Éire Óg were favourites to advance and led by 0-6 to 0-4 by the end of the first quarter. They extended this to 0-10 to 0-7 by the interval with Michael Heffernan, Sean Geaney and Tommy Heffernan each grabbing two points.
Mullinahone needed to step up a gear after the break, particularly their attack which, with the exception of Kelly, was ineffective. But instead the Nenagh boys took control. With 11 minutes to play they were 0-15 to 0-7 clear when Tommy Heffernan swooped for a Nenagh goal that sealed the win.
After a disappointing North championship campaign, this win, following on their defeat of county champions Sarsfields in the last round, will do wonders for Nenagh confidence. Hugh Moloney and John Kennedy shone in defence, and, along with the Heffernans, Donncha Quinn and Sean Geaney, were key figures. Kelly fought a lone battle up front for Mullinahone, getting all their scores. Mullinahone were without the injured Paul Kelly while Paul Curran, AJ Cronin and Niall Curran were others to do well.
Even without injured county panellist James Barry, Upperchurch-Drombane proved far too strong for Holycross-Ballycahill in their second round tie at The Ragg. With the fresh breeze behind them and Pat Shortt, Andy Kinane and LJ Ryan in fine form, Upperchurch established a 0-13 to 0-4 lead by half-time, Holycross scoring only one point from play by Robbie Stakelum.
Holycross required a mighty effort after the break and though they outscored Upperchurch 0-11 to 1-6, they really threatened to catch them. Holycross had the lead down to six points (0-16 to 0-10) with 10 minutes to go but then Upperchurch got the killer goal — Jodie Brennan’s delivery appeared to be going wide when Paul Ryan kept it in play before turning and shooting to score.
It was an encouraging performance from Upperchurch who also had Paul Ryan, Joe McGuire and John Quinn turning in good displays. Holycross defended well but were poor up front, scoring only four points from play, with Jamie Woods hitting 11 from frees. Patrick Stakelum, Pierce Stakelum Michael Doyle, Donncha Duggan, Stephen Ryan and Robbie Stakelum tried hard for them.
The senior hurling championship second round tie between Cappawhite and Burgess scheduled for Newport was postponed until later this week.
In the O Riain Cup, county senior B hurling championship quarter-final, Carrick Davins came from four points down to defeat Cashel 0-15 to 0-14. Cashel are now in a battle to avoid relegation to intermediate ranks.