Sunday, June 24, 2012

Senior Hurling: Tipperary Take First Blood Cver Galway

Galway 2-12 Tipperary 2-19

Galway and Tipperary got their championships off to a start in a testy game Sunday afternoon in Canton.  There was no shortage of talent on the field with both teams featuring players of top caliber hurling pedigree.  Kevin O’Loughlin of Dublin and Kilmacud Crokes was a big factor for Tipp, while for Galway Kilkenny man Eoin Guinan made a return to the fold.  Tipperary pulled away in the second half as Galway’s front five struggled to gain a foothold in opposing territory as the game wore on.

John Roche looks to clear for Tipp.
Galway held the slightest of advantages at the end of the first period after getting off to a great start with a goal from Eoin Guinan.  Tipp worked their way back into the game, Kevin O’Loughlin at half forward and Michael Ryan proved to be accurate from dead balls and open play.  Galway relied on Guinan for most of their scores, but also got contributions from Tom Bulger and Kevin Canty.  Stephen Nolan was a major force at center back, a player with experience hurling for the Wexford county team, Nolan marshaled his forces well.  The game got a little testy towards the end of the half with a few incidents leading to both sidelines pleading victimhood with the referee.  At the break it was as tight as could be with Galway holding a 1-8 to 0-10 edge.

Galway's Seamus Corry and Tipp's Sean McGrath
try to get control of the ball.

Tipp came out of the gates strong in the second half.  Two goals in the first 15 minutes of the restart put Tipperary in the drivers seat.  The first came from Michael Ryan who burst past the last defender and fired home from close range.  The second was a thing of beauty with O’Loughlin showing his skills and flicking the dropping ball to the incoming Brian Hartnett.  The Cork native took one touch before driving the ball home from the 14 yard line.  Galway lost their teeth up front and the Tipp half back line were well on top at this point.  Paul Haughey, O’Loughlin, and Ryan all contributed to the scoresheet for Tipp.  Tom Bulger netted for Galway with two minutes to go to make it a seven point game.  Things got out of hand at the end of the game as following a challenge on John Moylan, Stephen Brown and John Roche got into it and were both sent to the line.  Tipp looking strong out of the gates, while Galway might need another forward or two.

Galway:  M. Mulrooney, M. Lennon, B. Watkins, C. Kelly, S. Nolan, D. Shaw, S. Corry, M. Brooks, J. Moylan, K. Canty, S. Brown, T. Bulger, E. Guinan.  Tipp:  S. Delaney, J. Kindregan, J. Roche, B. Cleary, A. Hannigan, J. Doughan, C. Dempsey, A. Callinan, M. Ryan, S. McGrath, P. Haughey, K. O’Loughlin, B. Hartnett.

By Rory O'Donnell

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