Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sun Aug 21 - Senior Hurling S/F: Galway v Tipperary

Galway 1-25 Tipperary 3-17

Galway and Tipp played an absorbing 60 minutes of hurling in the championship semi-final Sunday afternoon. Galway ended up deserving winners having played possibly the best hour of hurling that I have seen from them so far this year. Tipperary could have stolen the game in what was set up to be a dramatic finish. Two very late goals almost turned the tables on their opponents, but Galway also had a goal in them at the death and deservedly will be in next weekend’s final.

Galway's Fintan O'Leary shoots for goal.
It was even steven in the first period with neither side managing to establish an advantage over the other. Galway held the edge in scoring. Tipperary relied on a goal from Mark Flaherty to keep in touch with Galway who played with a little more urgency and sharpness than their opposite numbers. Fintan O’Leary was in good form for Galway. The tribesmen made a novel move of putting Andrew Brennan, who normally plays at center back, into the center forward position. Galway’s scores were spread around between forwards O’Leary, Guinan, Callnan, and Brown as well as McCree in midfield. Tipperary might not have enjoyed as much in terms of possession, but on occasion penetrated the Galway back line and generated goal chances. On one such occasion Mark Flaherty expertly popped the ball over the advancing keeper’s head and into the back of the net. At the break Galway led by a score of 0-12 to 1-7.

The teams traded three points each to start the second half. Galway got a lot of work out of McCree in midfield, as well as Brennan, Guinan, and O’Leary. The tribesmen put some daylight between themselves and the opposition. Points from Guinan, O’Leary, Brown and McCree put Galway up by four. Meanwhile Conor Woods was having a great game at wing back for Galway. Tipperary were not about to concede and with the last few minutes of the game approaching, hit with a goal from poacher Paul McGrath. Galway came right back and restored the lead with a goal of their own from Eoin Guinan. Keith Killilea played a cross-field ball and Guinan blasted the ball past the keeper from inside the box. If Galway felt comfortable they had to think again as Tipp scored a third goal and reined in the lead yet again. This time it was Stephen Lambert who billowed the net. Galway worries were allayed somewhat after Paul Guinan put an insurance point over the bar just before the final whistle. Galway back in the final and this time against local Brighton rivals, Wexford.

Galway:  D. Kilmartin, K. Murphy, M. Malone, C. Woods, A. Brennan, S. Lennane, N. Macree, D. McMahon, E. Guinan, F. O’Leary, A. Callnan, S. Brown, G. Burke.  Tipp:  S. Delaney, J. Fitzpatrick, J. Kindregan, A. McRedmond, C. Leahy, B. Howley, E. Hayes, P. Fanning, E. Kent, W. Walsh, P. McGrath, M. Flaherty, B. Hartnett.

By Rory O'Donnell

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