By Mike Fitzpatrick
Connecticut State 7-16, Galway 0-10
Last year, the junior hurlers of Galway took part in one of the highest scoring games ever witnessed at Gaelic Park. On that occasion they came out as victors. This time however, it was a different story with Galway very much on the losing side against Connecticut State.
Entering the tie as holding champions, the Galwaymen were certainly tipped by many to be favorites to clinch another championship. They faced a Connecticut side featuring the Stamford footballing duo of Keith Hennessy and Richie Purcell, and though contesting something of an even battle throughout much of the first half, Galway slipped in the latter stages and walked away from the park battered and beaten.
Towards the end of the first half there were but two points between the sides, leading by 1-4 to 0-5. Connecticut gained a five-point lead when Tommy Brennan kicked a soccer style goal in past Dermot O’Brien to increase the difference to seven points.
After the interval, Galway fell apart. For almost twenty minutes, Connecticut attacked repeatedly. Brennan hit two more goals to claim a hat trick, and points from Purcell, Packie Roche, Hennessy, and substitute Musha Maher increased the difference between the two sides dramatically.
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Brian Mason eventually hit one back for Galway, though even at this stage, halfway through the second period, it was obvious that victory for Galway would be nigh on impossible. Hennessy and Purcell hit another few points for Connecticut, and subsequent goals from Hennessy, Maher and O’Connor did little to raise the dampened spirits of the Galway hurlers.
Despite possessing two of the most experienced hurling veterans in New York in Sean O’Donaghue and Brendan Shiels, the Galwegians were knocked out by this out of state side which must surely be favorites for silverware this season.
Connecticut State: Tony Power, Donal Leahy, Mark Comerford, Mick O’Connor, Liam Byrne, Paul Rafter, Keith Hennessy (1-4), Ollie O’Neill, Richie Purcell (0-2), Packie Roche (0-3), Cathal O’Sullivan (0-2), Tommy Brennan (3-1), JoJo Sullivan (1-0). Subs: Musha Maher (2-1), Ronan O’Connor (0-2), Mel McCormack (0-1), Eric McDonald, Noel McNamara.
Galway: Dermot O’Brien, Tom Bowes, David Butler, Brian Delaney, Enda Lohan, James Brady, Eamonn Shiels, Sean O’Donaghue (0-2), Tony Dunne, David Dunne (0-3), Kevin Shaughnessy, Brian Mason (0-4), Derek Glennon (0-2). Sub: Johnny Sammon
Man of the Match: Liam Byrne (Connecticut State).