Category: Archive

Waterford hurlers rounding into form

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

12:30 p.m., Junior Hurling

Connecticut vs. Tipperary

This is a tough match to handicap. Connecticut are the defending Junior champions and have made a successful jump to the Senior grade. Tipperary, of course, always have excellent squads at both grades. The Junior hurlers have been keeping a low profile thus far, so a lot will be learned from this match.

2 p.m., Senior Hurling

Kilkenny vs. Waterford

This should be a competitive match. The Cats may be able to finally put all of the recent controversy behind them and concentrate on hurling. Vinny Norton is having a fine season and Kevin McKay has talent to spare. Kilkenny also have sharp shooter Damien Mason to punish any overzealous tackling with lethal free-taking skills.

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Waterford are the team of the moment back in Ireland and they have a fine team here as well. Westmeath and Offaly both fell to the Deices earlier this season. A solid defense is led by veteran keeper Jim Duggan, Stuart Barry, and John Pendergast. Sean Daly has been their scoring ace, with midfielder Francis Halpin also chipping in. Waterford look too strong.

3:30 p.m., Senior A

Tyrone vs. Westmeath

Tyrone have been somewhat unfortunate this season, getting the short end in a couple of well-played matches. In Tyrone’s most recent match, they dropped a thriller to Kerry. They got good performances from Ciaran Byrne, Phil Sloane, and Ciaran Doyle in defense. Oliver Gaughan and Martin O’Rourke were their top performers up front.

Westmeath are a capable squad who can be very dangerous if they get rolling. Peter Dalton, Kieran Walsh and Tom Quinn are tough backs. Enda Henry, Dave Fitzgerald, and P.J. Ward lead a potent forward line. This is a toss up.

5 p.m., Senior B

Mayo vs. Offaly

Mayo and Offaly close Sunday’s schedule. For the Westerners, much depends on the performance of Brendan Horan. The Mayo center half forward can score as well as distribute and could be a thorn in Offaly’s side. Liam McDonald and Kevin Toughy are solid running mates for Horan and well-known hurler John Madden has played a solid midfield for Mayo.

Offaly had a strong win over Clare in their last outing, rebounding well from poor performances versus Monaghan (a loss) and Roscommon (a draw). Sean Nolan, Enda Condren, and Danny Leavy lead the way for the Faithful and with their ship righted, they will be favorites on Sunday.

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