Tipperary 1-15 Worcester 2-7
Worcester made their foray into the higher levels of junior hurling for the first time Sunday afternoon. In an unusual start, a clash of colours meant that the visitors had to don red bibs for the duration of the game, and Tipperary started the game a handful of players short of the 13. Worcester led at the break, and in spite of battling hard in the second half, the Worcester men ended up on the losing end as Tipperary pulled away to end up five point winners.
|Tipperary Corner Back, Craig Gillis breaks away to clear the ball.|
Worcester held a one point lead at the break, in large part thanks to 2 goals from PJ Heffernan. Both goals came in the latter part of the half. Tipp keeper, Sean Delaney had made a good stop from Liam Kelly’s shot and Heffernan was on hand to clean up the rebound for the first. Heffernan was again on hand at the edge of the box to poach another away just before the break.
Tipp had got off to a good start although the Premier men started the game with just 10 players. Simon Sinnott, Pat Moriarty pointed before Skippy O’Donnell netted from outside the 14. Johnny McGrath was playing well in the Tipp half back line, however, the Worcester men gradually worked their way into the game and Dan Swetland’s striking from the dead ball was on the mark. Brendan Greene added a point from play to keep the scoreboard ticking over for Worcester. It was Moriarty putting them over for Tipp who had eventually filled out their ranks to the full 13 by the time half time came.
The pace of the game picked up in the second half with the teams at parity in terms of personnel. Tipperary put the first 3 points over the bar with Liam Butler the man on the mark. Worcester had several chances to add to their tally, but some wayward shooting saw a yield of just 2 points for their efforts. Moriarty tallied three in a row to put Tipperary into a five point lead with the last 10 minutes to go.
Worcester worked hard to generate a goal chance that would give them a lifeline, but Tipp had the game sewn up at that stage and a goal looked a remote possibility. The teams traded points to finish out the game. A first taste of the higher level of junior hurling for Worcester who acquitted themselves well against an opposition of seasoned veterans and skilled young players.
Tipp: S. Delaney, C. Gillis, D. O’Brien, J. McGrath, M. Moriarty, S. Sinnott, P. Moriarty, B. Crowley, L. Butler, S. Kennedy, K. O’Donnell, B. O’Regan, J. McGrath. Worcester: J. Grimes, M. Dufresne, M. O’Connor, J. Donahue, D. Swetland, D. Smith, Sean O’Shaughnessy, J. , B. Greene, Seamus O’Shaughnessy, M. Dufault, L. Kelly, PJ Heffernan.
By Rory O'Donnell