Sunday, September 6, 2009

NACB Senior Hurling Final: Wexford v Tipperary

Wexford 3-15 Tipperary 2-8

It was Wexford versus Tipp Mark II for the North American Senior Hurling Final, albeit with a slightly different complexion as some of Tipp’s key players had returned to Ireland during the week. Wexford gained a measure of revenge for last weeks defeat with a handsome win. The Game was neck and neck until mid-way through the second half when Wexford raised the intensity a notch or two and pulled away with some fine scores.

The sides traded points to get things underway, and with the sides tied at three points a piece Ryan O’Dwyer goaled from close range. O’Dwyer looked more comfortable on his injured knee than a week ago, and was back to his up tempo running style. After Stephen White put Wexford four points to the good with a point Tipp came back at their opponents. Daithi O’Mahoney put two frees over the bar and then Tipp won a penalty. Pat Howard made no mistake with the shot. Paul McGrath pointed before half time to put Tipp one to the good at the break, 1-6 to 1-5.

The first fifteen minutes of the half saw the sides unable to separate from each other. Mike Heffernan and McGrath points were matched by Paddy Breen and Tony Murphy for Wexford. Wexford then raised the tempo a little and the challenges began to adopt a little bit a heavier air about them. Wexford started to work the ball well into the forward line, and captain Dominic Magill started to get control of the half back line. Jim Howard was called on to make a great save in the Tipp goal, but Wexford started to pick off several unanswered points. Jamie Kehoe and John Walsh put three over the bar between them before O’Dwyer goaled for the second time. With Tipp looking like they were fading the outcome began to appear inevitable. Murphy, O’Dwyer, and Walsh pointed to put Wexford eight points ahead and White then delivered the coup de gras with a superbly taken goal. White went on a solo run and cleverly tipped the ball over the defender before whipping home a shot that Howard had no chance of stopping.

With the clock ticking down, Paul McGrath’s frustration got the better of him as he saw red for an incident while play was stopped, and a consolation goal came from Daithi O’Mahoney. A reversal in outcomes from last week, but a split of the trophies seemed an appropriate end to the year since there was very little between the sides all season.

Wexford Captain Dominic Magill accepts the North American Trophy from former GAA President, Joe McDonagh, a great advocate for the GAA abroad. The first few lines of Dominic's speech is included.

Wexford: G. Griffey, P. Nolan, E. O’Shea, B. Dalton, D. Magill, J. Walsh, S. White, D. Redmond, P. Breen, K. O’Rourke, R. O’Dwyer, P. Ryan, T. Murphy. Tipp: J. Howard, M. Heffernan, J. McGrath, N. O’Grady, D. O’Mahoney, C. Power, C. Dempsey, B. Howley, P. Howard, C. Kavanagh, D. Kealey, P. McGrath.

By Rory O'Donnell

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