Fr. Tom Burke's and Tipperary contested a magnificent game of hurling in an atmosphere that has not been seen at the Irish Cultural Center in quite some time. Tipperary had called upon the services of Clinton Hennessy who last played on the field eleven years ago. In the end it was a second half Kevin O'Brien goal that separated the sides and gave Tipperary a late lead that they managed to hang on to until the final whistle.
It was intensity from the throw on between Tipperary and Tom's. Each side produced some excellent hurling, wonderful scores, and tough tackling to keep the crowd on the edges of their seats. With the team's level at four points each, John Mulhall, Zane Keenan, and Niall O'Brien pointed four times between them, to scores from Jack Kellegher and Kevin O'Brien for Tipp. Tipp pulled the lead back in with O'Halloran and Kellegher points as the game flowed up and down the field at speed. By the time the break arrived, Tom's held a three point edge. John Mulhall, and two wonderfully taken points from Keenan from out on the stand side provided Tom's with a 0-13 to 0-10 edge at the break.
Tipperary always had the look of a team that was going to score a goal, Alan Keating was called upon to make a handful of good saves. In the meantime, Tipp had erased the Tom's lead with Sean Moriarty, Andy McRedmond, and Kellegher points. The goal came after Tom's had restored their lead to two points, one a brilliant effort from John Mulhall. Kevin O'Brien found room behind his man and buried the shot. The goal gave Tipp a lift and took some of the life out of Tom's efforts. Jack Kellegher extended the lead with two frees to one from Keenan for Tom's and now it was Tom's chasing the game. Tom's could not overturn the Tipp lead in the final minutes, and additional scores from McRedmond and Kellegher put the final touches on a win that will have sent Tipp home very satisfied indeed.
Tom's: A. Keating, G. Joyce, P. Heneghan, D. Costello, C. Joyce-Power, C. Healy, Z. Keenan, O. Burke, J. Mulhall, I. McDonnell, S. Howley, D. O'Mahoney, N. O'Brien. Tipp: C. Hennessy, S. McGarr, N. O'Connor, J. Kindregan, P. Flatherty, S. O'Halleran, C. Dempsey, R. Sludds, P. Glennon, S. Moriarty, J. Kellegher, P. Dalton, K. O'Brien.
A revamped Galway side took the field on Sunday to meet Brighton rivals, Wexford. Richie Cummins and Tomás O'Hanrahan lined out in the corner forward positions and Rory Hickey at center forward, and between them the Galway forward line had put the game away in the first 30 minutes. Galway started the game full of intensity, and did not allow Wexford any room on the ball. It seemed too easy for Galway in the first half, and though Wexford did not allow a goal in the second half, they needed to bag a couple to make a game of it. Galway's defence was too tight to allow that to happen.
The half time whistle must have come as a relief to Wexford for by the time it sounded, Galway had beaten Ed Spruhan five times. The goals seemed to come a little too easy from Wexford's viewpoint. Tomás O'Hanrahan netted a hat trick, with the balance coming from Paul Holden and Ger Malone. Galway's turned Wexford the back line inside out on occasion, and in fairness to Spruhan, there was not much he could have done to stop any of them. Galway were relentless in the half back line, John Moylan put in a determined first 30 minutes at wing back, as did Sean Phelan and JJ Doyle. Wexford had a chance at a major having won a penalty. Michael Moloney went low, but the ball bounced off the turf which took the sting out and Galway saved easily. Wexford got some encouragement with fine scores from Tom Moloney, and his brother, Michael, but Galway had matters well under control and took the break 13 points to the good.
Wexford's misery continued in the second half. Moloney stepped up to take another penalty opportunity, but again it went awry after was mishit and went wide of the posts. Galway tended to the lead and matched Wexford in the points column. Ed Spruhan pulled off a good save from Cummins to at least deny Galway a second half goal.
Wexford: Ed Spruhan, H. Wallace, M. Ryan, B. Doyle, B. Barron, T. Moloney, J. Kehoe, M. O'Regan, M. Moloney, P. Ryan, T. Ryan, P. O'Farrell, M. Mansfield. Galway: J. Skehill, P. Dowling, P. O'Dwyer, J. Moylan, S. Phelan, JJ Doyle, J. Regan, B. McNamara, P. Holden, R. Hickey, G. Malone, T. O'Hanrahan, R. Cummins.
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