Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Galway v Tipperary - July 27

It's Behind Ye Lads!

Galway 0-8 Tipperary 0-11

Steady rain greeted Galway and Tipp on to the field as conditions turned from good to poor in the middle of the afternoon. Galway fielded a side with a conspicuous southern flair – no less than 5 Corkmen wore the maroon, and one Armagh native in Declan Coulter added some northern flavour. In spite of trailing by three points early in the second half, and losing captain Cronan Dempsey who was shown two yellow cards, Tipperary rallied with a courageous second half performance to put themselves on top of the table, and will play in a showdown with Wexford next Sunday for automatic final qualification for the final.

Weather conditions hampered any chance of free-flowing hurling, and the first half was a fairly sluggish affair. In the early going Jim Howard saved the bacon for Tipp on a few occasions. The Tipp keeper first saved from Declan Coulter, and soon afterwards kept his nerve to save once more from the Armagh man. Alan McCrabbe pointed twice, once from play and one free, to put Tipp in an early two-point lead. Corner back, Ritchie Hennessy did well for Tipp in the opening exchanges, the Ardmore Co. Waterford man made several timely clearances to deny Decan Coulter a chance at a score. In the meantime, a bizarre series of events, a throw-in resulted in Cronan Dempsey and Eoin Foley getting yellow cards. After the ball flew out of play immediately following a throw-in, just after the second throw-in Foley took exception to the way in which Dempsey was pulling on the ball – and him, and retaliated and a scuffle ensued. Foley and Dempsey were each shown yellow for their troubles.
Alan McCrabbe about to Point for Tipp.

Following the episode Galway awoke from their lethargy, and the tribesmen pointed five times without reply. Declan Coulter, Fintan O’Leary, fellow Ballinhassig clubman, Steven Dineen, and James Kinsella each put one over for the Galway club. Dineen pointed a second time after two shots for goal, the first was saved and the second driven across the face of goal before Dineen settled for the sure score. Galway were beginning to motor, while Tipp looked to be having problems coming to grips with the game. Tipp found their way somewhat, Gareth Sinnott and McCrabbe each pointed for Tipp, to one score from Coulter for Galway, in the last few minutes to inch Tipp closer. At the half Galway led by 0-6 to 0-4.

Early in the second half Tipp suffered a loss in personnel. Cronan Dempsey was given a second yellow for pulling across Paul Carey, and as a consequence had to leave the field of play for the remainder of the game. With Tipp down a man things were looking good for Galway. Not for the first time in the history of hurling did the man down prove to motivate the shorthanded side. Tipp also had the benefit of a strong breeze in their favour. After Dineen put Galway three points up, Tipp got their act together in the half-back line and sent almost everything dropping in that area right back down towards the Galway goal. Galway could not make the extra man count. Still, scoring was at a premium, but Tipp rode the back of Alan McCrabbe’s free taking. McCrabbe brought Tipp level and at seven points each, and with Galway labouring to engineer any scoring chances, Tipp pulled ahead. Galway defended well, Kenneally did well at corner back and Darren Starr made a good save which kept the game within reach for Galway.

Galway try to Clear as Tipp keep the pressure on in the second half.
Fintan O’Leary pulled Galway within one point, but Tipp were not to be denied a famous victory. John McGrath and Alan McCrabbe sealed the win with a point apiece to the finish the game as the thunder and lightening rolled in. With the win Tipp are in contention for the final, while Galway face Tom’s in their last game with Tom’s out of contention.

Galway: D. Starr, D. Kenneally, R. Goode, E. Foley, K. Murphy, D. Brennan, P. Carey, James Kinsella (0-1), D. Fitzgerald, Steven Dineen (0-2), Fintan O’Leary (0-3), Declan Coulter (0-2), J. Byrne. Tipp: J. Howard, J. O’Sullivan, R. Hennessey, T. Waters, J. Coughlin, G. Barry, S. Power, C. Dempsey, E. McCormack, F. Devanney, John. McGrath (0-2), Gareth. Sinnott (0-1), Alan McCrabbe (0-8).
By Rory O'Donnell

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