Monday, August 27, 2012

Senior Hurling: Wexford Steal it From Galway in Dramatic Finish

Wexford 3-14 Galway 0-20

It was a fantastic senior hurling final at the Irish Cultural Center in Canton on Sunday afternoon.  Maybe not quite David and Goliath, but Galway were the team with the stars while Wexford were definite underdogs.  For much of the game it was Galway who looked fitter, sharper, and more certain of their abilities.  Wexford had the fire in the belly though, and two second half goals that could not have contrasted more in nature, delivered the game.  Michael Moloney netted as good a goal as you will ever see, and on the 60th minute Paudie Kehoe mis-hit a long range free that traveled into the back of the Galway net to put the side two points to the good.

Wexford Hurlers Celebrate a Sweet Victory
Galway threatened to run away with it in the first 20 minutes as Wexford struggled to settle down.  The underdogs seemed a little anxious and made uncharacteristic mistakes.  Galway on the other had were running very smoothly.  Liam Rushe started on the half forward line and looked much more comfortable then in his first outing almost a month ago.  Points flew over the bar from all distances and angles for Galway.  Eoin Guinan, Kevin Canty, Cian McBride, and Rushe had Galway in a six points to one lead before the game was 10 minutes old.  It took a couple of Paudie Kehoe points from frees to settleWexford and the Slaneysiders remained in the contest.  Two Galway points were exquisite in nature, and Rushe was involved in both.  The first was from the middle of the field after Rushe won the ball on the sideline and the second came from a cleanly fielded ball by the Dubliner, who handpassed to fellow countyman McBride and the ball went between the posts.  At the break it was Galway five points to the good, and looking very much in control.

Wexford started the second half with a bang. After Eoghan Kavanagh pointed Michael Moloney netted to make it a one point game.  Again Galway took control as it seemed they could whenever they wanted to, and the points flew over the bar.  Guinan, Rushe, and John Moylan restored the lead to six points.  Moloney struck again with the best goal that Canton has seen in many years.  The ball found the Kilkenny man on the 14 at a tight angle and Moloney took one touch off the hurl and swung to fire the ball into the far corner.  Wexford were still a goal behind but the score garnered belief.  After Kavanagh followed with a point the game was anybody’s.  The sides traded points until there was five minutes left.  With Galway leading by a point a goal almost came for the tribesmen.  Spruhan saved a goalbound shot and Kevin Canty pulled on the rebound and over the bar it went.  Then came the dramatic finish that always seemed to be on the cards.  Kavanagh first had a half chance from a breaking ball, and sent it over the bar after pulling on it.  The Wexford’s third goal came and it sent the supporters into delirium.   Paudie Kehoe’s free from the 65 was hit low and looked like it would be dealt with easily, but it did not seem to get a touch before landing in the back of the net.  Wexford up by two now – a dangerous lead.  Gearoid O’Connor, who missed almost the entire season due to injury had the final say with a point from play.  Victory was particularly sweet for Wexford who had some things not got their way over the season.  Perhaps this year will deliver a North American Senior Championship to go with the junior from 2011.  If I were to hazard a guess, there will surely have been a rendition or two of the Transit Van before the night is out.

Referee:  James Owens (Loch Garman)

Man of the Match:  Michael Moloney (Wexford)  Moloney’s amazing goal gave Wexford the lift to keep Wexford going till the end.

Wexford:  E. Spuhan, M. Walsh, D. Redmond, B. O’Connor, P. Nolan, B. Dalton, P. Coady, J. O’Neill, J. Kehoe, E. Kavanagh, P. Kehoe, K. Sheerin, M. Moloney.  Galway:  M. Mulrooney, D. Shaw, C. Murphy, B. Watkins, S. Nolan, S. Corry, C. McBride, B. McNamara, L. Rushe, K. Canty, S. Brown, E. Guinan, J. Moylan.

By Rory O'Donnell

No comments: