Tipperary put Wexford to the sword
Tipperary 3-12 Wexford 0-10
|Liam Dunne and Brian O’Meara in the incident that led to their sending off (© Inpho)|
Not even a downpour of biblical proportions could dampen Tipperary supporter’s spirits this evening after their team booked a place in the All-Ireland hurling final.
After last week’s drawn game, there was no mistakes, no late collapses from Tipp this time around and the Munster champions led from start to finish in a clash marred by appalling conditions and three red cards.
The dismissals came on the half hour mark as first Liam Dunne and Brian O’Meara clashed and referee Pat Horan, perhaps rashly, ordered the pair off the park. There was no question regarding the validity of the third red card, however, as moments later Wexford were reduced to 13 men.
Michael Jordan was the culprit, aiming a wholly unnecessary swipe across the ankles of a Tipperary defender to earn him a straight red card and leave his team with a mountain to climb.
The match started in atrocious conditions, and both teams struggled to get on the scoreboard in the early stages. The first score didn’t arrive until nearly the tenth minute but when it did, tellingly, it was Tipperary seizing the initiative.
John Farrell ploughed a furrow straight through the middle of the Wexford defence and with the goal opening up in front of him, opted to kick past Fitzhenry in the Wexford goal.
It took Wexford until the 13th minute to get on the scoreboard but already Tipperary were getting to grips with the weather and beginning to rule the roost.
Wexford were relying on the expert free-taking abilities of Paul Codd - they failed to point from open play until the 25th minute - but with Codd in this sort of form they kept in touch and at half-time were just one point adrift.
In the second period Tipperary’s numerical advantage began to tell and they quickly set about re-establishing their dominance. Codd was being marked out of the game and Wexford were unable to make any inroads up front, failing to score until 19 minutes into the second period.
Tipp, on the other had, were causing all sorts of problems and when Eugene O’Neill scored their second goal, they were home, if not dry. The substitute exploited a gaping hole in the Wexford defence and with no challenges was able to stroke the sliothar past a hopelessly exposed Fitzhenry.
Wexford fought gamely, Codd taking his tally to seven points but that was just one of two Wexford scores in the half. This time there were no late goals and the gulf between the teams was simply too wide to be bridged.
Eoin Kelly grabbed nine points for the Premier County and well before Eugene O’Neill’s injury time goal, Tipp were running out comfortable victors, eventually winning by 11 points.
Tipperary await the winners of tomorrow’s second semi-final between Kilkenny and Galway.
drawn game, there was no mistakes, no