Clean Ireland Recycling Co SHC semi-final Nenagh Eire Og 1-17 Kildangan 0-12
A game which failed to live up to expectation, due in the main to Nenagh’s dominance, the result was never really in any doubt from the 20 minute mark with Kildangan looking lethargic and leaden-legged following the exertions of four consecutive weekends on the road. Their usual energy and pace was missing and Nenagh Eire Og was the side which bossed this one and dictated the pace of proceedings.
Although Kildangan led from the front on three occasions in the opening minutes thanks to Ruairi Gleeson pointed frees, Nenagh Eire Og held a 0-6 to 0-3 lead after 17 minutes - the evergreen Kevin Tucker (3), Michael Heffernan (2) and Paddy Murphy getting on the board for them. But, a Richie Flannery goal in the 21st minute was to prove decisive - and a well taken goal it was too after he got onto an Andrew Coffey delivery and beat Darragh Egan with the effort.
The goal gave Nenagh Eire Og a lot of condfidence and they began to build on the initiative as half time approached. A brace of pointed frees from Gleeson kept Kildangan in touch but Michael Heffernan, Tucker again with two, and a Heffernan pointed free , left Nenagh with a 1-10 to 0-6 interval lead. That lead could have been more substantial had it not been for a number of stops from Egan. And, as they trudged off at the break , the 3,425 in attendance knew that Kildangan really needed to lift it big time in the second half, if they were to make any impression. They didn’t.
Michael Heffernan had made a huge impact in the first half and an injury to Kildangan centre back Gerry Slattery left him in more subdued form. Nenagh looked slicker and were able to use possession far better than their counterparts who were not causing any problems for the opposition defence.
The game needed a Kildangan goal but it wasn’t to come. Instead, Nenagh pressed on with Richie Flannery, Paul Ryan and Michael Heffernan (2) extending their lead to 1-14 to 0-7 - Gleeson getting Kildangans score again from a free.
Nenagh were very fortunate to remain at full compliment when wing back Billy Heffernan felled Ruairi Gleeson with a clumsy overhead pull - referee Keith Delahunty gave him the benefit of the doubt and produced a yellow card when most in attendance were in no doubt as to what colour it should have been. It was a niggly, messy encounter all through and eight yellow cards were produced with the victors seeing two.
Kildangan’s go to man for a goal has been keeper Darragh Egan from 21 yard frees, but even a 17th minute effort from him blazed over the crossbar - an indication of the way the game was going for them.
Nenagh Eire Og were in no mood to let the game slip on this occasion and scores from Paddy Murphy and a brace from Michael Heffernan saw them over the line with much to spare with Gleeson, Jack Loughnane and Joe Gallagher ensuring a strong, but fruitless Kildangan finish.
Nenagh Eire OG were impressive in this game and the solid defence led by Noel Moloney and his brother Hugh, linked very well with the Barry Heffernan and Kevin Tucker pair at midfield to set up many attacks - Tucker and Barry Heffernan really complimented each other, with Michael Heffernan playing a deeper role but revelling in the space afforded. Paddy Murphy, Richie Flannery and Paul Ryan too were prominent on a good outing for side which has now accounted for the defending Munster and county champions, and two divisional champions in the campaign.
Kildangan can have no complaints about the result of this one -Nenagh Eire Og were simply the better side. Their fine campaign came to an end and they will probably point to fatigue as having a big impact on their end game. Ruairi Gleeson was their most dangerous attacker while Jack Loughnane, Hughie Flannery, Martin Minehan and keeper Darragh Egan who helped keep Nenagh at bay were their best on a disappointing day for them.
Teams and Scorers:
Nenagh Eire Og:M McNamara, M Flannery, N Moloney, J Brennan, D Quinn, H Moloney, Billy Heffernan, Barry Heffernan, K Tucker 0-5, P Morris, M Heffernan 0-8, A Coffeyt, P Ryan 0-1, P Murphy 0-2, R Flannery 1-1. Subs: J Mackey, K Gleeson, A Kelly.
Kildangan: D Egan 0-1, D Sweeney, M Minehan, F Hayes, H Flannery, G Slattery, G Byrne, J Loughnane 0-1, T Connors, R Gleeson 0-6, J Gallagher 0-1, E Kelly, W Connors, D Hackett, T Gallagher. Subs: E Gleeson 0-1,B Kelly, P Flynn, P Kelly.
Referee: K Delahunty (Moyle Rovers)