Sunday, June 12, 2016

Senior Hurling: Fr. Tom Burke's v Galway

Galway 0-20 Fr. Tom Burke’s 2-12

The senior hurling championship opened with a bang as Galway and Tom’s played a fabulously exciting 60 minutes of hurling.  Tom’s went in at the break with a two goal cushion, but Galway overturned it and at the end it was Tom’s chasing a leveling score with Galway holding out till the final whistle amid much nail biting and frayed nerves.

Robbie Henley tries to shake his marker.
Tom’s took the half time break two goals to the good thanks to a strong second 15 minutes.  Galway had been enjoying plenty of possession and room around the middle of the field, and for the opening quarter looked the more settled side.  Jamie Coughlin at center forward looked sharp and tallied four points, two from play and two from frees.  Gerry Lane at wing back also opened well and Galway held a six points to three lead in the early going.

A goal from Robbie Hanley settled Tom’s.  It came after 20 minutes, a shot was saved by Joe Loftus in the Galway goals, and Hanley was on hand to pull on it from the edge of the small square.  Tom’s efforts were visibly raised following the score and there was more urgency and bite to their play.  Tom’s outscored Galway five points to two during before another brilliantly worked goal added to their lead.  This time it was Robbie Hanley who finished after Shane Howley found him with a ball across the penalty box.  Galway ended the half with points from Enda Feeney and Coughlin to leave it a 2-8 to 0-8 half time score and momentum with the team in green and black.

Galway took advantage of the strong breeze and within 10 minutes had erased the Tom’s lead.  Coughlin drove two frees over from distance with the aid of the wind, and the Galway backs were under every ball that hung in the air as Tom’s Tom’s tried to revive their fortunes.  The Galway forward line spread the scoring around, Liam O’Sullivan, Enda Feeney, and Jack Ahern added to the Galway total and with 15 minutes to go it was Galway who led by two points, with Tom’s yet to tally a second half score.

Coming into the final 10 minutes Galway had a golden chance to open the gap even further.  Pa White was bundled over in the box as he shot, however, Owen O’Rourke made a fantastic diving save to deny Coughlin a goal.  Coughlin put the 70 over the bar with ease as the wind seemed to pick up force, the frees from distance flying like darts over the bar.  With the let off, Tom’s tried to rally for the final 10 minutes and overturn the deficit.  Keith Kennedy, Dylan Costello and Gary Brennan entered the field  for Tom’s and the fresh legs aided their cause.  Delaney with a free, and Hogan with a well taken point from play narrowed the gap to a point and the excitement grew coming into the last few minutes as Tom’s went looking for a leveling score.  Tom’s drove on for an equalizing score and Galway held out, with White putting an insurance point over the bar for the Tribesmen.  Disappointment for Tom’s while Galway will be feeling good about their chances heading into the heat of the championship.

Galway:  J. Loftus, D. Quirke, C. Daly, G. Lane, P. O’Leary, D. Landon, C. Lonney, D. Murray, P. White, J. Coughlin, E. Feeeney, J. Ahern, L. O’Sullivan.  Tom’s:  O. Webb O’Rourke, K. Hanifan, S. Kilduff, C. Forde, C. Joyce-Power, C. Bergin, D. Delaney, A. Hogan, S. Howley, R. Hanley, S. O’Riordan, A. Moore, A. Morey.

By Rory O'Donnell

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