As a result of last weekend’s league fixtures being arranged for early in the day I was able to make it home in time to see the hurling final and what a fantastic game of hurling it was.
Taking nothing away from the skill and talent of Tipperary, Sunday’s game demonstrated clearly that a hungry team is always in with a great chance of beating opponents considered by many to be far superior. I would not for one minute claim to be any sort of authority on hurling but anything I read or heard in the lead up to the game seemed to suggest that Kilkenny were unbeatable. The Premier county’s display put paid to all that as the old adage of fifteen versus fifteen came into play. It was a great game and may well prove to be hugely important in the development of hurling throughout the country. This win will give a huge boost to counties such as Galway, Dublin, Cork and Waterford and that can only be good for the game.
Tyrone Ladies senior team must have had mixed emotions following last Saturday’s draw with Kerry in The All Ireland semi final. It was a strange game that had lots of exciting and entertaining twists and turns. Tyrone dominated the early stages and were looking very convincing as both Joline and Cathy Donnelly found space and time inside the Kerry defence. However Kerry made one or two changes and slowly played themselves back into the game. Their goal just before half time was a crucial score and it gave them a huge boost in confidence and something to really fight for. The game ebbed and flowed in the second half with both sides enjoying periods of dominance. It looked like advantage Kerry when they were awarded a second half penalty while leading by two points. However Tyrone goalkeeper Lynch managed to push the ball wide of the post and out for a forty five. It is amazing the effect such a situation can have on a game because within forty five seconds of the penalty save Tyrone had netted at the other end with a fine goal from Cathy Donnelly,
It really was game on at this stage and both teams went at it hell for leather with Kerry just about shading the final ten minutes in terms of possession and chances. A late goal from their midfielder and captain Breen drew the sides level and it was the team in green and gold that looked the more threatening at the end. Tyrone looked out on their feet and Niall Colton was a relieved man at the final whistle.
In fairness it was a game neither side deserved to lose and both sides will feel they have lessons to learn from this one. The replay tomorrow (Saturday) will be sure to draw a large crowd and will again be shown live on TG4.