Tuesday, June 21, 2011

June 19 - Senior Hurling: Galway v Tipperary

Galway 2-12 Tipperary 2-19

Galway and Tipperary, who played the last game of the season in the championship final last year, met in the opening game of the senior hurling championship. Tipp came away with the win again, but not without Galway making a push late in the first half and for most of the second. Tipp pulled away towards the end of the game with six unanswered points in quick succession to win the game.

Paul McGrath in posession for Tipp.
Tipperary lorded it for most of the first half with a powerful display of hurling. The half forward line of Bernard Gaffney, Paddy Fanning, and Paul McGrath proved hard for Galway to contain as scores seemed to come easy for them. John Roche and John Kindregan also held the fort at corner back and for much of the opening period Galway struggled to make in impression on their opponents. At one point, Tipp led by nine points and looked to be cruising. Gaffney and Eoin Guinan traded points to get things going after the throw in, and then Tipp fired over a plethora of points. Brian Hartnett at corner forward, Craig Leahy from center back, and Paul McGrath got their names on the scorecard. A goal came from a high ball that Kris Finnegan in the Galway goal lost in the sun and the sliotar dropped unmolested into the net. Things were not going Galway’s way however that was about to change. A goal from Padraig O’Keefe lifted Galway spirits, and it was followed up with a point from Noel McCree. Tipp struck again with a goal, this time from Paddy Fanning to restore the lead to eight but Galway spirits did not dampen. Galway finished the half strong. After Eoing Guinan pointed from a 21 yard free, the corner forward netted after being found with a pass from brother Paul who was playing at wing forward. Gary Burke then reduced the deficit to three points after being found by John Moylan. Tipp finished with points from Fanning and Hartnett to make it a five point difference between the sides at the break.

Tipp's Paddy Fanning and Galway's Andrew Brennan contest. 
Galway came out of the gates the stronger of the two sides in the second half and got within a point before 10 minutes had passed. Noel McCree, Stephen Brown, and Eoin Guinan each pointed. McCree in the middle of the field, and Aidan Callnan, and Killian Murphy played well in the Galway back line. Guinan and John Moylan put back to back points together and reduced the lead to the narrowest margin possible. Tipp did enough to keep their noses in front. Darragh O’Connell took over the free taking duties and clipped two over the bar. Galway came back with two from McCree and Paul Guinan, and with less than 10 minutes to go there was just the point in it. Tipp however stifled Galway’s hopes with a quick-fire finish. Six unanswered points in the final five minutes put the matter to rest in a finish that felt a little anticlimactic. O’Connell fired over four, while substitute Eoin Hayes accounted for the other two. Tipp off the mark first with two championship points.

Galway: K. Finnegan, K. Murphy, M. Malone, G. McNamara, A. Brennan, A. Callnan, N. McCree (0-2), P. O’Keefe (1-0), G. Burke (0-1), S. Brown (0-1), P. Guinan (0-1), J. Moylan (0-2), E. Guinan (1-5). Tipp: S. Delaney, J. Kindregan, J. Roche, B. Howley, C. Leahy (0-1), A. McRedmond, S. Lambert, D. O’Connell (0-6), B. Gaffney (0-3), P. Fanning (1-2), P. McGrath (0-1), B. Hartnett (0-3), O. Kealy. Sub: E. Hayes (0-3).

By Rory O'Donnell

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