The versatile number six, who turned up with 1-3 for the Premier in Croke Park last September, produced three extra-time points to settle this delicately balanced Harty Cup quarter-final in Nenagh’s favour.
They faced the prospect of quarter-final exit to the Waterford school for the second year running when Darragh Walsh banged over a fourth consecutive point to give Dermot Dooley’s battlers a slender lead.
De La Salle played with the gale for the second period and goals in either half by captain Thomas Douglas turbo- charged their recovery from eight points adrift. Nenagh sub Kevin McCarthy forced an additional 20 however, in the second minute of injury time (0-17 to 2-11).
The teams were still deadlocked following an opening period when fatigue set in. Salle couldn’t capitalise on the perishing wind sweeping down the field and squandered two frees towards the latter part of the half. On the restart, Morris took up station at full forward. He immediately won a free and drove it between the sticks. In the next play, he beat his marker and hit a sweet point on the turn off his right hand side. Cormac Power got one back before the heroic Douglas, supplier of 2-4 from open play, had a late, late free that dropped just short.
Morris won the toss and elected to start with the elements. Seven unanswered points in a nine-minute spell put them 0-9 to 0-1 up as the game entered the second quarter. The centre-back had free reign throughout this blitz with Sam Flynn protecting his full back line at the opposite end.
Douglas disrupted the pattern. On 21 minutes, Dylan Finn gathered a long distance free and fed Douglas who flicked home from close range. 0-11 to 1-3 at the change of ends.
The Blues resumed with white flags through corner forwards Ruairi Maher and Bryan McLoughney. Five minutes into the second period, the powerful Douglas rumbled past three Nenagh backs and buried goal number two (0-13 to 2-4). Mark Daniels and Billy Seymour kept Nenagh three clear with 10 minutes remaining.
Salle acclimatised to the conditions and bagged four rousing points, two from Walsh and one apiece by Douglas and Cian Wadding. Walsh punched the air when he snuck the two-time champions in front for the very first time on 55 minutes. McCarthy arrested that momentum with a late equaliser and Morris turned the screw in extra-time.
J Morris 0-6 (3fs); M Daniels 0-5 (4fs); J Cahill, B McLoughney, B Seymour 0-2 each; K McCarthy, E Power, R Maher 0-1 each.
T Douglas 2-4; H Ruddle Redmond (2fs), D Walsh 0-3 each; C Giles Doran, C Wadding, C Power 0-1 each.
B Hogan (Kiladangan); C O’Brien (Portroe), D Molloy (Kiladangan), J Maloney (Portroe); C Morgan (Kilruane McDonaghs), J Morris (Nenagh Éire Óg), C Kelly (Kiladangan); J Cahill (Kilruane McDonaghs), S Kirwan (Burgess); C McCarthy (Nenagh Eire Og); M Daniels (Silvermines), B Seymour (Kiladangan); R Maher (Silvermines), E Power (Silvermines), B McLoughney (Kiladangan) Subs: K McCarthy (Toomevara) for Seymour (H-T); M O’Neill (Kilruane McDonaghs) for O’Brien (40); B Seymour for Maher (46); A O’Flaherty (Burgess) for Power (58); D Ryan (Silvermines) for Molloy (76); C O’Brien for Kirwan (80).
S O’Brien (De La Salle); C Ryan (Roanmore), D Hogan (Ballygunner), S Kennedy (Ballygunner); J Troy (Ballygunner), S Flynn (De La Salle), T Foley (Ballygunner); C Giles Doran (De La Salle), D Walsh (Piltown); C Wadding (Roanmore), S Carton (De La Salle), M Hutchinson (Passage); D Finn (De La Salle), T Douglas (De La Salle), H Ruddle Redmond (Ballygunner).
K Hennessy (De La Salle) for Hutchinson (35); F Lawrence (Mooncoin) for Finn (59); R Croke (Mooncoin) for Carton (59); D Finn for Lawrence (60); S Carton for Croke (60); C Power (Ballygunner) for Finn (63).
D Fox (Clare).