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North Intermediate Hurling Championship - 1st Round 2015

posted 6 May 2015, 12:55 by Sluder Bullins   [ updated 6 May 2015, 13:24 ]
Ballinahinch 2-07
Newport 0-17

in Dolla on Saturday 2nd May. Report by Liam Hogan (Nenagh Guardian)

Four points in the last eight minutes helped holders Newport claim a first round win over neighbours Ballinahinch in the opening round of the North Tipperary Intermediate Hurling championship on Saturday afternoon.

Points from Eoin Shinnors (free), Conor Floyd, Pa Ryan and Eamonn McCormack sealed the win for the Mulcair men who found it very difficult to shake off a determined Ballinahinch side.

With recent one sided victories in the county championship, Newport entered the game as very hot favourites. Last years lob-sided North final was another barometer to judge from when Newport won easily.

However this game was far from that despite what the opening minutes indicated with Newport very much in charge. Heavy rain and a stiff breeze at their assistance they established a three point lead with Conor Floyd, Odhran Floyd and Eamonn McCormack scoring inside the opening five minutes.

In the seventh minute, Kevin Mulcahy had Ballinahinch's opening score but three minutes later a busy Conor Floyd replied for Newport. Kevin Mulcahy came back again to halve the deficit with a long range free and added another when Shane McGrath was almost through on goal but was fouled in time to save Newport blushes. That was a let off for Newport.

Driven on by the hard working Stephan O'Connor at centre back, Newport stepped up their game and with Pa Ryan, Odhran FLoyd and Conor Floyd very much involved, they went three points in front after Eoin Shinnors with a free and Conor O'Mahony from play left it 0-6 to 0-3. 

But just when one thought that Newport would take off, a breakaway attack by Ballinahinch saw Mark Kelly deflect a high ball into the path of Raphael Ryan who steered a low ball to the net past Kevin O'Brien.

Ballinahinch were in a nice position for now but their backline conceded too many frees and Eoin Shinnors punished the indiscretions twice from both left and right touchlines.

There was more when Shinnors increased the lead to four with two more frees but approaching half time David Gleeson struck a very good goal after a fine cross-field pass from John Foley came-in from the left wing leaving Newport 0-10 to 2-03 at half time.

After the changeover Kevin Mulcahy levelled with a long range free. Eoin Shinnors gave Newport back the lead with a free but SHane McGrath levelled again on 34 minutes. Five minutes later, a quick free by Conor O'Mahoney put Odhran Floyd through for a score and Eoin Shinnors increased the lead with a free.

However Ballinahinch rallied again, Marcus Ryan never gave up at centre back and the excellent Shane McGrath was forever involved and he hit back with a fine score in the 45th minute. Seconds later the sides were level for the fourth time after Raphael Ryan pointed on the run.

Nothing seperated the sides for the next seven minutes until Eoin Shinnors and Conor Floyd gave Newport a two point lead. Ballinahinch battled but John Foley was deemed to have over carried close to goal and once Newport recovered they added two more points through a busy Pa Ryan with Eamonn McCormack grabbing the final score, securing a hard earned win.

Team: Daragh McGrath; James O'Connor, Donnacha McGrath (Capt), Michael Fitzgerald; Thomas Grace, Marcus Ryan, Paddy Kelly; Shane McGrath (0-2) Ger Grace; Raphael Ryan (1-1), John Skehan, Kevin Mulcahy;(0-4, 3f) Mark Kelly, John Foley, David Gleeson (1-0). Subs: John Ryan (B), for J. O'Connor, Ross Healy for J. Skehan, Cathal Ryan for R. Ryan.