Allianz HL D1: Tipp resist Wexford fightback
Allianz Hurling League Division 1A
TIPPERARY 3-21 WEXFORD 1-21
By John Fallon in Semple Stadium
A blistering scoring burst in the lead up half-time provided the foundation for Tipperary’s victory over Wexford in an entertaining Allianz League clash at Semple Stadium.
Michael Ryan’s men outscored Wexford by 0-11 to 0-1 in the closing ten minutes of the opening half to notch their second win of the campaign.
And while Wexford staged a late rally they were unable to prevent a first loss of the campaign with Jason Forde leading the way for Tipperary with a haul of 2-9.
There was little between the teams in the opening quarter but Tipperary then pulled away to open up a 1-15 to 1-8 interval lead.
Wexford were out of the blocks quickly and led by 0-4 to 0-1 after seven minutes, but only managed 1-4 for the remainder of the half.
Kevin Foley landed two of those early points from distance but Sean Curran, Jason Forde and John McGrath settled the Premier County.
Tipperary hit the front for the first time after 13 minutes when Sean Curran flicked the ball across and Forde lifted it and struck it superbly to the back of the net.
That lifted the Tipperary supporters in the crowd of 8,358 and Forde quickly followed with a free to lead by 1-4 to 0-5 after 15 minutes.
Paul Morris pulled back a point for Wexford and Aidan Nolan slotted an 18th minute penalty after Lee Chin was pulled down by Barry Heffernan.
Morris followed with a free but Wexford only managed one point in the remaining 15 minutes of the opening half.
Tipperary took over and went on a scoring spree which yielded 0-11 in 15 minutes as all six forwards found the target before the break, with Forde going in at the break with 1-7 in the bag.
Lee Chin and Morris pulled back points in the opening four minutes of the second-half for Wexford, but Tipperary responded with an excellent point from distance by Ronan Maher.
David Dunne hit back for Wexford before John McGrath set Forde up for his second goal and found the net with a bouncing shot to make it 2-16 to 1-11 after 43 minutes.
There were still eight points between them after 56 minutes after both sides landed three points each, before Forde landed a superb sideline to lead by 2-20 to 1-14 with ten minutes left.
Both sides missed good chances but Wexford rallied and hit four points in a row from Chin (two), Shaun Murphy and Rory O’Connor to leave five between them with five minutes remaining.
Another free from distance from Chin cut the gap further but Padraic Maher steadied Tipp nerves with a fine point from out the field.
His goalkeeper Daragh Mooney produced a stunning save to deny Conor McDonald and then Tipp broke down the field for ‘Bonner’ Maher to wrap up the issue with a fine goal.
Scorers for Tipperary: Jason Forde 2-09 (0-8f, 0-1 sideline), Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher 1-2, John McGrath 0-2, Barry Heffernan 0-1 Donagh Maher 0-1, Padraic Maher 0-1, Ronan Maher 0-1, Sean Curran 0-1, Noel McGrath 0-1, Michael Breen 0-1, Billy McCarthy 0-1
Scorers for Wexford: Lee Chin 0-10, 4f, 2 ’65), Aidan Nolan 1-0, Paul Morris 0-3f, Kevin Foley 0-2, Jack O’Connor 0-2, Shaun Murphy 0-1, David Dunne 0-1, Conor McDonald 0-1, Rory O’Connor 0-1.
TIPPERARY: Daragh Mooney; Sean O’Brien, James Barry, Donagh Maher; Barry Heffernan, Padraic Maher, Paudie Feehan; Brendan Maher, Ronan Maher; Sean Curran, Noel McGrath, Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher; Michael Breen, Jason Forde, John McGrath. Subs: Billy McCarthy for Heffernan (53), Ger Browne for Curran (60), Mark Russell for Breen (65).
WEXFORD: Mark Fanning; Damien Reck, Liam Ryan, Conor Firman; Paudie Foley, Matthew O’Hanlon, Diarmuid O’Keeffe; Kevin Foley, Shaun Murphy; Aidan Nolan, David Dunne, Jack O’Connor; Paul Morris, Lee Chin, Conor McDonald. Subs: Rory O’Connor for Morris (48), Cathal Dunbar for Dunne (58), Harry Kehoe for Murphy (61), Eanna Martin for O’Keeffe (69).
Referee: James McGrath (Tipperary).