Adare 0-12 The Nire 1-18
By Páraic McMahon
Waterford champions The Nire eased past Limerick's Adare and into the semi-finals of the Munster club SFC at the Gaelic Grounds.
A Tom Barron goal on the stroke of half-time was a sucker punch for Adare, who despite always being behind were within an arm’s length up until then. That they could have goaled in the attack prior to Barron’s green flag compounded the blow.
Shane Walsh, Conor Gleeson and Tholom Guiry all kicked scores early on to put The Nire into a lead they would never relinquish and two points was as close as Adare got.
Barron’s goal in the final attack of the first half gave the nine-time Waterford champions a nine-point advantage at the interval.
While Adare did kick more scores in the second half, mainly via the boot of Hugh Bourke, they never looked like clawing their way back in front. The odds fell further against them when vice-captain Aodhan O’Sullivan picked up a second yellow and was sent off in the 44th minute.
Though Adare pointed straight afterwards through Shane O’Connor, The Nire’s superb link up play saw Shane Walsh, Jamie Barron and then Tholom Guiry add further scores as they comfortably secured a semi-final date with St Josephs Miltown-Malbay of Clare next Sunday.
Adare can be satisfied with their effort over the hour. They played well in patches but came up against a well-organised and very fit outfit who will have their eyes on claiming a first provincial title.
The Limerick side competed in the 2016 Munster intermediate championship and are showing signs of improvement which Harry Gleeson and his management will be happy with. A serious cause of concern is that no Limerick club has won a game in the senior competition since 2008.
It was a very impressive display from a balanced Nire side. They will face stiffer tests in this campaign but their hunger for possession and victory was clear to see in abundance. Shane Walsh, Conor Gleeson, Diarmuid Murphy, Thomas O’Gorman and Tholom Guiry did best for the West Waterford club.
The Nire: D Murphy (0-01 1f); D Meehan, T O’Gorman, M Moore; T Barron (1-00), J McGrath, Darren Guiry (0-03 2f); T Guiry (0-02), C Guiry (0-01); J Barron (0-01), Dylan Guiry, S O’Meara; S Ryan (0-02 1f), C Gleeson (0-04), S Walsh (0-04).
Subs: Dermot Ryan for S O’Meara (43), Ciaran Walsh for Gleeson (50), Jake Mulcahy for Moore (54), Kenny Brazil for Walsh (56), David Nugent for Dylan Guiry (61)
Adare: B Carmody; A O’Connor, D Connolly, J Fitzgerald; P Maher, E Ryan, O Collins; S Keeley (0-01), J English; C McCarthy, H Bourke (0-06 6f), D Lyons; M Connolly, R Bourke (0-03), M Lyons.
Subs: Shane Doherty for Keely (HT), Shane O’Connor (0-02) for McCarthy (HT), Eoghan Costelloe for Fitzgerald (47), Ronan Connolly for English (53), James Hickey for Collins (57)
Referee: D Murnane (Cork)