Borris-Ileigh GAA Club Match Report
Borris-Ileigh vs Nenagh Eire Og (FBD County Championship Group 4 -Round 3)
26 th September 2021
By Denis Ryan
Round 3 of the FBD County Championship served up a fascinating contest between Nenagh Eire Og and Borris-Ileigh, the setting Semple Stadium and the added intensity of a must win for both teams in order to advance to the next stage. Borris made 2 changes to their starting lineup with Ciaran Cowan replacing Paddy Stapleton which allowed Kieran Maher further out the pitch and an enforced change with Tomas Foot serving his suspension and Sean McCormack entering the midfield area. The game began in very tough conditions which showed in the first few minutes of the game with neither side able to open their scoring account. Nenagh did generate more chances but were inefficient with shots both in play and also with placed ball. Borris did however bring an excellent intensity to the game which would be a staple of the day hurrying Nenagh across all lines of the pitch. The hustling led to Borris’ first score of the game when Kieran Maher, playing in a half forward role caused a turnover to lead to Eddie Ryan’s first free of the game. Niall Kenny was on form from the get go in the inside forward line with Conor Kenny also causing constant threat leading to the teams next two points, excellent shrugging off of the tackle in the case of Niall’s score and Conor Kenny winning clean ball from a Brendan Maher entry pass to give the team a 3 points to 1 advantage as the water break arrived. Conditions and perhaps nerves played a part in the first few minutes of the quarter but Borris started and maintained a strong work ethic which eventually led to turnovers, dominance in the backline and the scores to maximise the advantage. Borris started the second quarter looking dangerous and nearly scored a goal when Conor made a good catch, found Kevin Maher who ran in on goal but the slippery surface forced a loose ball that Eddie Ryan pounced from a ground shot that narrowly went above the bar for the teams next score. Borris were now starting to dominate both half lines and snuffing out any Nenagh threat as the Eire Og men stayed on a singular point for an extended period whilst Borris went about their business in an efficient manner. Seamus Burke was playing really well in the middle third and won a free which Eddie slotted for number 2 of the contest, the free taker winning a well earned free to add number 3 as Borris tightened their grip on the game. Conor then scored a brace of points in quick succession, the first a result of excellent vision by Sean McCormack who found an open Kenny near goal for the first before Dan McCormack won possession again in the sweeper role and hit it down on Conor near the right hand sideline and scored a fantastic point from a very tight angle. Eddie scored free 4 of the half to give Borris a commanding lead of 9 points to 3 as the half time whistle blew. Borris continued their high work rate in the second quarter and negated the Nenagh threats up front through smart positioning and 1 on 1 wins on the ground. Borris were able to use their extra man at different times to hit ball after ball down upon their threatening forwards who won their individual battles and put the scores on the board.
Borris dealt a huge blow to any Nenagh comeback very early in the second half when JD reacted best to a dropping ball in the half forward line and ran with extreme pace towards the goal, was unlucky not to score but Niall Kenny was there for the rebound and showed opportunistic skills to score a goal that was reward for his hard graft in the 1st half. Nenagh were really struggling to generate chances through poor performance but also a very strong half back line of Borris, Nenagh only adding 2 points in the quarter. Borris increased their scoreline through 2 Eddie Ryan frees and a in play score from the no.13 as an uneventful quarter drew to a close with Borris leading 1-12 to 5 points. Borris fell into a slight lull after the goal even going a period of more than 12 minutes without a score which crossed over between quarters as the 4th quarter started. Nenagh came more into the game as the quarter began taking advantage of some fouling on the Borris side with Jake Morris slotting multiple frees to reduce the deficit. The drought was ended when Jerry Kelly made a fantastic catch near the new stand which granted Eddie a chance to finish his 7th free of the contest which he duly obliged. Brendan won possession in the middle of the park before laying off to Jerry who scored his first of the game which snuffed out a mini comeback from Nenagh as the game neared its end. Jody Harkin replaced JD Devaney, Paddy Stapleton replaced Kieran Maher and Shane Kenny replaced Niall Kenny during the final minutes. Kevin Maher did well to dodge multiple tackles before finding Conor for his 4th of the game, Brendan finishing the scoring for the Borris men with a free before the full time whistle arrived with Borris-Ileigh winning the game and progressing to the quarter final stage of the County Championship on a convincing scoreline of Borris-Ileigh 1-16 to Nenagh’s 9 points.
Borris will be buoyed by the impact that their positional changes made to their performance with Brendan Maher joining brothers Dan and Ray in a formidable looking half back line, Seamus Burke turning up everywhere whilst also marking sharp shooter Jake Morris and Ciaran Cowan providing a physical presence at full back. Kieran Maher brings excellent work rate to a forward line who to a man look threatening in a variety of ways with both Kenny brothers really standing out in the first half, Jerry performing very well in a great battle with Barry Heffernan and Eddie Ryan consistent on frees in very difficult conditions. At time of report, Borris avoid the preliminary quarter final with Killenaule and will be a 2nd seed with potential matchups against Thurles Sarsfields, Kiladangan or Mullinahone all available. Best wishes to players and management in preparation for what promises to be a huge game in three week’s time.
Team and Scorers:
Seamus Burke, Ciaran Cowan, Liam Ryan (C)
Kieran Maher, Dan McCormack, Ray McCormack
Sean McCormack, Brendan Maher (0-01 (0-01f))
Niall Kenny (1-01), Jerry Kelly (0-01), James “JD” Devaney
Eddie Ryan (0-09 (0-07fs)), Conor Kenny (0-04), Kevin Maher
Jody Harkin for JD Devaney
Paddy Stapleton for Kieran Maher
Shane Kenny for Niall Kenny