Nenagh Éire Óg too strong for Kildangan in Tipperary SHC semi-final replay
Mikey Heffernan stars for winners in bad-tempered encounter
Nenagh Éire Óg 1-17 Kildangan 0-12: Mikey Heffernan was the star turn in Thurles yesterday as Nenagh Éire Óg advanced to a first Tipperary SHC final since 2006.
The Blues claimed an eight-point win in a disappointing semi-final replay against north divisional rivals Kildangan.
In what was an ill-tempered affair, Ritchie Flannery’s 21st minute goal set 1995 county champions Nenagh on their way to a routine win.
Kildangan had come from nine points down in the drawn match to force a replay but there would be no memorable comeback on this occasion.
Nenagh led by 1-10 to 0-6 at half-time and the second half was a procession for the Blues.
Both teams can consider themselves fortunate to have finished with their full compliment of players as real needle hung over this rematch.
Referee Keith Delahunty dished out seven yellow cards - including five for Kildangan players.
Heffernan, who has won All-Ireland minor, U21, senior and intermediate medals with Tipperary, rose above the gloom in Thurles.
He scored eight points, including four from play, as Nenagh set up a final meeting with Loughmore-Castleiney next Sunday.
3,425 spectators looked on as Kildangan, playing for a fourth successive weekend, finally exited the county championship. Kildangan looked leggy and didn’t register a score from play until just before half-time.
KILDANGAN: D Egan (0-1f); D Sweeney, M Minehan, F Hayes; H Flannery, G Slattery, G Byrne; J Loughnane (0-1), T Connors; W Connors, J Gallagher (0-1), E Kelly; T Gallagher, R Gleeson (0-7, 6f), D Hackett. Subs: E Gleeson (0-1) for Tommy Connors (29 mins), B Kelly for Hayes (half-time), P Flynn (0-1) for E Kelly (48 mins), P Kelly for Hackett (54 mins).
NENAGH ÉIRE ÓG: M McNamara; M Flannery, N Moloney, D Quinn; B Heffernan, H Moloney, B Heffernan; J Brennan, K Tucker (0-5, 3f); P Ryan (0-1), M Heffernan (0-8, 3f, 1 65), P Morris; A Coffey, R Flannery (1-1), P Murphy (0-2).
Subs: J Mackey for Morris (49 mins), K Gleeson for Ryan (51 mins), A Kelly for Coffey (57 mins).
Referee: K Delahunty (Moyle Rovers).