Nenagh Co-op 1993 County Senior Hurling Championship
In winning the 1993 Nenagh Co-op county senior hurling title, Toomevara achieved something no team since Kilruane MacDonagh's in the late 1970s, put two championships back to back. In doing so they doubled the achievement of the 1960 team, equalled the success of the 1930-31 teams and made it possible to emulate the vistories of the three-in-a-row squad . the 1912-14 era.
During the course of the celebrations following the1992 win a warning was sent to all and sundry that, having won this great prize, they would not be giving it up easily. A simiolar warning was was issued on the evening of October 10th to anyone who might have designs on 'Dan Breen' for 1994: they are determined to keep it in the home of the 'Greyhounds' for at least another year.
There were a number of contenders for county honours at the start of the year. Beaten finalists in 1992, Thurles Sarsfie!ds, had definite aspirations and seemed to be on target when they handed out a twelve-point drubbing to old rivals Holycross- Ballycahill in the Mid final at Templemore on the 15th August. In doing so they won _ their first divisional final in thirteen years.
A week later Mullinahone made history when they won their first-ever senior divisional final by beating Carrick Swans, 1-11 to 0-12, in the South final. It was their first time in the final and only their second year in senior ranks. The victory was inspired by a great display by their captain, John Leahy, who scored nine points of their tally.
On the sane day Nenagh Eire Og had to survive a tenacious Moneygall display before taking the North championship by 1-14 to 0-12 at Cloughjordan.
On the last Sunday of August, Moneygall played T oomevara, the North league winners, to decide on the second team to go forward to the county championships. The game resulted in an emphatic win, 1-16 to 1-7 by the league winners and for the second year Toomevara qualified for the county championships without a divisional title.
On the same day Cashe! were unimpressive in acounting for Kickhams in the West final at Tipperary. On a scoreline of 2-15 to 2-12 the King Cormacks won their fourth title in six years but failed to deliver on the promise they showed against Cappawhite in the semi-final.
The quarter-final pairings pitted Mid v South at Golden. In the first game Thudes Sarsfields did not impress in beating Carrick Swans by 4-8 to 1-8. Playing with the wind in the first half the Mid champions led by 3-4 to 0-4 at the interval and, in the course of the hour, shot no less than nineteen wides against a mostly ineffective Swan side.
In the second game, Holycross-Ballycahill scored an unconvincing three-point win, 1-12 to 2-6, over the South champions, Mullinahone. Although the Mid side were the better team they played badly and might have been in trouble had John Leahy been on target with his free-taking.
The two other quarter-finals were played at Ternplernore. In the first Cashel faced Toomevara, who gave a very impressive performance in hammering the West champions by 1-17 to 1-4. At half-time the score stood 0-10 to 1-2 in Toome's favour but, as Cashel were to have the advantage of the wind in the second half, it appeared as if they were still well in contention. However, there was no resurgence and all the King Cormac's were to score was a mere two points.
In contrast, Toomevara stamped their authority on the game and their supremacy was never in doubt until they ran out convincing and worthy winners by thirteen points. The second game was lacking in excitement and Nenagh Eire Og struggled to a five point win over West runners-up, Kickhams, on a scoreline of 1-14 to 0-12. Nenagh went into an early lead of 0-7 to 0-1 but Kickharns began to respond in the second quarter and brought down the lead to 0-8 to 0-6 at the interval. Midway through the second half Nenagh got the only goal of the game to put them into a 1-10 to 0-7 lead. At times during the remainder of the game Kickhams threatened but their finishing was poor and Eire Og had a five point advantage at the final whistle.
The semi-finals were played at Semple Stadium on 26th September. In the first, Nenagh Eire Og defeated Holycross-Ballycahill by a single point on a scoreline 0-15 to 0-14 and qualified for their first county final. Nenagh entered the game as favourites chiefly due to poor performances from the Mid men during the year. However, HoIycross-Ballycahill produced a performance in the first half that was largely unexpected and led by an impressive six points at the interval. The margin might have been wider but for some fine free-taking by Michael Cleary, which put a gloss on an otherwise lacklustre performance by the Nenagh men.
There was a transformation in the teams at the interval. The bottom fell out of the Holycross- Ballycahill challenge in the second half and they could score only three points. In contrast Eire Og came alive, got three quick points and, with a much improved performance from Kevin Tucker, eventually snatched victory by a solitary point. The win underlined the important contribution of Michael Cleary, who scored nine points of the winners total .
In the second game the champions, Toomevara, completely outshone a poor Sarsfields' performance. It was a most disappointing display in the light of the two-hour battle between the same protaganists in last year's final. 'Toome' led 0-7 to 0-3 at the interval but, as Sarsfields had a slight wind advantage in the second half, it was possible they might make their mark. Instead 'Toome' went further ahead and even though Sarsfields pegged them back a couple of times, 'Toome' always had that extra acceleration when the need arose and this was to take them well away in the final quarter when they scored 0-6 to only 0-1 for Sarsfields.
Toomevara went into the final strong favourites. They had impressed along the way, in beating Moneygall in the North play-off, in pushing aside Cashel at Templemore, in overcoming the challenge of Thurles with ease. In contrast, Nenagh Eire Og had just about got there, against Moneygall in the North final, against Kickhams in the quarter-final and just about against Holycross-Ballycahill.
There was just one doubt looming in the face of certainty: Nenagh had beaten the same opposition twice in the North championship. The answer to that, of course, was that Toomevara hadn't their act together when they went down in defeat. Now, they had and were a very formidable outfit.
At half-time it appeared that Toomevara were on target and their favouritism justified. With a few minutes to go before the interval they led by 1-8 to 0-3 and while Michael Cleary hit three great points before half-time the more respectable scoreboard did not anticipate what was to come. At this stage no Nenagh forward had registered.
The North champions introduced Eddie Tucker at half-time and he began to make an impact. After ten minutes they had added three points to their credit while 'Toome' replied with one from a Mike Nolan '65.' Then, following an explosion of pulling between Frank Moran and Michael Murphy, Nenagh seemed to spark fire. A great run by John Heffernan resulted in a goal and this was followed by a point. Another followed and, suddenly, Nenagh were ahead by 1-11 to 1-9.
It was at this stage that Toomevara showed their true character. They rallied to level but Nenagh went ahead again. With ten minutes to go it was anyone's game with great excitement and some splendid exchanges. Toomevara levelled again and then went two points ahead. Entering injury time Nenagh missed chances and then Cleary scored to leave a point between the sides. By this stage two minutes of extra time had elapsed but most of those in attendance expected four because of a delay attending an injury to Philip Shanahan. However, referee Paddy Lonergan blew the final whistle to the surprise of most and the disappointment of Nenagh, who believed they might have got the equaliser in those extra minutes. Probably everyone present would have liked another hour of such an heroic contest.
It was a marvellous moment for Toomevara and a tremendous ending to a year that hadn't started off too promising. They showed themselves end-of-season specialists. It was a great moment for captain, Jody Grace, for coach, Sean Stack and for selectors, Fr. Michael Casey, Jim McDonnell and Frank Ryan.
The winning team was - Jody Grace; Pat Meagher, Rory Brislane, Declan O'Meara; George Frend, Michael O'Meara, Philip Shanahan; Tony Delaney, Pat King; Michael Nolan, Michael Murphy, Liam Flaherty, Tommy Carroll, Kevin Kennedy, Tommy Dunne. Substitute - John Ryan for Michael Murphy. Substitutes - Kevin McCormack, Terry Dunne, Liam Nolan, Michael Delaney, Sean Nolan, Jimmy Dunne, Aidan Maxwell, Brendan Spillane, Noel KenneaIy, Michael McCormack.
Nenagh Eire Og - Christy McLoughlin, Donie O'Brien, Conor O'Donovan, Noel Coffey; Phil Hennessy, Frank Moran, Paul Kennedy; Philip Kennedy, Michael Cleary; Paul Dolan, John Heffernan, Robbie Tomlinson; John Kennedy, Neilly Corbett, Kevin Tucker. Substitutes - Denis Finnerty for Donie O'Brien; Eddie Tucker for Neilly Corbett; Chris Bonner for John Kennedy. Also - Declan O'Meara, John Tucker, Con Howard, Gearoid Cleary, Michael Kennedy, Michael Grace
Selectors: Liam Heffernan (coach), John Tucker, Billy Flannery. Man of the Match Award: Michael Cleary (Nenagh Eire Og). Referee: Paddy Lonergan (Galtee Rovers).
Sponsorship: For the first time ever the county senior hurling championship was sponsored. The sponsors were Nenagh Co-Op and the amount of the sponsorship, which was 'substantial', according to county chairman, Michael maguire, wasn't revealed.
Nenagh Co-Op Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship Results 1993
COUNTY FINAL Semple Stadium - October l0th
Toomevara 1-14, Nenagh Eire Og 1·13
Referee: Paddy Lonergan (Galtee Rovers)
SEMI FINALS - Semple Stadium - September 26th
Nenagh Eire Og 0-15, Holycross- Ballycahill 0-14
Referee Tommy Lonergan (Kilsheelan)
Toomevara 0-18, Thurles Sarsfields 0-9
Referee Willie Barrett (Ardfinnan)
QUARTER FINALS - Golden - September 12th
Holycross- Ballycahill 1-12, Mullinahone 2-6
Referee Richie Barry (Cappawhite)
Thurles Sarsfields 4-8, Carrick Swans 1-8
Referee Michael Cahill (Kilruane-McDonaghs)
Toomevara 1-17, Cashel King Cormacks 1-4
Referee Tommy Lonergan (Kilsheelan)
Nenagh Eire Og 1-14, Kickhams 0-12
Referee Willie Clohessy (Drom-Inch)
Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1994, pp 17-18