Fr. Tom Burke's 1-18 Wexford 0-16
Needing to win to stay alive in the senior hurling championship, Fr. Tom's seniors had their backs against the wall on Saturday evening, and may have got some positive energy having seen their junior team earn a semi-final place just beforehand. With the sides having taken the break all square, Tom's got off to the better start in the second half and had themselves in a four point lead 10 minutes in. It was not smooth sailing however, as the back line had to do their bit with Wexford knocking on the door late in the game and less than a goal in it. Things felt a little more comfortable for Tom's after captain David O'Mahoney netted with 5 minutes to go and Tom's went on to win and survive to fight another day.
|It was a keenly contested game between Wexford and Tom's|
Saturday evening as Tom's hung on to stay alive.
Wexford made hay in the first half from frees conceded by Tom's. Simon Aylward was the punisher in chief from distance. The long range specialist put several frees over the bar, most from well out the field near or beyond the 65 mark. Wexford went into an early 3 point lead, scoring 5 points to Tom's 2, 3 coming from the free taking of Aylward. Tom's continued to needlessly concede frees within the range of the dangerous Wexfordman, and for a time it looked as if this would be the undoing of Tom's. However, eventally one had to go wide and it did followed by another shortly afterwards. The 3 point Wexford lead was erased towards the end of the half as Tom's finished with a five point flurry to Wexford's two. O'Mahoney, Stephen Quirke - who did well from the dead ball for Tom's, and a wonderful Shane Howley point brought Tom's back on level terms. At the break it was 0-11 each, though Tom's would have the breeze in the second half.
|David O'Mahoney makes a run at the Tom's defence.|
Tom's took advantage of that breeze and went into a 4 point lead. Quirke did the business on the scoring end of things, while Birr man, Barry Harding at wing back set the example for his cohorts as Wexford came banging on the door during the latter stages of the half. With the lead at 3 points, and a draw meaning no further progress for Tom's, there were some scary moments for Tom's. At one stage David Drake had what looked like a sure goal. Drake chose to boot the ball and it bounced wide of the far post. Wexford continued to push on in the latter stages, but on each occasion the Tom's defence held out and cleared. After Jamie Kehoe got Wexford within 2 points, Aodhan McInerney answered with a lovely score to restore the 3 point gap. David O'Mahoney netted a lovely goal with minutes left on the clock and the Tom's supporters could relax, a little anyway, as the clock was now their friend. Drake pointed for Wexford to close it to 5 near the end, and 21 yard free was saved by Owen Fleming, who did well under pressure at times during the second half.
So, Tom's still in the game and the teams will meet again on Wednesday night with the winner advancing to next Sunday's semi-final.
Tom's: O. Fleming, D. Lafferty, R. Burke, B. Harding, S. Coughlin, M. Deegan, S. Higgins, S. Howley (0-2), A. McInerney (0-1), J. Carroll, C. Joyce-Power, S. Quirke, (0-13) D. O'Mahoney (1-2). Wexford: E. Spruhan, N. McCaffrey, D.
M. Warnoc, P. Nolan, S. Aylward (0-10), T. Moloney, J. Keogh (0-1), T. Murphy,
D. Drake (0-4), S. O'Brien (0-1), J. Flynn-O'Connor, E. Kavanagh.
By Rory O'Donnell