Gibson late goal rallies Nenagh to victory over gallant Dunmanway

Nenagh VS 2-10 Maria Immaculata, Dunmanway 1-8

However, the Dunmanway students acquitted themselves extremely well in their inaugural appearance in a provincial hurling competition, and for a time scared the daylights out of their more fancied opponents.

When Dunmanway went a point in front for the first time coming up to the last quarter a surprise result appeared on the cards but, sensing danger, Nenagh pulled out all the stops when the need was greatest for a five-point triumph.

Although Nenagh enjoyed the benefit of the wind in the first half it was all square at two points apiece at the end of the first quarter with a dogged west Cork side defending magnificently.

It was 0-6 to 0-2 in Nenagh’s favour at half time, following points without reply from Michael Hogan, chief marksman Joe McLoughney, Michael Heffernan and Damien Boland.

When stylish centre forward Jerry McCarthy, who scored six points in all, converted a free within seconds of the resumption Dunmanway were right back in the thick of things. However, they had a mountain to climb a minute later when Nenagh wing-forward Damien Corcoran netted a rebound after his first attempt had been brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Patrick Buttimer.

Dunmanway responded in exemplary style. McCarthy’s free-taking kept them in touch and they drew level in the 41st minute when full forward Stephen Brennan batted home a high free from McCarthy.

Dunmanway grabbed the lead with a point from Patrick McCarthy a minute later and with Tadhg O’Leary hurling well at centre-back and both Brendan O’Mahony and Seamus O’Driscoll working their socks off at midfield it was Nenagh’s turn to soak up the pressure.

They did so splendidly with Simon Kelly, Eamonn O’Rourke and the impressive McLoughney starring in defence. The tide turned again in Nenagh’s favour following substitute Gibson’s fine strike in the 50th minute.

A late flurry of points from McLoughney, who hit over three frees, and Michael Creamer sealed victory for Nenagh but hats off to Dunmanway, who went down fighting to the bitter end.

Scorers: Nenagh: D. Corcoran 1-0; L. Gibson 1-0; J. McLoughney 0-5 (0-5 from frees); M. Heffernan 0-2; M. Hogan, D. Boland and M. Creamer 0-1 each.

Maria Immaculata: S. Brennan 1-0; J. McCarthy 0-6 (0-4 from frees; 0-1 from 65); D. McCarthy and P. McCarthy 0-1 each.

NENAGH VOCATIONAL: K. Foley; S. Kelly, J. Quigley, E. O’Rourke; N. McCormack, J. McLoughney, J. Gallagher; E. Ryan, D. Boland; A. Hughes, S. Slattery, D. Corcoran; J. Duignan, M. Hogan, M. Heffernan. Subs. L. Gibson for Ryan; M. Creamer for Duignan.

MARIA IMMACULATA: P. Buttimer; C. Hurley, C. Cahalane, B. O’Leary; D. McCarthy, T. O’Leary, L. Murphy; B. O’Mahony, S. O’Driscoll; D. McCarthy, J. McCarthy, P. McCarthy; B. McCarthy, S. Brennan, D. Crowley.

Referee: N. Barrett (Carrigtwohill).

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