Thursday 24 May 2018

Fantastic Forde drives Nenagh into final with last-gasp heroics

Nenagh CBS 1-11
Ardscoil Ris 0-13

JASON Forde ended Ardscoil Ris' reign with a sensational haul of 1-10 as Nenagh CBS prevailed in yesterday's gripping semi-final replay in Tipperary Town.

Forde managed 1-4 of his match-winning tally from play, including the winner deep in stoppage-time, as Nenagh booked a spot in the final for the first time since 1997.

A fiercely-contested tie looked to be heading the way of Ardscoil as the 2010 and 2011 winners led by 0-12 to 0-10 with less than 10 minutes to play, with a breeze behind them.

Ardscoil would have been content at half-time, at 0-7 apiece. But Nenagh showed true grit and Forde gave them real belief with a well-taken goal in the 53rd minute to put them 1-10 to 0-12 ahead.

Jamie Shanahan's free tied the game for the fifth time, but Forde would have the final say in the third minute of stoppage-time, popping over a glorious point from 40 yards.

"I think it was just a Hail Mary to be honest! I just turned, hit it and hoped for the best. Thankfully it went over," beamed the hero.

Forde was quick to point out that Nenagh have a massive hurdle to vault to secure a maiden Harty Cup success, with Colaiste Na nDeise to come in the final.

But elated manager Donagh O'Donnell backed his charges to finish the job. "It's been a long time coming; knocking on doors so many times, there or thereabouts so many times. We still have nothing won now but at least we're there and we will finish the job," he said.

Forde was his team's sole provider of scores in the first half, but Nenagh got off to a fine start and surged into a 0-3 to 0-0 lead.

Ardscoil got off the mark with an 11th-minute free from Ronan Lynch but the dethroned champions finished with 11 wides.

Scores from play were a rarity as Ardscoil mustered just four, with Forde's haul proving the difference.

Scorers -- Nenagh CBS: J Forde 1-10 (0-6f), S O'Brien 0-1. Ardscoil Ris: R Lynch (5f), J Shanahan (4f) 0-5 each, W O'Donoghue, J Kelleher, C Lynch 0-1 each.

NENAGH CBS -- W Power; D Quinn, K Gubbins, S Cleary; E Hynes, J Peters, J Flaherty; J Loughnane, T Gallagher; C Delaney, J Forde, S O'Brien; J Mackey, P Shanahan, P Fogarty. Subs: S Geaney for Shanahan (h-t), K Gleeson for Mackey (54).

ARDSCOIL RIS -- D Dempsey; R Kirby, PJ Hall, K McNamara; E Fitzgerald, B O'Connell, S Fitzgerald; J Hannon, R Lynch; C Lynch, K O'Brien, J Kelleher; M O'Loughlin, J Shanahan, L O'Brien. Subs: W O'Donoghue for L O'Brien (h-t), M Foley for K O'Brien (35), C O'Brien for O'Loughlin (42).

REF -- P Casey (Waterford).

Irish Independent

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