Portroe finished the stronger side as they defeated Roscrea in an entertaining Hibernian Inn North Tipperary Senior Hurling quarter final in Thomas MacDonagh Park, Cloughjordan last Thursday evening.
The six point winning margin was the biggest in a game that had plenty thrills and spills at both ends.
Roscrea had problems at the start as their experienced Enda Fitzgerald failed to start and was replaced by Liam England with Sean Fitzgerald switching from the attack to full back. Jason Fitzpatrick lined our for Denis Moloney.
Portroe put the experienced John Ryan at full forward as their team stormed into the game with a 1-2 spree in the opening five minutes. Kevin O’Halloran point was the opening score with Mark Gennery adding a second after his point blank shot cannoned off Kevin Dooley in the Ros goal.
Further Port pressure ensued when mark Gennery caught Darren Gleeson’s high free before Gennery fed John Sheedy who dispatched to the net. But Roscrea, recovered smartly with three Davin Flynn frees and a Tommy Fitzgerald point all coming by the 13th minute.
John Sheedy and Kevin O’Halloran were a constant threat to the Roscrea backline as the
duo combined for Sheedy to grab two points, the first from a free before the experienced Liam England replied.
At the other end, John Ryan moved to the forty and was busy stringing Port’s play together as he put Simon Kelly through for a point.
However, Roscrea were looking stronger with each passage of play with David Buckley, Darren O’Connor and Darragh Spooner keeping plenty ball running towards their attack where Padraig Carroll and Davin Flynn scored.
A John Sheedy point, eight minutes from the break was important for Port but Roscrea increased the pressure and another Liam England point followed by another Padraig Carroll score left the teams level 1-6 to 0-9 at half time.
Scores were to be level twice more in the opening five minutes of the second half. Davin Flynn gave Roscrea the early lead but his team lost Liam England through injury. A quick O’Halloran point left the teams level. Jason Fitzpatrick put Roscrea ahead once more before another O’Halloran point helped draw level again.
Portroe began to create a number of runs down the left flank, close to the covered stand and the latest effort had John Ryan cutting holes in the opposition.
A quick lay of for O’Halloran, who was racing along in support saw the eighteen year old use his head, shorten the grip and blast low past Dooley.
John Sheedy increased the lead to four on forty minutes. Padraig Carroll replied for Roscrea but Port stormed back and in the end, Michael Sheedy blasted for a point with the Port forward quiet adamant that the ball had gone under the crossbar and through a hole in the roof of the net.
The umpires signaled a point and after consultation with referee Pat Gibson, the point stood.
Roscrea reacted well. Points by Mark O’Meara and Davin Flynn brought them back in contention. A quick response from John Sheedy left three before his cousin Conor replied for Roscrea.
There was no let up in the action with Darren Gleeson’s long puckout reaching Dinny Hogan and the substitute scored.
Davin Flynn’s sixty five cut the deficit to two. John Ryan replied for Port before another sixty five by Flynn left two points separating the sides and fifty minutes gone.
Another long puckout by Darren Gleeson reached Kevin O’Halloran who picked up a good point.
Port attacked again with Mark Gennery rounding his marker and went for a goal and succeeded despite the best efforts of Kevin Dooley.
The goal put daylight between the teams and the outcome was more or less settled. Portroe had much more of the play for the next five minutes or so but failed to increase their lead. Roscrea had their moment or two and before we knew it, ten minutes had elapsed without a score.
Roscrea tried once more but the Port defence remained watertight but Padraig Carroll managed a point.
The lengthy puckout had Roscrea in trouble as John Ryan raced clear to pick up a good point with play now in injury time. Still enough for Tommy Fitzgerald to bring the best out of Darren Gleeson.
It was not enough and Portroe marched on to the semi final to meet Nenagh on this Monday 2nd June.
Scorers: Portroe – John Sheedy 1-5 (0-1f); K O’Halloran 1-4; M Gennery 1-1; John Ryan 0-2; S Kelly, M Sheedy and D Hogan 0-1 each.
Roscrea- D Flynn 0-8 (0-3f, 0-2’65); P Carroll 0-4; L England 0-2; M O’Meara, J Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fitzgerald and C Sheedy 0-1 each.
Portroe: Darren Gleeson; Christopher O’Riordan, Noel O’Halloran, Dermot O’Halloran; Michael Creamer, Colm Gleeson, Justin Conroy; Jimmy Creamer, Simon Kelly; James Ryan, Michael Sheedy, Kevin O’Halloran; John Sheedy, John Ryan, Mark Gennery. Subs: Dinny Hogan for J Ryan (43); David Gleeson for J Sheedy (67).
Roscrea: Kevin Dooley; David Buckley, Sean Fitzgerald, Conor Bergin; Darren O’Connor Diarmuid Fitzgerald, Keith McMahon; Darragh Spooner, Liam England; Marc O’Meara, Padraig Carroll, Jason Fitzpatrick; Joe Carroll, Tommy Fitzgerald, Davin Flynn. Subs: Denis Moloney for England [inj] (32); Conor Sheedy for S Fitzgerald (46); Jamie Bergin for O’Meara (54); Ethan Flynn for Carroll (55).
Referee: Pat Gibson, Burgess