Nenagh Eire Óg……………….4-10 Durlas Óg……………….2-10

Nenagh Eire Óg retained the County Under 14 ‘A’ hurling title following victory over Durlas Óg in a high quality and thrilling final at Templederry on Friday evening. The hurling was of the highest standard and both teams gave it their all in the quest to bring county honour to their club. It was a repeat of last years final where Nenagh scored a one point win and this years contest had the large attendance enthralled up to the full time whistle.

Durlas Óg held a two points lead at the interval. The teams were level ten minutes into the second half and then Durlas Óg pulled away again to go five points in front. Nenagh outscored their opponents by 3-3 to 0-1 in the final ten minutes to clinch victory and keep the cup in Nenagh for another year.

It was Durlas Óg who opened the scoring with a Luke Kelly point in the 4th minute. Nenagh replied with points from Shane Hennessy (free) and Jack Malomphy before a Sean Butler point from a Durlas Óg ‘65’ had the match all square by the 10th minute. The next score was the decisive score of the first half. It arrived in the 15th minute when after good work by Adam Garrett who passed to full forward Billy McCarthy and he gave Anthony Walsh no chance in the Nenagh Eire Óg goal. McCarthy followed this with a point to increase Durlas Óg’s advantage. Nenagh scored three points without reply to leave the minimum between the teams with six minutes of the half remaining. John Cahalan, Shane Hennessy (2) were on the target for the Nenagh boys. Durlas Óg’s Faolain Linnane and Nenagh Eire Óg’s Andrew Coffey exchanged points before Durlas Óg’s corner forward Sean Butler had the last score of the half when he pointed a ‘65’ to give his team a 1-5 to 0-6 lead at the interval.

Like the first half it was Durlas Óg’s Luke Kelly who opened the scoring with a point to increase the Thurles advantage. Nenagh replied with a Shane Hennessy point before John Cahalan struck for a goal to give Eire Óg a 1-7 to 1-6 lead after six minutes of the half. Durlas Óg fought back and Anthony Walsh brought off a brilliant save in the Nenagh goal to deprive Adam Garret. Sean Butler pointed a free to level the match and Adam Garret was not to be denied in the 11thminute when he was on hand to finish to the Nenagh net after a Butler effort was saved by Nenagh goalie Anthony Walsh. This left the score Durlas Óg 2-7 Nenagh Eire Óg 1-7. Points from Billy McCarthy and Faolain Linnane increased the Durlas Óg lead to five points. Nenagh didn’t panic and they hit back with two points from the impressive Shane Hennessy before a Jack Malomphy high ball from 45 metres deceived the Durlas Óg goalie, Willian Tierney, who had the sun in his eyes and ended up in the net to level the match at 2-9 each with five minutes of normal time remaining. Durlas Óg replied immediately with a point from substitute Bill Darcy. Nenagh applied the pressure and it paid off when Durlas Óg failed to clear their lines and Conor Ryan hit an unstoppable ground shot to the net. Shane Hennessy added a point to give his team a three points advantage. Durlas Óg to their credit fought back and they launched a number of attacks but were unable to find a way through an excellent Nenagh defence. With the game deep in injury time Nenagh broke out of defence and Craig Hilmi scored his team’s fourth goal to seal victory for the North champions.

Both teams are to be complimented on serving up a cracking contest with the result in doubt up to the final whistle. Nenagh Eire Óg will be more than pleased with this win. Their team showed great character and they finished very strongly. Shane Hennessy was outstanding at centre forward and he finished as top scorer with seven points. Andrew Coffey was very influential at centre back and he cleared many a dangerous situation. Others to have notable performances were Aodhan Geaney, Philip Hickey, Conor Ryan and John Cahalan.

Durlas Óg were bitterly disappointed at the final whistle. They never gave up and fought to the very end. They were well served by Tom Skehan, Shane Lanigan Ryan and Paul Sammon in defence with Luke Kelly impressing at midfield. Billy McCarthy, Adam Garrett and Sean Butler caught the eye in their attack.

Teams and scorers:

Nenagh Eire Ó: Anthony Walsh; Gavin O’Connor, Aodan Geaney, Jake Morris; Connie O’Reilly, Andrew Coffey (0-1), Oisin Ryan; Philip Hickey, Conor Ryan (1-0); Jack Malomphy (1-1), Shane Hennessy (0-7), Jack Sheedy; Adam Healy, John Cahalan (1-1), Brian Flynn. Subs: Keelan Higginston, Dylan Walsh, Craig Hilmi (1-0).

Durlas Ó: William Tierney; Jack Carroll, Tom Skehan, Mark Conway, Shane Lanigan Ryan, Paul Sammon, Seamie Hanafin; Luke Kelly (0-2), Cathal Moloney; Rory Purcell, Faolain Linnane (0-2), Aaron McCormack; Adam Garrett (1-0), Billy McCarthy (1-2), Sean Butler (0-3). Sub: Bill Darcy (0-1).

Referee: Seamus Roche (Kilsheelan-Kilcash).