As expected Eire Ã“g overcame the opposition of Cashel King Cormacs in the West Tipperary senior hurling championship semi-final at Dundrum on Monday evening, having eleven points to spare at the end on a scoreline of 1.20 to 1-9.
Eire Ã“g started off at a great pace and had five points on the board before Cashel registered with a Jonathan Grogan free in the twelfth minute. Paudie Oâ€™Dwyer had the opening two points and Ronan Oâ€™Brien followed up with three points from frees.
A feature of the first half was the large number of frees for Eire Ã“g, eleven in all as against five for Cashel. Six of Eire Ã“gâ€™s first half scores came from placed balls.
After the initial Eire Ã“g onslaught Cashel settled down and contained their opponents fairly well during the middle of the half so that Eire Ã“g managed only one point between the ninth and the twenty-second minutes.
They added two points at the end of that period but Cashel got an important break in the twenty-fifth minute when a sideline puck by Michael Coleman was deflected into his own net by the Eire Ã“g goalkeeper.
During the remainder of the half Eire Ã“g added three points and Cashel scored one to leave the half-time score 0-11 to 1-3.
Cashel held their own during the third quarter scoring four points, three from frees, to Eire Ã“gâ€™s three. Then in the fifteenth minutes the Eire Ã“g forwards put together a fine movement and Seanie Ryan finished it off to the Cashel net, giving the goalkeeper no chance. This put them ahead by 1-14 to 1-7.
One expected Eire Ã“g to accelerate after this score but they never did, chiefly due to a good performance by Cashel backs. They did add six points to two for Cashel for a final score of 1-20 to 1-9.
While Eire Ã“g will be happy to have won they wonâ€™t be quite satisfied with their performance. Perhaps the conditions were against a more fluent display but the team didnâ€™t move with the same teamwork and cohesion one has come to expect of them. They got good performances from Kev Fox, Richard Ryan, Padraig Oâ€™Dwyer, Donal Oâ€™Dwyer and Ronan Oâ€™Brien.
Although Cashel were well-beaten in the end they will regret the poverty of their forward line. The backs played well and the forwards got a good supply of the ball but they failed again and again to do anything with it. Two points from play was a terribly poor return for a lot of possession. Simon Delaney, Lee Burke, Mickey Coleman, Jonathan Grogan and Darren Oâ€™Dea tried hard.
Eire Ã“g: Darragh Mooney, Diarmuid Ryan, Richard Ryan, Michael Oâ€™Dwyer, Kev Fox, Conor Oâ€™Brien, Tom Fox, Brian Fox, Dan Hogan, Donal Oâ€™Dwyer (0-2), Eoin Kennedy (0-1), Ronan Oâ€™Brien (0-10), Seanie Ryan (1-1), Paudie Oâ€™Dwyer (0-4), Damian Oâ€™Brien (0-2).
Cashel King Cormacs: Kevin Oâ€™Sullivan, Tony Hewitt, Ronan Oâ€™Donoghue, Brian Minogue, Simon Delandy, Lee Burke, Ross Doyle, Mickey Coleman (1-0), Edmond Oâ€™Dwyer, Turlough Bonnar, Eddie Walsh, Jonathan Grogan (0-8), GearÃ³id Slattery (0-1), Eoin Laffan, Darren Oâ€™Dea. Sub: David Shields for Darren Oâ€™Dea.
Referee: Sean Bradshaw (Kickhams).