Saturday, August 25, 2018

Sat Aug 25 - Junior A Hurling Final: Offaly v Galway

Offaly 2-16 Galway 4-15
Galway captured the junior hurling trophy with a victory over an Offaly team that kept plugging away, but could not quite make up the sizeable gap they had given themselves to overcome.  Four first half goals for Galway saw the Offaly team looking into a 12 point half time hole.  Offaly reduced the lead to a single score, but that was as close as the faithful county side got. 
Offaly Gave it a Rattle but Could not Catch Galway.
The teams matched each other for points in the opening 30 minutes, but Offaly were staring into a 12 point hole at the half after Galway netted 4 times in the space of 10 minutes to take a firm hold of the game.  JJ Doyle, who resurrected himself to almost legendary status goaled twice from corner forward for Galway.  Adam Kenny set Doyle up for the first one which the Wexford native buried, and for the second Doyle sneaked the ball into the far corner.  Jack Lyons and John Moylan claimed the others, each well taken strikes.
For Offaly it was Stephen Brown at corner forward, and Jimmy Rigney and Eric Finn on the half forward line who were the main threats.  Finn opened up room for himself with his speed to pop over twice, and balance were taken between Rigney and Brown.  Unfortunately for Offaly, there were many balls that dropped into the forward line that the Galway backs were alert to and cleared well.  Galway put them over the bar through Moylan, Jack Lyons, Mattie Brooks, Doyle, and Frank McCormack with a superb score to take the teams into the break.
Galway Hurling Club - Junior Champions
The second half saw much of the same woes befall Offaly with the Galway backs on top for most of the period.  Balls dropped in seemed to fall in front of a maroon jersey more often than not, but Offaly kept chipping away and eventually got some change from the Galway defence.  Finn pointed twice and Paul Clifford once to a single Galway score from Doyle before Brown netted.  Brown fetched a high ball and turned to fire the sliotar home.   It was still a dauting task to overcome though and the score made it a 7 point game.
Galway set about restoring their advantage with Moylan pointing from a free and once with a superb effort from play.  Adam Kenny also pointed for the westerners, but there was more to come from Offaly.  With the time fast running out Finn pointed twice, and Cormac Dunphy once with a great catch and strike before Brown hit with a second goal.  It came in similar fashion to the first and the 6 unanswered points put just 4 points in the game.  Rigney reduced the gap to a goal, and now it was a case of could Offaly net one more time before time ran out.  It was not the case as Galway pointed twice before the end, captain, Adam Kenny put both points over the bar to seal it for Galway. 
Offaly:  Gary Sherlock, Emmet Moran, Seamus Loftus, Jack Murray, Oisin McCormack, Jack Whelehan, Jack Dunford, Thomas Quirk, Eric Finn, James Rigney, Paul Clifford, Cian Clifford, Stephen Brown.
Galway:  John Coleman, James Kinsella, Cormac Dunphy, Peter Dolan, Trevor Lee, Frank McCormack, Mike Moylan, Ryan Garry, Jack Lyons, Adam Kenny, John Moylan, JJ Doyle, Mattie Brooks.
By Rory O'Donnell

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