O’Loughlin point earns Ardscoil a second chance

A late point from sub Michael O’Loughlin earned Ardscoil Ris a replay in their Harty Cup semi-final against Nenagh CBS in Tipperary Town on Sunday. The game finished Ardscoil Ris 2-8 Nenagh CBS 1-11.

A late point from sub Michael O’Loughlin earned Ardscoil Ris a replay in their Harty Cup semi-final against Nenagh CBS in Tipperary Town on Sunday. The game finished Ardscoil Ris 2-8 Nenagh CBS 1-11.

There is no doubt that champions Ardscoil Ris used their get out of jail card in this Dr Harty Cup semi-final.

Trailing 1-11 to 2-6 entering the final minute somehow Ardscoil Ris dug deep to find two points to extend their 18 game unbeaten run in the Harty Cup.

Jack Kelleher got the first score to set up a grandstand finsh and then sub Micheal O’Loughlin became the hero when he coolly dummied his marker before making light of the tight space to loft over.

Nenagh, who defeated favourites Thurles after a replay in their quarter-final, started like a train and were 1-2 to no score clear after five minutes. Tipperary All-Ireland minor football winner Stephen O’Brien had their goal in the fifth minute.

An off-colour Ardscoil came to life in the 11th minute when Lukas O’Brien finished to the net with aplomb.

Ronan Lynch won and pointed the resulting puckout and Jody Hannon had the game level in the 14th minute. But back came Nenagh with free-taker Jason Forde unerring.

Kevin O’Brien responded and then in the 22nd minute Ardscoil had their second goal after William O’Donoghue was fouled, Jamie Shanhan crashed the penalty to the net.

One of four that started last year’s Harty final, Shanahan had missed two earlier frees but blasted the penalty low to the net for a 2-3 to 1-4 lead.

Forde hit back with a free but depite playing under par and hitting five wides Ardscoil were to lead by a point at the break.

With a constant mist now covering the Tipperary Town venue, it was Nenagh that again set the early tempo and three placed balls from Forde had them back in front, 1-8 to 2-3.

Ten minutes had lapsed when Ardscoil found their feet and when a Kelleher point came in the middle of two Shanahan frees the champions were back in front and at 2-6 to 1-8 looked to have hit the front at the right time as the game entered the final quarter.

But that was to be it for 15 minutes for Ardscoil as they failed to find their way through a tight Nenagh rearguard.

Points from O’Brien, Forde (free) and Gallagher looked to have booked a final spot for Nenagh against Waterford Colleges until the late savo from Ardscoil.

SCORERS – Ardscoil Ris: Jamie Shanahan 1-2 (1-0 penalty, 0-2 frees), Lukas O’Brien 1-0, Jack Kelleher 0-2, Ronan Lynch, Jody Hannon, Kevin O’Brien, Micheal O’Loughlin 0-1 each. Nenagh CBS: Jason Forde 0-7 (5frees, 2 ’65), Stephen O’Brien 1-1, Tadhg Gallagher 0-2, Paudie Fogarty 0-1.

ARDSCOIL RIS – David Dempsey (Na Piarsaigh); Ronan Kirby (Mungret), PJ Hall (Adare), Kevin McNamara (Na Piarsaigh); Evan Fitzgerald (Claughaun), Barry O’Connell (Kidimo), Stephen Fitzgerald (Claughaun); Jamie Shanahan (Sixmilebridge), Jody Hannon (Adare); William O’Donoghue (Na Piarsaigh), Ronan Lynch (Na Piarsaigh), Jack Kelleher (Patrickswell); Lukas O’Brien (Adare), Kevin O’Brien (Patrickswell), Cian Lynch (Patrickswell). Subs: Micheal O’Loughlin (Clonlara) for William O’Donoghue (44mins), Michael Foley (Na Piarsaigh) for Lukas O’Brien (59mins).

NENAGH CBS – Will Power; Donnacha Quinn, Jack Flaherty, Stephen Cleary; Eddie Hynes, Jack Peters, Killian Gleeson; Jack Loughnane, Tadhg Gallagher; Conor Delaney, Jason Forde, Podge Shanhan; Paudie Fogarty, Stephen O’Brien, James Mackey. Subs: Sean Geaney for James Mackey (37mins), Kevin Gubbins for Killian Gleeson (43mins).