Tuesday, July 19, 2011

July 17 - Senior Hurling: Galway v Tipperary

Galway 2-12 Tipperary 1-15

Galway were in a “must win” situation in the first of their 3 second round games of the senior hurling championship. The tribesmen played that way for most of the game and were good for the win only to see it slip away in the final seconds of the game. Tipperary’s back line buckled down and pushed hard in the second half and had Galway on the ropes. The breakthrough came at the very end in very unusual fashion, and the teams had to settle for the draw which was much more to the disappointment of Galway.

Tipp's PaddyFanning breaks through Galway's defence.
Galway played with the type of urgency the situation demanded in the first half and stamped their authority on the game early. The addition of Fintan O’Leary to the fold bolstered the forward line, and O’Leary tallied a goal and two points in the first 30 minutes. After Paul McGrath opened the scoring for Tipp with a point, Galway opened theirs with a goal. Eoin Guinan buried a 21 yard free high into the roof of the net and Galway made their statement of intent. Guinan followed with a 65 and after putting another point over, O’Leary got in on the act with a point. O’Leary followed with a goal, fetching the ball over his marker and turned with the keeper to beat. Keith Killilea and Noel McCree also kept the scoreboard ticking over for Galway, McCree from County Down putting a tremendous effort over the bar late in the half and it looked as if this could be Galway’s day. Tipp got into the game later in the half. Mark Flaherty capitalized with some well taken frees and at the break it was 2-8 to 0-8 in favour of Galway.

Mark Flaherty shoots for goal.
Galway continued to hurl well from the back after the restart, Sylvie Og Linnane and Andrew Brennan did well in the half back line, but in the early going Galway hit several wides, scores that had they gone over would have had Tipperary on the brink of defeat. The Tipp back line buckled down however, and O’Leary had a frustrating second half. John Kindregan and Brian Howley won nearly every ball that came in their direction and Tipp built on that with some scores and reined in the Galway lead. Darragh O’Connell and Odhran Kealy, both of whom entered as subs, pointed twice each to make it a two point game. Galway managed to keep in front with points from Paul Guinan, Keith Killilea, and Eoin Guinan, but with time running out and Tipp holding the upper hand it was backs to the wall for the tribesmen and the defending took on an increasing air of deaparation. The drama was yet to come, the teams swapped two points each and Galway held a one goal lead. In a bizarre sequence, Tipp hit the crossbar, forced a save from the keeper, a clearance off the line and just when it appeared that Galway had won the ball and would finally clear, the ball ended up in the back of the net as the defender tried to clear while on the ground. Game now tied. Each side had a chance to put the winning point over the bar, but both missed. The draw keeps Galway in with a slim chance, though a win is an absolute must in their next outing.

Galway: K. Finnegan, K. Murphy, M. Malone, S. Linnane, A. Brennan, E. Mahoney, J. Moylan, N. McCree, E. Guinan, C. Woods, P. Guinan, K. Killelea, F. O’Leary. Tipp: S. Delaney, J. Roche, J. Kindregan, I. Duggan, C. Leahy, B. Howley, J. Fitzpatrick, E. Hayes, P. Fanning, M. Flaherty, P. McGrath, S. Lambert, W. Walsh.

By Rory O'Donnell

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