An improved second half helped Borris-Ileigh to justify their favouritism as they secured an easy win over a very young and inexperienced Newport side at a very cold Dolla last Sunday afternoon.
Hibernian Inn North Tipperary Senior
Hurling Championship First Round
Borris-Ileigh 0-20 Newport 0-9
Playing against a strong wind in the first half Borris-Ileigh were matched all the way by an enthusiastic Newport side and Borris led 0-6 to 0-5 at half-time. The second half was a different story though as Borris-Ileigh’s experience told when the youthful Kevin Maher and James Devaney plus the older Conor Kenny led the attack as that trio scored eleven points in total while Brendan Maher was lord and master at centre-back.
The only downside to Borris-Ileigh’s victory was the sight of Dan McCormack leaving the field with what appeared to be a shoulder injury.
Borris-Ileigh prepared for their game in the knowledge they would not have full-back Paddy Stapleton who had to sit this one out because of a one-match suspension. However they didn’t expect to have fears of Brendan Maher not making the start after he was reported for abuse by referee Kevin Jordan following Borris-Ileigh’s win over Clonoulty-Rossmore last week. Borris-Ileigh appealed and the former Tipperary captain got a reprieve.
Liam Ryan filled in for Paddy Stapleton and Jody Harkin replaced Ciaran Cowan who was also injured while Newport lined out without Darragh Carroll who was also suspended following the previous weekend’s county championship encounter against Silvermines.
Weather conditions didn’t help as a swaying breeze made life difficult for forwards. Jerry Kelly opened the scoring for Borris-Ileigh after three minutes before Conor Floyd levelled matters a minute later.
Scoring chances were few but Borris-Ileigh eventually managed three points between the 12th and 21st minute period with Kevin Maher pointed a free, followed by a delightful point from James Devaney before Kevin Maher scored his first from play.
Newport failed to reap any scores until Peter O’Sullivan pointed from play in the 22nd minute with Eoin Shinnors adding a free a minute later.
Cold hands made life difficult and turnovers were frequent as Conor Kenny put Borris two in front before Darren Moore hit the target in the 24th minute. With both defences continuing to dominate there was little by way of chances for the remainder of the half, but approaching half-time both Brendan Maher and Eoin Shinnors landed frees to leave the half-time scoreline reading Borris-Ileigh 0-6 Newport 0-5.
BORRIS-ILEIGH DIDN'T WASTE TIME
Borris-Ileigh didn’t waste much time in gaining a foothold after the break as Dan McCormack, Conor Kenny and Kevin Maher (free) helped stretch the lead to four by the 37th minute.
Newport tried to force a score, but chances went abegging before Jack Hogan increased the Borris lead with a point from fifty metres.
Another Devaney point left six between the teams, but Eoin Shinnors kept Newport in the frame momentarily. His team were in trouble though as Brendan Maher mopped up everything in sight and Borris-Ileigh could afford to go on another scoring spree with Maher himself scoring a sixty-metre free before Jack Hogan and Conor Kenny scored two brilliant points before Dan McCormack increased the lead to nine.
Peter O’Sullivan replied for Newport, but at the other end Michael Flannery denied a Jerry Kelly effort resulting in a '65 which Brendan Maher converted. Conor Floyd’s score left it double scores, but in the final straight Borris heaped more misery on Newport as Kevin Maher (twice) and Jack Hogan left no doubt about the outcome. Borris-Ileigh will take beating.
Borris-Ileigh: James McCormack, Seamus Bourke, Sean McCormack, Liam Ryan, Jody Harkin, Brendan Maher (0-3, 0-2 frees, 0-1 '65), Ray McCormack, Tommy Ryan (0-1), Jack Hogan (0-3), Dan McCormack (0-2), Jerry Kelly (0-1), Niall Kenny, Kevin Maher (0-5, 0-2 frees), Conor Kenny (0-3), James Devaney (0-3). Subs: (54th) Shane Kenny for D McCormack.
Newport: Mike Flannery, Aidan Ryan, Conor O’Mahoney, Rob Houlihan, Cian Flanagan, Sean O’Brien, Odhran Floyd, Andrew Hickey, Peter O’Sullivan (0-2), Aaron O’Neill, Pa Ryan, Conor Floyd (0-1), Eoin Shinnors (0-4, 0-4 frees), Darren Moore (0-1), Padraig Hogan. Subs: (46th) Dan Carew for Moore, (52nd) Colin (0-1) Floyd for A O’Neill, (59th) Conor Keating for Flanagan.
Referee: Ger Fitzpatrick (Roscrea).