Nenagh Éire Óg out-scored Burgess 2-4 to 1-1 during the last ten minutes to claim victory and ensure a place in the quarter-finals as they finished in top position in group one following a well-contested FBD Insurance County Senior Hurling Championship round three clash at Toomevara last Sunday afternoon.
FBD Insurance County Senior Hurling Championship
Nenagh Éire Óg 2-23 Burgess 2-17
With Loughmore-Castleiney easily accounting for Upperchurch-Drombane in the other group one game the victory for Nenagh was a must and with nine of their players getting on the scoresheet they portrayed the greater ability to win and in truth never looked like losing.
Nenagh dominated from start to finish by taking hold of the game on a number of occasions only for Burgess to produce a comeback. However, when danger lurked Nenagh who could create scoring chances much easier than the opposition and their final flourish was a clear example of what they were capable of.
Éire Óg took an early three-point lead inside the opening six minutes with Michael Heffernan scoring twice either side of a Tommy Heffernan score. Burgess fought back with two points, the first a hard-earned score by Tony Dunne before Stephen Murray added another from a free.
By the 12th minute Nenagh had renewed their three-point lead after Barry Heffernan’s long-range free made it 0-5 to 0-2.
The half was beginning to look like a shoot-out between Michael Heffernan and Stephen Murray, but Nenagh had more than Heffernan in their bag of tricks as Adam Healy picked up his second to make it 0-9 to 0-6 after twenty-three minutes.
Once again Burgess fought back with Tadgh O’Halloran and Stephen Murray (free) narrowing the gap, but Michael Heffernan’s angled free eased Éire Óg into a two-point lead before Murray replied with a free. Then Michael Heffernan scored the best point of the half. Approaching the break Killian Gleeson made a decisive run and earned a free which Heffernan converted.
At half-time Éire Óg led 0-12 to 0-9.
Helped by the breeze in the second half Burgess raised their game and inside the opening two minutes they cut the gap to the minimum thanks to points from Eoin Hogan and Stephen Kirwan.
Nenagh managed to simply pull away again and after another Heffernan free they added four unanswered points through Tommy Heffernan, Jake Morris, Conor Hennessey and another Heffernan free on his own 65-yard line.
But Burgess were not about to give in - Stephen Kirwan forced Michael McNamara to save and so began a wave of Burgess attacks which yielded four points on-the-trot; two Murray frees either side of a fine Johnny Mulqueen point from play while Kirwan also scored to leave his side 0-17 to 0-15 in arrears with thirteen minutes remaining.
Tommy Heffernan, Stephen Murray and Killian Gleeson swapped points, but with Mulqueen, Donagh Maher and Tadgh O’Halloran gaining the upper hand at half-back the supply to the Nenagh end was constant and in the 51st minute their work came to fruition when Tony Dunne scored an equalising goal after he dispossessed Dáire Quinn.
Nenagh decided to switch Paddy Murphy and Michael Heffernan and elsewhere Killian Gleeson continued to dominate midfield while Barry Heffernan exerted his influence at the hearth of the Éire Óg defence.
Nenagh’s responded with points by the aforementioned Heffernan and Murphy. Tony Dunne earned a free and Murray converted, but Andrew Coffey hit back after fielding a high ball from Killian Gleeson.
Then three minutes from time the Burgess defence was caught off guard and suddenly Philip Hickey (who enjoyed a good hour) drove through before dispatching a low shot past Ronan Tucker.
Adam Healy stretched the margin to six, but at the other end Michael McNamara had to be alert under a high ball. The end-to-end fare continued before Andrew Coffey was fouled for a penalty. Jake Morris sent a powerfully placed ball to the net and with his side nine clear there was no little time left except for Tony Dunne to find the net at the other end.
Nenagh Éire Óg: Michael McNamara, Conor McCarthy, Barry Heffernan (0-1, 0-1 free), Adam Gratton, Conor Ryan, Dáire Quinn, Conor Hennessy (0-2), Killian Gleeson (0-2), Philip Hickey (1-0), Paddy Murphy, Tommy Heffernan (0-4), James Mackey, Jake Morris (1-1), Michael Heffernan (0-10, 0-6 frees), Adam Healy (0-2). Subs: Andrew Coffey 0-1 for Mackey (45th), Seán Geaney for Hennessey (48th).
Burgess: Ronan Tucker, Ciarán Ryan, Shane Maher, Pat Woods, Johnny Mulqueen (0-1), Donagh Maher, Tadgh O’Halloran (0-1), Willie Ryan, Jack O’Flaherty, Eoin Hogan (0-1), Tony Dunne (2-1), Danny Ryan, Stephen Murray (0-11, 0-8 frees), Bill O’Flaherty, Stephen Kirwan (0-2). Subs: Keith Nealon for D Ryan (45th), Ben Cooney for J O’Flaherty (55th).
Referee: Séamus Delaney.