Borris-Ileigh GAA Club Match Report
Borris-Ileigh vs Nenagh Eire Og (North Junior A Championship)
3rd September 2021
By Denis Ryan
The Junior A Championship continued on Friday the 3rd of September with a contest between joint table toppers Borris-Ileigh and Nenagh Eire Og in Roscrea. Both teams undefeated so far and having put together an excellent back and forth game in the league, a tight affair was expected. Borris initiated a reshuffle of some positions and players to test out some ideas as both teams had already secured progress to the semi finals, Martin Ryan coming in at half back as Maurice Ryan slotted in at the 2 position with James Kelly full back and Thomas Fahy at the wing back position. Nenagh began the game completely on top generating scoring opportunity after scoring opportunity without putting it on the scoreboard, Borris struggling to get any ball in the attacking half of the pitch. Despite the gap in scoring chances, Borris only trailed by 2 points to 1 during the first few minutes thanks to an excellent Thomas Fahy point near the sideline on his left hand side. Borris were more efficient with their limited chances and were able manufacture another score when Miksie did well to hold on to the ball despite multiple tacklers to lay off to DOC for a good score but Nenagh kept coming with more shots but poor finishing let them down. Nenagh did find their scoring touch however as the water break came close and took the lead but Sodge showed excellent footwork to get space and slot over a well taken point to leave the gap at 1 in favour of Nenagh as the water break arrived on a score line of Nenagh 4 to Borris 3. Nenagh looked very physically imposing throughout their team from the get go whilst Borris perhaps were taking time to adjust to the altered team setup but were fortunate to be only down 1 at the break with Nenagh missing easy chances both in game and from a free. Dan Ryan replaced Martin Glebe as the second quarter arrived but Nenagh continued their new found accuracy to open the lead to 3 with only Fintan Holland gathering a ball and scoring from his left hand side as the sole score for Borris in an extended period of scoring and physical dominance by the Nenagh men. This was illustrated on the scoreline with an extension of the lead from 6 to 4 going to 1-7 to 4 in no time when Nenagh showed great vision to open the Borris defense to finish a nice shot to the bottom right corner. This seemed to make the Borris men more alert and they were gathering ball in the middle third and hitting into good pockets of space but Nenagh were very good in holding up their attacker with only Miksie scoring a well taken score during this period as Nenagh continued their score topping to leave the game at half time Nenagh 1-10 to Borris’ 5 points. The second quarter was really where Nenagh amended their scoring slump from the first and were more clinical with their shooting, Borris struggling to get space to put good ball into their forward line and only generating two points in the quarter.
Borris came out for the 3rd quarter looking more determined to make a game of it with DOC opened the half with his first free before adding free 2 and 3 after good ball winning in the middle third. Unfortunately any type of forward momentum was being stilted by continuing of Nenagh scoring but Borris making the Nenagh men work harder in the middle third with higher work rate and very good positional changes with Cathal Hogan and Miksie coming out to the middle of the park to give the team more legs and energy in the area. Despite Borris best efforts, they still trailed in the quarter from a scoring point of view 5 to 3 before the final hammer blow of Nenagh’s second goal through good patience and team play to finish the game as a contest. Nenagh went into the second water break with a heavy lead 2-16 to 8 points. Michael Ryan replaced Seamus Ryan as the 4th quarter began with Shane McCormack doing well to win and then slot a free from the midfield area before Fintan made a great catch and finished very well to give the team some much earned reward for good second half work ethic. Bill O’Connell had more freedom in the quarter and used it to score a very good point from midfield as Borris were starting to show the form that has propelled them through the majority of the league/championship so far. There was an unfortunate injury to forward David O’Connor near the end of the game with Cian Stapleton replacing the number 12 before Shane McCormack scored another point from good team play. Thomas Fahy now in full forward doing well also to gather ball and was rewarded for persistence when he finished for the team’s sole goal on the second attempt to finish the game well for Borris but unfortunately the surge came too late to avoid a final score of Nenagh 2-18 to Borris-Ileigh 1-12.
As mentioned before, Borris clearly used this game to experiment some tactical lineups and positional changes, this could benefit later in the competition if the fixture comes around again in a knockout game. However, it perhaps had something to do with the first half deficit and Nenagh being able to generate so many scoring opportunities and only poor shooting keeping the game in the balance. Borris came out for the second half with higher intensity and played more like they have been for the majority of gameplay in the last few months, good work rate and good team play being staples of the outfit. Nenagh deserve credit for controlling the game for three quarters and look very physically imposing across all team lines and will be a huge test when the knockout stages arrive. Borris deserve credit for not letting their heads slump in the second half and did really well to increase their side of the scoreline in the 4th quarter. Borris have one more match in the group stages, against Toomevara and wishing players and management best of luck in preparation for the game and also best wishes to DOC that the injury isn’t too severe.
Team and Scorers:
Maurice Ryan, James Kelly, Jack Prior
Martin Ryan, Bill O’Connell (0-01), Thomas Fahy (1-01)
Seamus Ryan, Shane McCormack (0-02(0-01f))
Cathal Hogan, Fintan Holland (0-02), David O’Connor (0-04(0-03f))
Micheal Carey (0-01), Matthew Stapleton (0-01), Adam Galvin
Dan Ryan for Martin Ryan
Micheál Ryan for Seamus Ryan
Cian Stapleton for David O’Connor