Nenagh Eire Og 0-27 Portroe 1-12
Report by Ed Donnelly
Nenagh Eire Og and Portroe got Sunday’s proceedings in the Tipperary Senior Hurling Quarter-Finals off to a start when the game began just before 2pm on a calm day in Semple Stadum Thurles. Mark Gennnery (Portroe) and Tommy Heffernan (Nenagh) traded points in the first minute before a long delay for what appeared to be a bad leg injury to Nenagh corner forward Donnacha Quinn.
Portroe retook the lead on the restart when John Sheedy pointed a free but Nenagh reeled off 9 points on the trot over the next 10 minutes courtesy of sub James Mackey (3), Michael Heffernan, Tommy Heffernan (2), Paddy Murphy (2) and Daire Quinn.
At 10-2 up, this game looked over as a contest. However, Portroe got back in to the game courtesy of points from John Sheedy (free) and James Ryan. Portroe engineered two goal chances soon afterwards but the Nenagh defence thwarted the efforts of James Ryan and Kevin O’Halloran to keep a clean sheet. James Ryan would add a Portroe point from play but points by Shane Hennessy and Andrew Coffey (2) coming up to half-time ensured that Nenagh led by 8 points at the interval, 0-13 to 0-5.
Portroe started the second half with intent as a James Mackey point from play for Nenagh was countered by a goal and a point from Portroe’s Jimmy Creamer. When Ruadhan Mulrooney added a point from play soon afterwards, Portroe had reduced the deficit to four points, 0-14 to 1-7 after 32 minutes.
Nenagh were struggling at this stage and went 19 minutes without a score from play. However, the accuracy of James Mackey and Michael Heffernan from placed balls kept Nenagh ticking over as Portroe failed to get closer than four points during this period. Portroe were struggling to score from play also but two well taken points from sideline cuts by Kevin O’Halloran were highlights of the third quarter.
With ten minutes remaining, Nenagh led by 0-18 to 1-11 and a Portroe goal would have made for an exciting finish. Instead, it was Nenagh who dominated the final stages, outscoring Portroe by 0-9 to 0-1 from the 50th minute onwards. The Nenagh points in this period of dominance were scored by Andrew Coffey (2), Michael Heffernan (4), Tommy Heffernan (2) and James Mackey. A series of substitutions by both teams in the final stages and a yellow card for Portroe’s Ruadhan Mulrooney which in truth deserved more were all that the assembled supporters had to endure as this game petered out to its inevitable conclusion with Nenagh winning by 12 points, 0-27 to 1-12.
Nenagh Eire Og: Michael McNamara; Mark Flannery, Noel Maloney, John Brennan; Barry Heffernan, Hugh Maloney, Daire Quinn (0-1); Conor Ryan, Michael Heffernan (0-6, 0-4 frees); Andrew Coffey (0-4), Paddy Murphy (0-2), Tommy Heffernan (0-5); Donnacha Quinn, Pearse Morris, Shane Hennessy (0-1)
Sub: James Mackey (0-8, 0-6 frees) for Donnacha Quinn (5m), Philip Hickey for Pearse Morris (47m), Kevin Tucker for Conor Ryan (58m), Adam Gratton for Mark Flannery (60m), John Cahalan for Shane Hennessy (61m)
Portroe: Darren Gleeson; Christopher O’Halloran, Noel O’Halloran, Dermot O’Halloran; Michael Creamer, Colm Gleeson, Simon Kelly; Robert Byrne, Jimmy Creamer (1-1); Conor Leo, Mark Gennery (0-1), Ruadhan Mulrooney (0-1); Kevin O’Halloran (0-2 sideline cuts), John Sheedy (0-4 frees), James Ryan (0-2)
Sub: Michael Sheedy (0-1) for Conor Leo (24m), Michael Breen for Jimmy Creamer (57m), Billy Donnellan for Michael Creamer (60m), Cormac Keating for Robert Byrne (60m), Jack Moloney for Ruadhan Mulrooney (60m)
Referee: Paddy Ivors (Ballingarry)