Allianz Hurling League Roinn 1 Semi-Final – Tipperary 5-18 Wexford 1-19

Tipperary defeated Wexford by 5-18 to 1-19 in the Allianz Hurling League Roinn 1 Semi-Final on Sunday April 16th at Nowlan Park Kilkenny.

Five goals help Tipp through to Division 1 final with win over Wexford

Tipperary 5-18 Wexford 1-19

Report by John Fogarty for the Irish Examiner newspaper

The McGrath brothers John and Noel were the difference for Tipperary as their second-half goals sent the All-Ireland champions into a Division 1 final meeting with Galway next Sunday.

In front of over 19,000 in Nowlan Park, Tipperary found it difficult to shrug off Wexford and led by just two points up to the hour mark when Michael Ryan’s men hit an unanswered 2-4 in the space of five minutes. John McGrath found his range for the second time in the game when Dan McCormack teed him up and Noel added his second in the 64th minute when substitute John O’Dwyer picked him out.

Brendan Maher then struck for two points to put the seal on a flattering win for Tipperary although they had to do without any scored free, awarded just one for the entirety of the game.

Wexford had approximately 20 scoring opportunities in the first half which against this strong breeze was quite something. Their accuracy, though, let them down and they went in at the break 2-6 to 0-8 down. The first Tipperary goal in the sixth minute came by way of a James Breen error from a slack ball forward by Seamus Kennedy. John McGrath pounced on his error and headed towards goal before smashing a shot past Mark Fanning.

Wexford recovered and had a couple of points on the board when Noel McGrath, put through by Niall O’Meara, scored a second in the 18th minute although Breen looked to have been fouled by O’Meara in the build-up much to the ire of Davy Fitzgerald who entered the field to remonstrate with referee Diarmuid Kirwan. He then received a shoulder from Jason Forde for his troubles.

The team then exchanged points but a brace of scores, Lee Chin and David Redmond obliging, brought Wexford to within four. Seamus Callanan and Jason Forde cancelled them out but Wexford again enjoyed a good spell and would have felt they should have been closer than the four-point margin.

Scorers for Tipperary: J. McGrath, N. McGrath (2-2 each); B. Maher (1-2); M. Breen (0-4); S. Callanan (0-3, 1 65); J. Forde (0-2); P. Maher, J. O’Dwyer, D. Quinn (0-1 each).

Scorers for Wexford: C. McDonald (0-7, 6 frees); L. Chin (0-4, 1 65); D. Redmond (0-3); L. Ryan (1-0); J. O’Connor, D. O’Keeffe, P. Morris, D. Dunne, K. Foley (0-1 each).

TIPPERARY: D. Gleeson; M. Cahill, J. Barry; R. Maher; S. Kennedy, P. Maher, C. Barrett; B. Maher, J. Forde; D. McCormack, N. O’Meara, S. O’Brien; N. McGrath, S. Callanan, J. McGrath.
Subs for Tipperary: M. Breen for N. O’Meara (h-t); J. O’Dwyer for S. O’Brien (48); D. Quinn for J. Forde (65); T. Hamill for J. Barry, B. Heffernan for S. Kennedy (both 68).

WEXFORD: M. Fanning; J. Breen, L. Ryan, D. Reck; S. Murphy; W. Devereux, M. O’Hanlon (j-c), D. O’Keeffe; A. Nolan, J. O’Connor; P. Morris, D. Redmond, L. Chin (j-c); D. Dunne, C. McDonald.
Subs for Wexford: J. Guiney for D. Reck (49); H. Kehoe for D. Redmond, K. Foley for P. Morris (both 54); S. Donohue for A. Nolan (63).

Referee: D. Kirwan (Cork).