Andrew Ruddle proves the hero as Newcastle West book spot in Munster semi-final

Goalkeeper’s late save earns west Limerick side a semi-final clash with Kerry champions

Eoin Hurley hit five points for Newcastle West in the Munster club SFC quarter-final against The Nire. Photograph: Tom O’Hanlon/Inpho

Eoin Hurley hit five points for Newcastle West in the Munster club SFC quarter-final against The Nire. Photograph: Tom O’Hanlon/Inpho

 

Newcastle West 0-8 The Nire 0-6

Andrew Ruddle proved to be the hero as Newcastle West advanced to the Munster Club SFC semi-finals thanks to 0-8 to 0-6 win over Waterford champions The Nire at a rain-swept Newcastle West on Saturday afternoon.

With his side leading by two points deep into injury-time, the Newcastle West goalkeeper kept the Magpies’ dreams alive with a superb save as Tom Barron bore down on goal and set up a semi-final showdown with the Kerry SFC champions.

Michael Ryan’s The Nire side opened the scoring after five minutes as Dylan Guiry beautifully kicked over the ball after beating his marker with a dummy. Newcastle West, who were facing a strong breeze in the opening half responded well and Eoin Hurley

The visitors were missing five players due to Covid-19, three of which were named in the starting 15 earlier in the week – club captain James McGrath, Jamie Barron and Shane O’Meara.

Newcastle West were missing their star man Cian Sheehan due to injury.

Both sides were level at four points apiece at half-time with The Nire’s Dermot Ryan slotting over a ‘45’ with the last kick of the opening 30 minutes.

The score of the game came minutes after the restart as AJ O’Connor drew the sides level for the final time at 0-6 apiece.

An Eoin Hurley free – his fifth of the afternoon – and a Diarmuid Kelly effort ensured the west Limerick side saw out a historic win on home turf.

With minutes to go, the game was stopped for a serious-looking injury to Newcastle West left half back Séamus Hurley, with a resulting nine minutes of stoppage time being added on by Clare referee Chris Maguire.

In two weeks’ time, Newcastle West will take on the winner of the Kerry SFC final between Austin Stacks and Kerins O’Rahillys which takes place in Austin Stack Park in Tralee on Sunday.

NEWCASTLE WEST: Andrew Ruddle; Michael O’Keeffe, Darren O’Doherty, Brian O’Sullivan; Eoin Murphy, James Kelly, Séamus Hurley; AJ O’Connor (0-1), Iain Corbett (capt); Seán Murphy, Shane Stack, Brian Hurley; Bryan Nix, Mike McMahon (0-1), Eoin Hurley (0-5, five frees)

Subs: Diarmuid Kelly (0-1) for Brian Hurley (39 mins), Steven Brosnan for Kelly (43), Lee Woulfe for Séamus Hurley (58), Ruadhán O’Connor for Eoin Hurley (69).

THE NIRE: Craig Guiry, Seán Boyce, Thomas O’Gorman, Jake Mulcahy; Tom Barron, Tholom Guiry, Dermot Ryan (0-1, one 45); David Meehan, Seán Walsh; Dylan Guiry (0-1), Conor Gleeson (0-2, one free), Michael O’Gorman; Aaron Ryan, Shane Ryan (0-1, one free), Kyle Cuddy (0-1)

Subs: Tommy Cooney for S Ryan (30 mins), Oisín Walsh for Cuddy (67).

Referee: Chris Maguire (Clare).

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