HURLING

Fourteen-man Tipperary beaten by Wexford in National Hurling League

Eamonn Wynne

Reporter:

Eamonn Wynne

Email:

ewynne@nationalist.ie

James Barry

James Barry had a solid game for Tipperary in Sunday's Allianz National Hurling League game against Wexford


Wexford 1-15 Tipperary 1-14

Tipperary suffered their first defeat to Wexford in the National League since 2005 when they were beaten by a point in an exciting tussle at Wexford Park on Sunday.
Tipp, who had 14 players for all of the second half after Noel McGrath was given his marching orders in the 33rd minute, made a great fight of it and held Wexford at bay until the home team hit the front for the first time with Aidan Nolan's point, which turned out to be the winning score, deep in added time.
Tipp led at half-time by 1-7 to 0-6. But they knew they had it all to do in the second half, after Noel McGrath had been dismissed when he received a second yellow card in the 33rd minute, and with a strong breeze to face on the turnover.
Even with the numerical disadvantage, there was a real edge to Tipp's performance in the second period, compared to the lethargy of their opening half display.
They struck four points without reply in the opening seven minutes of the second half, those scores coming from Niall O'Meara, Seamus Callanan, Niall O'Meara again and Robert Byrne to push them eight clear.
However Wexford gradually put their numerical advantage, and the wind, to good use. They had points from Diarmuid O'Keeffe and Ian Byrne's free before a goal from the unmarked Seamus Casey invigorated their challenge(1-11 to 1-8).
Kevin Foley's point drew Wexford level in the 22nd minute but Tipp weren't finished yet. Seamus Callanan's free gave them their first score in 17 minutes, which left them ahead by the narrowest of margins.
After the sides traded further scores, Jake Morris preserved Tipp's one-point lead with a score that followed Seamus Callanan's block on Wexford goalie Eanna Martin, in the 33rd minute.
However in the remaining time, including four minutes of additional time, Wexford finished the stronger, with Diarmuid O'Keeffe's equalising point followed by Aidan Nolan's winner.
Tipp showed great fight in the second half and throughout the game their best performers were Seamus Callanan, Niall O'Meara, Michael Breen, Robert Byrne, Ronan Maher, James Barry and goalkeeper Paul Maher.
Tipperary got off to the ideal start with a goal after just 45 seconds. Seamus Callanan had some work to do when Niall O'Meara sent a handpass in his direction but the captain held off Wexford full back Darren Byrne and his scuffed shot was strong enough to beat goalie Eanna Martin.
Wexford, however, recovered well from the early setback. Showing the greater industry and desire, even playing against the wind, they kept in contact with points from Diarmuid O'Keeffe and Ian Byrne, who converted four frees.
Many of those frees were a source of annoyance for Tipp manager Liam Sheedy. However he said he had no complaints with the referee's decision to send off Noel McGrath, even though he made the point that he didn't think either foul was malicious. He received a yellow card for a high challenge on Kevin Foley in the 27th minute. Worse was to follow for the Tipp player six minutes later when he was given a second yellow card, and sent off, for a foul on Diarmuid O'Keeffe.
There had been ironic cheers from the Tipp supporters in the 31st minute when referee Colm Lyons awarded them a free, which Seamus Callanan converted to make it 1-4 to 0-5.
After McGrath's dismissal, Seamus Callanan was on target from three more frees, with Paudie Foley replying for Wexford, to leave four points in it at the break.
Tipperary - Paul Maher, Donagh Maher, James Barry, Ronan Maher (0-1), Seamus Kennedy, Padraic Maher, Barry Heffernan, Robert Byrne (0-1), Michael Breen, Jason Forde (0-2, 1 free), Noel McGrath, Patrick Maher, John O'Dwyer, Seamus Callanan (captain 1-7, 0-6 frees) and Niall O'Meara (0-2).
Substitutes - Jake Morris (0-1) for John O'Dwyer (46 minutes),Willie Connors for Barry Heffernan (49 minutes), Alan Flynn for Donagh Maher (52 minutes), John McGrath for Niall O'Meara (54 minutes) and Tom Fox for Robert Byrne (68 minutes).
Wexford - Eanna Martin, Damien Reck, Darren Byrne, Shane Reck, Paudie Foley (0-1), Matthew O'Hanlon (joint captain), Shaun Murphy, Diarmuid O'Keeffe (0-3), Kevin Foley (0-1), Aidan Nolan (0-1), Seamus Casey (1-1), Ian Byrne (0-6 frees), Cathal Dunbar (0-1 sideline), Conor McDonald and Liam Og McGovern.
Substitutes - Lee Chin (joint captain) for Damien Reck (half-time), Rory O'Connor (0-1) for Ian Byrne (47 minutes), Harry Kehoe for Seamus Casey (62 minutes).
Referee - Colm Lyons (Cork).