Wexford 1-19 Tipperary 2-15
Another exciting senior hurling match was played between Wexford and Tipperary, with Wexford just about pulling off a one point victory. Brendan Phelan was tremendous for Wexford at center back, while Shane Ryan was key in the forward line. It was hearts in mouths all the way to the final whistle as Wexford managed to get their noses ahead in the final minutes, and repelled the defending champions’ late attacks to see themselves over the line.
|Rory Sludds looks to get the ball in hand.|
A Tipp goal was the difference between the teams at the break, it came from the stick of Mark Kavanagh half way through the period. The sides were level on four points each, Rory Sludds, Eoin Kavanagh, Shane Ryan and Jamie Kehoe the Wexford scorers. Tipperary’s marksmen were Jason Bergin, Liam Maloney, and Cronan Dempsey. Wexford absorbed the pressure playing against the stiff wind, and Brendan Phelan was a busy man at center back for the Slaneysiders. Tipp looked like they were building on the goal as the backs and midfielders sprayed the ball into the corner forwards with Kavanagh and Maloney capitalizing. Wexford finished the half well however, Shane Ryan did a good job from the frees for Wexford, and a late point from Kieran O’Dea left it a Tipp two point lead at the break, 1-8 to 0-9.
|Kevin McKiernan about to strike for Tipp.|
Wexford got the goal back through a Jason Bergin strike, a score that leveled the game. Wexford added two more points thereafter, both from Ryan, and Wexford were in the lead and with that wind. Things looked favourable for them. Tipp kept up the pressure, however. Mark Kavanagh moved to a half forward role from the corner and his ability to carry the ball helped Tipp greatly, as they had to against the wind. Tipp netted another goal, Cronan Dempsey got the better of Darragh O’Callaghan as both challenged for a high ball into the box from Moloney - the ball found the back of the net to put Tipp back into a one point lead.
Wexford made use of the breeze, however, and their half backs did well under the hanging ball to gobble it up and send it back. Ryan converted two frees, and a third from play, and Eoin Kavanagh put a long range effort over from distance out on the wing. Tipp , though kept pace with scores from Moriarty, Kavanagh, and Colm Fitzgerald as the Premier men continued to work hard. With the game winding down it was even scores with Wexford 1-17 and Tipp 2-14. Wexford broke the deadlock with Conor Sheehan putting the go ahead score over the bar followed by another from a Ryan free. Tipp managed a late Bergin point from a free, but there was no time for another effort and Wexford get off the mark with two early championship points.
Wexford: D. O’Callaghan, G. Murphy, J. McCarty, T. Maloney, B. Phelan, D. Guinan, J. Kehoe, C. Sheehan, E. Kavanagh, K. O’Dea, R. Sludds, S. Ryan, D. Walsh. Tipp: J. Maher, S. McGarr, C. Neville, J. White, S. Nally, A. Ryan, C. Dempsey, K. McKiernan, J. Bergin, P. Moriarty, L. Maloney, E. Moriarty, M. Kavanagh.
By Rory O'Donnell