Jamie Bergin grabbed a hat-trick of goals as Roscrea ended Cashel’s hopes of county senior hurling championship glory in a rather tame second round tie at Templemore on Sunday evening, winning 4-13 to 1-9
While neither side would be considered likely title winners, both had their hopes of a good run to recapture former glory and keep their season alive, but only Roscrea went away with their challenge intact, although they will realise that stiffer tests lie ahead.
Roscrea got the ideal start when Jamie Bergin first-timed a loose ball to the net after only two minutes. Ethan Flynn added a brace of points as Cashel struggled to find their feet.
In the fourth minute, Jonathan Grogan, their scorer-in-chief, got them moving with a fine goal and by the 10th minute the sides were level at 1-3 each after a very brisk opening. However, the frailties in the Cashel defence were apparent as Davin Flynn raced through to set up Jamie Bergin for Roscrea’s second goal in the 13th minute.
A brace of Jonathan Grogan Cashel points from frees took the sting out of that goal but the second quarter belonged to Roscrea, and they struck their most telling blow on the stroke of half-time as Ethan Flynn punished poor Cashel defending with a goal and a half-time lead of 3-7 to 1-6 for Roscrea.
Seven points adrift, the game was by no means beyond Cashel’s reach but they needed a strong second half performance, and in particular they needed to tighten up in defence. This did not materialise. After only a minute, Joe Carroll and Davin Flynn linked up to present Jamie Bergin with the chance of his third goal and he did not have to be asked twice.
There was no way back for Cashel and they appeared to acknowledge that even though they tried manfully to mount a challenge. Roscrea stayed comfortably in control, finishing with three points in the closing minutes for a most deserved thirteen points win and a place in the third round of the competition.
Jamie Bergin’s hat-trick of goals entitled him to Man of the Match status, and he also rifled over four tidy points, a clear indication of the threat he will present to any opposition. But this was not a one-man Roscrea attack, as Ethan Flynn, Davin Flynn and Padraic Carroll were also very influential. In defence, Sean and Diarmuid Fitzgerald saw to it that Cashel forwards got little scope. Denis Moloney also did very well.
It was a disappointing outcome for Cashel who appeared to have recovered from their slow start only to lapse again. However, their’s is a young side who will surely benefit from the experience, and perhaps set up the platform for a return of the glory days to this great stronghold of Tipperary hurling.
Jonathan Grogan’s accuracy was crucial to their challenge and the endeavours of Mickey Coleman, Eddie Walshe, Lee Burke, and Ronan O Donoghue, were all worthy of acclaim.
Roscrea – Conor Sheedy; David Buckley, Enda Fitzgerald, Conor Bergin; Sean Fitzgerald, Diarmuid Fitzgerald, Keith McMahon; Darragh Spooner, Denis Moloney; Joe Carroll, Padraic Carroll (0-2), Davin Flynn (0-5); Ethan Flynn (1-2), Tommy Fitzgerald, Jamie Bergin (3-4); Subs- Jason Fitzpatrick for T Fitzgerald; Mark O Meara for D Fitzgerald;
Cashel – Kevin O’Sullivan; Tony Hewitt, Ronan O’Donoghue, Ross Doyle; Edmund O’Dwyer, Lee Burke, David Shiels; Eddie Walshe (0-1), Simon Delaney; Turlough Bonnar (0-1), Mickey Coleman, Dylan Fitzelle (0-1); Gearoid Slattery (0-1), Eoin Laffan, Jonathan Grogan (1-5);
Referee – Paddy Ivors, Ballingarry