durlas Óg: Tom Meehan; David Russell, Jack Lineen, Brian Hanrahan; Paul Sammon, Ronan Maher, Caley Maher; Kevin Dunne, David Fogarty (0-1); Graham Maher, Conor Lanigan (1-4), Billy McCarthy; Tom Tierney, Thomas Skehan, Paddy Carroll. Subs: Luke Kelly, Sean Butler.
Referee : Sean Bradshaw (Knockavilla-Donakeigh Kickhams)