Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Senior Hurling Semi-Final: Wexford Nip Tipp

Tipperary 0-16 Wexford 1-14

There was a good crowd on hand at the ICC Wednesday night to see Wexford came though the semi-final with a point in injury time from Michael Moloney.  Tipp had the edge at half time, but an early second half goal from Kevin Sheerin put Wexford in the lead.  The sides battled it out for the next 25 minutes, and with the sides level in injury time, Moloney converted one of the late chances Wexford had to go ahead and give the Slaneysiders a crack at their Brighton rivals, Galway, on Sunday afternoon.

Michael Moloney Points for Wexford.
Tipp looked a little sluggish in the early going having taken two games in the previous week to overcome Fr. Tom Burke’s, whereas Wexford were playing their first game in 10 days.  Wexford  went into a five points to one lead before John Roche clipped a handful of impressive points over the bar for Tipp.  Jim O’Neill, Paudie Kehoe, and Eoghan Kavanagh had found the mark for Wexford.  Wexford’s half back line held the line well, but eventually Tipp came into the game and in the latter stages overtook their opponents.  Kevin O’Loughlin found his range.  Wexford had the cool Ed Spruhan to thank for a typically unflustered save; Roche picked up the rebound and pointed.  O’Loughlin put some impressive frees over the bar coming up to the break, and Michael Ryan converted three from play to put Tipp ahead at the break by a score of 0-13 to 0-9 for Tipp.

Tipp's Brian Hartnett and Wexford's
Michael Walsh.
The pace of the game picked up noticeably in the second half.  Coady and Kavanagh drew Wexford closer with a point each before Sheerin finally got some room to swing the hurl and the Antrim man drove it home from inside the 14 yard line.  With the game on the line Jim O’Neill proved inspirational for Wexford in the middle of the field.  The Duffrey Rovers man was involved in the battles for the ball in the middle of the field and mostly came out on top through sheer determination.  The half was not as high scoring as the first; it was a case of the back lines on top.  With 10 minutes left the sides were level again following two O’Loughlin frees to a point from Eoghan Kavanagh.  It would take somebody with the courage to step up and win it.  James Rigney looked like he might be the hero with a go ahead point for Tipp, but again O’Neill led the Wexford effort on.  Paudie Kehoe leveled the scores, and with time running out the Slaneysiders squandered three great chances to win it.  With each possession counting for a possible score the final whistle about to sound the excitement level rose around Canton.  Eventually a hustling Peter Ryan, who had entered as a sub, caused the ball to break in the area and Moloney did not mess around driving the ball over the bar.  Tipp had one last chance that went over the endline and Galway knew who their opponent would be.  It is a final to look forward to, the champions Galway, against their Brighton rivals Wexford.  It will be a game not worth missing.

Referee:  John Owens (Loch Garman)

Man of the Match:  Jim O’Neill (Wexford)

Tipp:  P. O’Brien, J. Kindregan, B. O’Carroll, S. Norton, J. Rigney, J. Doughan, C. Dempsey, K. O’Loughlin, J. Wall, J. Roche, A. Callinan, B. Hartnett, M. Ryan.  Wexford:  E. Spruhan, M. Walsh, D. Redmond, B. O’Connor, P. Nolan, B. Dalton, J. O’Neill, P. Coady, J. Kehoe, E. Kavanagh, P. Kehoe, K. Sheerin, M. Moloney.

By Rory O'Donnell

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