Toomevara were required to show significant resolve at MacDonagh Park, Nenagh on Sunday in the opening round of the Hibernian Inn North Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship - despite leading by six at the break (0-11 to 1-2) Roscrea reeled in their rivals and were just a point behind (0-14 to 1-10) with three minutes to play. Niall Rigney’s men, who were playing with the aid of a stiff breeze, appeared to be in a strong position, but the Greyhounds stood tall when it mattered most and progressed to the quarter-finals.
Hibernian Inn North Tipperary Senior
Hurling Championship First Round
Toomevara 0-16 Roscrea 1-11
Both sides struggled to get going on a bitterly cold afternoon. Toomevara appeared the more accomplished outfit for the majority of this contest, but the Roscrea lads will not be impressed to learn that they dropped seven shots short and drove another eleven wide.
As usual Joey McLoughney was terrific for Toomevara and he presented his side with the lead in the opening minute before calamity struck for the misfortunate ‘keeper Darren Cuddihy. The Toome custodian saved well from Fergus Hannon in the third minute, but was then dispossessed by an alert Sam Conlon who fired home from close range.
Toomevara re-claimed the lead thanks to points from Mark McCarthy and Joey McLoughney (two, one free) before Evan Fitzpatrick cracked over a beauty off his left in the tenth minute (0-4 to 1-1).
Joey McLoughney and the lightning fast Shane Fletcher then traded efforts while Toome corner-back Liam Ryan did especially well to block a Conor Sheedy strike in the 14th minute.
The Greyhounds dominated the second quarter when notching six successive points which arrived courtesy of Mark McCarthy (two, one free), Colm Canning, Jack Delaney, Joe McLoughney and Benny Dunne. Indeed, Toomevara led 0-11 to 1-2 at the break and could have enjoyed a much more significant advantage, but Roscrea corner-back David Buckley recovered just in time to save a Mark McCarthy rasper in the 20th minute.
There was still hope, however, for the Roscrea lads who were now playing with the aid of the wind. And, Roscrea took advantage during the opening two minutes of the second half when Jason Fitzpatrick (free) and Fergus Hannon landed rousing points.
Joey McLoughney (free) responded for Toome, but Roscrea hit back with three in succession which cut the Greyhounds’ lead to two entering the final quarter (0-12 to 1-7) - Jason Fitzpatrick (two frees) and Evan Fitzpatrick were responsible for these strikes.
The sides then traded a brace of points apiece before efforts from Evan Fitzpatrick and Sam Conlon left just the minimum between them with three minutes to play (0-14 to 1-10).
Toomevara had wobbled, but Jack Delaney steadied his side with a super point (his third from play) and then Mark McCarthy drilled over a free in the 61st minute. Only a goal could save Roscrea now, but all they could muster in response was a Jason Fitzpatrick free in the 63rd minute.
NORTH TIPPERARY UPDATE
Toomevara are now through to the quarter-finals of the Hibernian Inn North Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship alongside Newport, Portroe and Kiladangan who all enjoyed byes from the opening round of games.
The remaining contests in the opening round, which are likely to go ahead on the week-ending April 22nd, are: Silvermines v Borris-Ileigh, Lorrha-Dorrha v Kilruane MacDonagh’s, Templederry Kenyons v Burgess and Nenagh Éire Óg v Ballina.
Toomevara: Darren Cuddihy, Cathal Kennedy, Andrew Ryan, Liam Ryan, Jake Ryan, Jason Ryan, Darren Delaney, Josh McCarthy, Joey McLoughney (0-7, 0-4 frees), Colm Canning (0-1), David Young, Benny Dunne (0-1), Eoin Grace, Mark McCarthy (0-4, 0-2 frees), Jack Delaney (0-3). Subs: (27th) Seán Flaherty for Colm Canning (blood - reversed in the 29th minute), (41st) Seán Flaherty for Josh McCarthy, (49th) Conor O’Meara for David Young, (51st) Kevin McCarthy for Eoin Grace.
Roscrea: Daryl Ryan, David Buckley, Joe Carroll, Lee Cashin, Shane Davis, Darren O’Connor, Keith McMahon, Evan Fitzpatrick (0-3), Geoff Ryan, Jason Fitzpatrick (0-5, 0-5 frees), Fergus Hannon (0-1), Daniel Ryan, Shane Fletcher (0-1), Sam Conlon (1-1), Conor Sheedy. Subs: (42nd) Jason Gilmartin for Daniel Ryan.
Referee: John Cleary (Knockshegowna).
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