Monday, August 25, 2014

Senior Hurling Final: Galway v Fr. Tom Burke's

Fr. Tom Burke’s 3-13 Galway 1-11
Tom's celebrate their first Boston championship victory in 10 years.

Fr. Tom Burke’s bridged a 10 year gap and captured the senior hurling championship for the first time since 2004.  A brilliant second half performance from substitute John Mulhall turned the tables in favour of Tom’s, and two goals in the latter period by Ian McDonnell earned Tom’s a well deserved victory over arch rivals Galway.  

The first half was marked by several wides early on from Tom’s and later in the half from Galway.  In the meantime Galway tallied six points, Rory Hickey, John Moylan, and Paul Holden contributed to the tally.  A Galway penalty resulted in a point after Alan Keating deflected James Skehill’s shot over the bar.  Tom’s found the going tough around the half forward line.  Galway’s first line of defence was solid and much of the ball dropping in that area was returned from whence it came.  A goal kept Tom’s in the game.  Joe Fitzpatrick crossed the ball to Ian McDonnell who batted home from the far post for Tom’s first score of the game.  Fran Keenan pointed once from a free and once from a sideline cut to keep it close.  At the break Galway led by a score of 0-7 to 1-5.
Tom's Captain Cormac Joyce-Power

Tom’s stormed out of the gates following the restart and the fortunes of the forward line greatly improved.  Kilkenny man John Mulhall had been introduced just before half time and with his presence on the field, Tom’s game had some added bite to it.  After a three points to two start to the second half, Ian McDonnell’s persistence resulted in a goal.  The chance came from a Shane Howley hook further out the field broke up the Galway’s possession, and the ball ended in McDonnell’s hand.  The big man’s strength made the opening for the shot.  Galway’s John Moylan got the goal back minutes later.  A clean grab from a puckout and Moylan was off to the races and finished well into the corner of the net.

The goal reduced Tom’s lead to two points as Keenan had hit three frees.  Tom’s further extended their lead with points from Keenan, McDonnell, and Mulhall and the belief grew among the Tom’s supporters in the crowd that the day could be theirs.  On the field Tom’s dug deep and every ball was tightly contested as they could taste the win.  Galway needed a goal as time was running out, but it was McDonnell who netted for Tom’s and rounded off his hat trick with 2 minutes to go, the goal another where strength and persistence paid off to put the ball over the line.  There was too much for Galway to do at that stage and Tom’s celebrated a well earned victory. 

Tom’s last Boston championship was also marked with a NACB championship.  Seamus Higgins, who started on Sunday, was also on that Tom’s team that dominated in Denver in 2004.  San Francisco’s Na Fianna will be coming to town looking to make it four North Americans in a row, Tom’s will have their work cut out.

Tom’s:  Alan Keating, Gordon Joyce, Cahir Healy, Dylan Costello, Cormac Joyce-Power, Niall O’Brien, Seamus Higgins, David O’Mahoney, Ian McDonnell, Zane Keenan, Shane Howley, Joe Fitzpatrick, Oisin Burke.   Galway:  James Skehill, Paddy Dowling, Chris Murphy, Sean Phelan, Greg Lally, JJ Doyle, Odhran Floyd, James Regan, Paul Holden, Rory Hickey, John Moylan, Thomas O’Hanrahan, Richie Cummins.

By Rory O'Donnell

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