Rampant Nire crush Ardmore

Sean Byrne

Ardmore’s Niall Hennessy gets away from The Nire’s Connie Power. | Photo: Sean Byrne

Nire 1-13; Ardmore 0-7

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In command from start to finish, Nire advanced to the penultimate round of the Lawlors Hotel County Senior Football Championship at Cappoquin on Saturday last by readily disposing of the challenge presented by last year’s beaten finalists Ardmore, just as comfortably as the final scoreline suggests.

The winners, who are already installed as one of the favourites to relieve defending champions Ballinacourty of their hard-won 2007 title, laid down a marker right from the beginning of this all-Western tie: first shooting five wides in as many minutes, before assuming a lead they never subsequently surrendered in the game’s 7th minute, thanks to a super Liam Lawlor point.

Even though the Ballymacarbry men continued to play attractive football, short-handed Ardmore, to their credit, never lost heart and with 17 minutes on the clock were still only a point in arrears.

Martin Walsh had secured the winners second white flag in the 8th minute, before Alan North opened the Seasiders’ account with a badly-needed point five minutes later.

An exchange of points from placed positions by Shane Walsh and Clinton Hennessy in the 15th and 17th minutes respectively suggested that this quarter-final was far from over, but this feeling was dispelled between the 20th and 24th minute when the Nire rifled over four additional points per man of the match Michael O’Gorman, Martin Walsh (two) and a second by Shane Walsh to open up a commanding five-point lead.

By the 28th minute, county hurling goalkeeper Clinton Hennessy had got two back for Ardmore – the second from a free – but again the Nire quickly replied with yet another Shane Walsh point from play to lead by double scores at the break: 0-8 to 0-4.

Clinching score

An early exchange of points involving Brian Wall and Niall Hennessy gave rise to a close second half, but after Ardmore scorned a right good chance of a goal in the 36th minute the outcome was put beyond any lingering doubt just 60 seconds later. In one of the best moves of the match, Michael O’Gorman was on the end of a four-man attack to rattle the Ardmore net for the game’s only goal.

Cathal Hennessy managed a point in response in the 43rd minute, but the Nire hit another purple patch between the 44th and 50th minutes to go nine clear, and it proved no more than token when Richie Hennessy and Martin Walsh swapped points in the last five minutes, leaving the Nire, who last won this championship in 2006, undisputed victors

Huge loss 

Unfortunately this resounding victory came at a cost, as their Interprovincial star Maurice O’Gorman took a heavy first-half knock, and was stretchered off the pitch for hospital attention. Hopefully this most dynamic of footballers will be fit for the November 30th semi-finals.

Also outstanding for the winners were Brian Walsh, Shane Walsh, Thomas and Michael O’Gorman, Liam Lawlor and Martin Walsh, while for the losers such as Seamus and Declan Prendergast, Austin Flavin, Clinton and Niall Hennessy, Kenny Murphy and Wayne Hennessy, but an injury ruled out experienced forward Billy Harty from starting in this match. 

Teams: Tom Flynn, James McGrath, Thomas O’Gorman, Paul Prendergast, John Moore, David Ryan, Maurice O’Gorman, Shane Walsh, Brian Wall, Connie Power, Michael O’Gorman, Liam Lawlor, Martin Walsh, Michael Moore. Subs: Shane McGrath for Maurice O’Gorman, Richie Fenton for M Moore, John O’Gorman for P Prendergast, Anthony O’Gorman for S Walsh, JP Fitzgerald for D Wall.

Scorers: Michael O’Gorman 1-1, Shane Walsh and Martin Walsh 0-4 each, Brian Wall 0-3, and Liam Lawlor 0-1.

Ardmore: Conor Hurley, Austin Flavin, Declan Prendergast, Paul Gleeson, Niall Hennessy, Johnny Hennessy, Anthony Ahearne, Richie Hennessy, Seamus Prendergast, Wayne Hennessy, Alan North, James O’Donnell, Clinton Hennessy, Cathal Hennessy, Kenny Murphy. Subs: Shane Leahy for Maurice O’Gorman, David Hennessy for S Leahy, Patrick Prendergast for C Hennessy, Adrian O’Donnell for A North.

 Scorers: Clinton Hennessy 0-3, Niall Hennessy, Richie Hennessy, Alan North and Cathal Hennessy 0-1 each.

Referee: Tommy O’Sullivan (Cappoquin).

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