Eire Óg ended up winning the semi-final of the Tipperary Co-Op Super Valu senior hurling championship in a canter at Dundrum on Saturday evening, but for half of the game they had to deal with a determined challege from their opponents Cappawhite.
In fact Cappawhite got off to a brilliant start with a goal in the opening minute and they held sway for most of the first half. The goal by Russell Quirke was a delight to watch with a fast delivery from Gerry O’Neill to Sean Ryan (W) to Quirke.
Cappawhite added on points to lead by 1-4 to 0-4 after 15 minutes. They went further ahead with two more points but they failed to score during the last ten minutes as Eire Óg gradually got a grip on the game. A goal from Conor O’Brien, following a good run and delivery by Donal O’Dwyer in the 22 minute, brought them right into the game and they had the better of the exchanges during the remaining minutes, adding a goal and a point – the goal by Seanie Ryan - to lead by 2-5 to 1-6 at the interval.
The story of the second half is easily told. Two goals by Paudie O’Dwyer in the ninth and eleventh minutes put paid to Cappawhite’s challenge. They recovered somewhat with a string of four points to reduce the deficit to five points with 15 minutes to go.
Then disaster struck with the red-carding of Paul Fitzgerald and the final minutes were reduced to a litany of Eire Óg points to give a final scoreline of 4-14 to 1-11.
Eire Óg got some fine displays from Eoin Kennedy, Paul Downey, Brian Fox, Paudie O’Dwyer and Conor O’Brien, while Cappawhite were best served by Ross Dunne, John McGrath, Tom Treacy and Gerry O’Neill.
Eire Óg: Daragh Mooney, Diarmuid Ryan, Eoin Kennedy, Dan Hogan, Paul Downey (0-1), Brian Fox, Kev Fox (0-1), Eoin Bradshaw (0-1) Tom Fox, Dinny Crosse, Paudie O’Dwyer (2-5), Donal O’Dwyer, Seanie Ryan (1-1), Conor O’Brien (1-2), Ronan O’Brien (0-1). Subs: Patrick Horan (0-1) for Eoin Bradshaw, John Quinn (0-1 (playing in his 34th championship year!) for Dinny Crosse.
Cappawhite: Franny Quinn, Cathal McCarthy, Ross Dunne, Ger Ryan (P), Denis Kelly, John McGrath, Tom Treacy, Michael O’Neill, Jim Carr (0-1), Daragh Barry (0-1), Donagh Heffernan, Kevin Stapleton, Gerry O’Neill (0-8), Russell Quirke (1-0), Sean Ryan (W) (0-1). Subs: Paddy Julian for Michael O’Neill, Noel Ryan ffor Cathal McCarthy. Paul Fitzgerald for Kevin Stapleton
Referee: Fergal Horgan (Kickhams)