By Pierce O’Reilly
When New York hurling chairman Dessie Costello sits down with his delegates later this year, the Junior Hurling championship is sure to come under the microscope. It simply hasn’t been a success this year. The four participating teams have given their all, yet something is missing. Junior hurling in New York hasn’t the bite it should have.
On Sunday, the semifinals were very poor. Tipperary easily disposed of Galway in the second game at the Park on Sunday and if it wasn’t for some atrocious shooting early on, they’d have sent the tribesmen packing much earlier.
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Leading by 0-4 to 0-3 after 15 minutes, Tipperary pushed the cruise-control button to the finish. Paul Hogan had a virtuoso performance in the Tipp attack, hitting six points. Darren Keane and Jack O’Donnell also worked hard.
Center back Sean Shepard proved once again he can hurl with the big boys. Shepard is the most underrated player in the Big Apple. If he continues to train, he’ll make the top team soon.
Four points separated the sides at the changeover, 1-8 to 1-4, after a pedestrian performance. Tipperary controlled the second half and with goals arriving in abundance from Darrren Keane and Padraig Costigan, they pushed the Westerners to one side.
Galway’s best player, Rory Connelly, played his heart out. However, he lacked support, especially in attack. Sean Nolan, Eamon Shields and David Dunne also tried hard, but they lacked the power and panache of the Tipperary men.
Galway: Mick O’Rourke, Fergal Connelly, Kenny Griffins, John Skehan, Sean Nolan, Brian Delaney, Eamon Shields, Enda Lally, Rory Connelly (0-5), Martin O’Rourke, David Dunne (0-1), Ronan Stankard (1-3), Sean Donoghue.
Tipperary: John Kissane, Donal Cummins, Steve Carty (1-1), Sean Shephard (0-3), Declan Burke, Padraig Costigan (1-0), Keith McAdams (0-1), Darren Keane (1-3), Robert Ryan (0-1), Andy Carr (0-1), Jack O’Donnell (1-1), Paul Hogan (0-6).