Monday, June 6, 2016

Sheehan Cup Semi-Final: Wexford v Tipperary

Tipperary 3-14 Wexford 3-16

Wexford, who fielded 2 American born players in their starting lineup, earned a place in the Sheehan Cup final after a close encounter with a good looking Tipperary side.  The game ebbed and flowed and could have gone either way, but it was Wexford who finished with back to back points to seal the deal in the final minutes.

Wexford and Tipp played a well contested game Sunday.
The first 30 minutes were entertaining.  There was some good hurling from both sides, and some well taken scores.  Liam Moloney, lining out at center forward for Tipperary had a first half haul of 5 points from frees, while his Wexford counterpart, Shane Ryan accounted for three points from long range frees.  Mark Kavanagh and Sean Nally looked strong for Tipperary at wing forward and midfield respectively - Kavanagh pointed well from out on the wing on two occasions - though Moloney was Tipps big dangerman when on the ball.  Wexford were a match for their opponents and played the ball well.  With the teams tied at 6 points each Dan Sweatland took advantage of a rebound off the keeper and netted from just outside the small square for Wexford.  The goal was soon erased, Eoin Moriarty was on hand to double a rebound from a good save by keeper Dara O’Callaghan into the Wexford net.  Tipp could have added to their tally, but efforts at goal, rather than taking the points, from close range frees went for naught, and Moloney put the last two over the bar to put Tipp into a 1-8 to 1-7 half time lead.  Those frees were to prove costly in the end.

Brendan Phelan was effective after being introduced
in the second half.
The second half was just as close as the first.  Tipp added to their lead soon after the restart with points from Moloney and Eoin Moriarty, however Wexford, who just introduced Brendan Phelan and Kieran O’Dea to the fray, opened up a chink of daylight between themselves and their opponents, although the game was always in the balance.  The Wexford back line did a good job absorbing balls played into their direction, and with a lot of scoring options in their forward line looked like they may just hold the slight edge in the end. 

It was a Jamie Keogh goal half way in that set the platform.  Keogh’s low shot slipped under James Maher and into the net, turning a 2 point Tipp lead into a one point Wexford advantage.  Conor Sheehan and O’Dea added points and a goal stood between the sides and Wexford now had a lead to work with.  Tipperary managed to level matters with a Sean Delaney drive into the back of the net, but it was immediately canceled out by a goal strike from substitute Michael Orpen, just 10 seconds between the scores.  Wexford had added another point when Tipperary won a penalty after Sean Nally was pulled down, and it was dispatched with little fuss by Moloney.  Wexford were hanging on to their lead and ended well with points from Sean Delaney and Sweatland to see themselves into the final against Fr. Tom Burke’s.

Tipp:  J. Maher, S. McGarr, C. Neville, P. Moriarty, J. White, S. Fortune, C. Dempsey, S. Nally, M. Moriarty, L. Moloney, M. Kavanagh, S, Delaney, E. Moriarty.  Wexford:  D. O’Callaghan, J. McCarthy, D. Walsh, G. Lundy, T. Moloney, S. Ryan, J. Kehoe, E. Flaherty, D. Sweatland, E. Kavanagh, R. Sludds, D. Binden, K. Joyce.

By Rory O'Donnell

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