Monday, June 13, 2011

June 12 - Senior Hurling: Wexford v Fr. Tom Burke's

Fr. Tom Burke’s 2-13 Wexford 2-13

It was time to renew acquaintances as Tom’s and Wexford met one week from their Sheehan Cup final, and the game was no less exciting. Beautiful hurling it was not, but each side worked hard and space was tight with very little room given by either side. This time it was Wexford who held the lead for most of the second half, and Tom’s who came back and almost stole the points at the very end. Wexford rallied before the final whistle to level affairs and each side came away with a point.

Wexford's Gearoid O'Connor on a run.
Tom’s went in at the break with a two-point lead. David Busteed got Tom’s off to a great start with a goal shortly after the throw-in. Fran Keenan followed with a pointed free and Tom’s led by four in the early going. Wexford got themselves into the game soon after Tom’s opening shots. John Hetherington tallied two points from frees, playing at wing forward, the young Dubliner looked dangerous throughout the game. The sides matched each other for points for the remainder of the half. Fran Keenan tallied four points for Tom’s, while for Wexford it was Tom Moloney, Shane Murphy and Hetherington. One of Hetherington’s scores was a gem. After dispossessing his marker, Hetherington clipped over from 30 yards. At the break it was 1-5 to 0-6 in Tom’s favour.

John Hetherington finishes expertly.
Two goals in the first 15 minutes of the second half put Wexford ahead but Tom’s maintained their focus to stay in contention. After Hetherington pointed, the wing forward goaled from an angle after Wexford found some space in the Tom’s back line. Tom’s rallied and with points from Paul Heneghan, Keenan, and Tommy O’Brien were back in the lead. Wexford continued to press however. Ger Dunphy and Stephen White sent some good ball into the forward line and eventually Stephen Corcoran capitalized with a goal from a similar angle to the first. Gearoid O’Connor made the opening with a mazy run, and Corcoran made no mistake. Wexford had a chance to put the game away after winning a penalty when Corcoran was brought down by Tom’s keeper, John Grealish. Grealish made amends with a save from his counterpart, Ger Griffey, who came from goals to take the penalty. Griffey, however, somewhat mis-hit the shot and the ball bounced once which took some sting out of it. Tom’s were now giving the ball away with their hurried clearances out of defence. Stephen White latched on to one and put it over the bar for Wexford to lead by three. After Keenan and Hetherington traded scores, Tom’s drew level with a great goal from Eugene Cummins who had entered as a substitute. A high ball into the square from Trevor Kelly was cleanly fielded by Cummins who turned excellently and buried the ball to the far corner of the net.

With the game now all square a poorly taken short puckout was sent straight back over the bar and Tom’s were up by one and time almost up. A Hetherington free leveled matters again. It was not pretty at this stage, but great excitement as both sides scrapped for possession. An untimely foul or little piece of space to shoot could be the difference. Tom’s looked like they might win the day. Fran Keenan popped a close range free over and was followed with a Howley point from play. However, like last week Wexford had the final say. With Wexford on the attack and the Tom’s back line swarming, Corcoran settled for a point when a goal was a possibility. The last puck of the game was taken by Hetherington who stroked the ball over from a free 65 yards out to square up the scores. A fair result in the end to get each club off the mark in the championship.

Tom’s: J. Grealish, S. O’Brien, D. Nealon, D. Moore, B. Harding, P. Heneghan (0-1), T. Kelly, J. Dooley, F. Keenan (0-9), S. Higgins, S. Howley (0-2), T. O’Brien (0-1), D. Busteed (1-0). Sub: E. Cummins (1-0). Wexford: G. Griffey, D. Redmond, G. Dunphy, B. Dalton, D. Magill, S. White (0-1), J. Kehoe, T. Moloney (0-1), G. O’Connor, JJ Kenny, J. Hetherington (1-9), S. Murphy (0-1), S. Corcoran (1-1).

By Rory O'Donnell

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