Monday, August 23, 2010

Sun August 22 - Senior Hurling Semi-Final: Galway v Wexford

Galway 4-19 Wexford 1-10

Galway progressed to the senior hurling final as they defeated last years finalists, Wexford, in a surprisingly one sided game. Galway adapted to the wet, heavy conditions and with their forward line on song, the tribesmen established a nine point half time lead. Wexford’s performance in the second half was much improved, however, scoring was something that Wexford were having trouble with. The difference between the sides was so great that there was little to excite the neutrals in the crowd in the second half. Wexford did not have the services of Ryan O’Dwyer or Stephen White to avail of, both players a big loss against a Galway side that came out swinging.

Galway's Aidan Callnan clears his lines against Wexford.
Galway held a decided advantage at the end of the first half. The forward line fired on all cylinders. The two Willies, O’Dwyer and Hyland, accounted for eight of Galway’s eleven first half points. With the free taking duties, Hyland had eight to his credit, and O’Dwyer two at the end of the first 30. Wexford struggled to adapt to the conditions, while Galway dug in and did a good job keeping Wexford’s forward line from doing much damage. In the half back line Aidan Callnan and Eoin Whooley worked hard on the wings and Brian Regan held center back well. An early goal for Galway helped settle the westerners. Hyland played a long ball in and Enda Concannon got a touch to direct the ball past Edmund Sprune in the Wexford goal. Wexford hit back shortly afterwards. Peter Ryan netted in similar fashion for Wexford. JJ Kenny’s shot from a tight angle was batted down by Eric Ward and Ryan was waiting to tap the ball into the net from close range. Wexford, however, struggled to come to grips with the game and Galway looked purposeful in controlling affairs. After opening a four point lead, Galway hit with a second goal, again from Concannon. Dominic Magill and JJ Kenny put back to back points over for Wexford, but Galway strung four scores together in the run in to half time. At the half it was Galway well ahead, 2-11 to 1-5.

Galway continued their blitz in the second half. After Hyland extended the lead with a point, Willie O’Dwyer ran through the Wexford defence and belted home Galway’s third goal from 21 yards. Still 25 minutes to go and the game was pretty much up for Wexford. Galway’s lead was extended to 13 points mid-way through the half, and while Wexford’s performance was a notch or two higher than it had been in the first half, putting points on the scoreboard proved to be a tough endeavor. Wexford were forced to go looking for goals early. A Joe Maher 21 yard free was drilled at a wall of maroon shirts and bounced off it. Soon afterwards substitute James Foley found himself clean through, but his low shot was acrobatically saved by Eric Ward. Galway saw out the game with a trolley of points from Concannon and Hyland. Concannon completed his hat trick of goals in injury time. Galway may not have expected to have it so easy against Wexford. Tipp next Sunday will be an entirely different matter.

Galway: E. Ward, P. Nolan, S. Curley, A. Callnan, B. Regan, Whooley, G. Lally (0-1), S. Dineen, S. Maher (0-1), W. O’Dwyer (1-2), W. Hyland (0-11), S. Murphy (0-1), E. Concannon (2-4). Wexford: E. Sprune, B. Dalton, B. Healy, S. Prendergast, D. McGill (0-2), D. Redmond, D. Lyng, J. Kehoe (0-1), G. O’Connor (0-3), J.J. Kenny (0-1), T. Maloney, J. Maher (0-1), P. Ryan (1-0). Sub: J. Foley (0-2).

By Rory O'Donnell

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