Champions march on

Thomas Keane Reports

County champions The Nire advanced to what is in all purposes a County Senior Football Quarter Final and a meeting with Clashmore this (Tuesday) evening when they beat great rivals Ballinacourty at a freezing cold Fraher Field on Thursday last.
The champions played without Jamie Barron in this game and look set to finish the campaign without the double Hurling All-Star winner after he limped out of their win over Rathgormack in the previous round after just five minutes with a reoccurrence of an injury picked up in the past.

Ballinacourty's Conor Prunty attempts to break clear of The Nire's Tholm Guiry.

Ballinacourty's Conor Prunty attempts to break clear of The Nire's Tholm Guiry.

On the night the current Conway Cup holders were full value for their victory and advancing to play Clashmore, but on another night their overall performance could have cost them dearly as they kicked 13 wides, a tally that would be considered high playing at this level.
The old adage that goals win games proved to be a true one in this game and a goal for the winners either side of the break proved vital for Benji Whelan’s charges.

Diarmuid Murphy for the second game in less than a week got his name on the score sheet playing with the number one on his back, when he kicked a 45 on three minutes.
Patrick Hurney levelled matters on eight minutes when he put over a free and shortly afterwards Shane Walsh attempted to have a green flag waved but he could not get the size 5 past Stephen Enright who made a brilliant save.

Patrick Hurney at the other end gave Ballinacourty the lead when he put over his second free of the evening and the side in green and white hoops then tried their luck to have a green flag waved but Diarmuid Murphy proved equal to the super effort put in my Mark Ferncombe.
Hurney put over another free for Ballinacourty and on 22 minutes a Neil Montgomery effort came crashing off the crossbar. A minute later Mark Ferncombe split the posts to give his side a 2 point lead. But it was The Nire that finished the half stronger.

 The Nire's Michael O'Gorman gets in his kick ahead of Ballinacourty's James O'Mahony

The Nire's Michael O'Gorman gets in his kick ahead of Ballinacourty's James O'Mahony

Tom Barron missed a good goal scoring chance before points from Craig Guiry and Shane Walsh followed to level matters with three minutes of the half remaining.
But the Conway Cup holders would go in at the break with a 1-3 to 0-3 cushion as Conor Gleeson finished to the net as time ticked down in the first half after he was picked out by Darren Guiry.
Ballinacourty started the second half with a Patrick Hurney point which was soon cancelled out with a similar effort from Dylan Guiry.

Conor Gleeson went from goal getter at the end of the first half to goal provider at the start of the second as he picked out Dermot Ryan who finished past Stephen Enright on 35 minutes.

A brace of points from Gary Hurney left four between the sides after which Shane O’Meara and Gary Hurney either side of the mid way point in the second half swapped points to keep The Nire four in front.
Both sides would land one further score each, Shane Ryan kicking the champions last score of the game, with Patrick Hurney doing likewise for his side from a free.

The Nire: Diarmuid Murphy; Justin Walsh, Thomas O’Gorman, Jake Mulcahy; Dermot Ryan, Shane Ryan, Darren Guiry; Craig Guiry, Tholm Guiry; Dylan Guiry, Michael O’Gorman, Seamus Lawlor; Tom Barron, Conor Gleeson, Shane Walsh.

Substitutes: Shane O’Meara for Michael O’Gorman, Michael Moore for Seamus Lawlor, Conal Mulcahy for Jake Mulcahy and Kenny Brazil for Tom Barron.

Scorers: Conor Gleeson and Dermot Ryan (1-0 each), Diarmuid Murphy (0-1 45′), Shane Ryan, Craig Guiry, Dylan Guiry, Shane Walsh, Shane O’Meara (0-1 each).

Ballinacourty: Stephen Enright; Conor McCarthy, Sean O’Hare, David Collins; John Elstead, Brian Lobby, Darragh McGrath; James O’Mahony, John Hurney; Conor Prunty, Patrick Hurney, Shane Briggs; Neil Montgomery, Mark Ferncombe, Michael O’Halloran.

Substitutes: Gary Hurney for John Hurney, Tom Looby for James O’Mahony and Sean Whelan-Barrett for Neil Montgomery.

Scorers: Patrick Hurney (0-4; 0-3f), Gary Hurney (0-3; 0-1f) and Mark Ferncombe (0-1).

Referee: Anthony Fitzgerald.

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