This senior hurling clash between rivals Galway and Tipperary was a goalfest with a plethora of points thrown in as well. Though in the opening quarter the teams were close and the scoring low, Galway were much the better team as Tipperary appeared ring rusty.
Up front Kevin Reilly and Adrian Purcell were the main architects of Galway's success while defenders Lynch, Farrell and Butler were in command for most of the game. Meanwhile, Reilly had the opening score but Tipp's Paul Loughnane and Enda Loughlin quickly replied . Purcell had his first score for the beginning of a very productive afternoon while Jason Daly and Reilly traded points to level the proceedings as the halfway stage approached.
Loughnane pushed his team ahead but not for long as Galway had now adopted their A game as the points began to flow with regularity as Reilly (4), Farrell and John McLoughlin were all on target. David Liddy and Conor McInerney did respond with two for Tipp but it was just a brief respite before another Galway scoring storm.
First Reilly had a brace of minors before Purcell struck for a major as he punished a poor clearance and indeed he might have another a minute later but the referee called back the play for a free. Reilly soon had the second goal from the penalty spot while Liddy and Loughlin finished out the scoring to leave Galway ahead by 2-11 to 0-9 at the break.
On the resumption, Tipperary were given a boost as James Williams netted after a defensive slip up in the Galway rearguard. However the momentum remained with Galway as they hit seven points over the next quarter while holding Tipp to just two. Purcell would add another goal as the game drifted further away from Tipp while Kieran Geary, Reilly andMcLoughlin added further points as the game had become very one-sided.
However, for the last few minutes Tipperary did manage to give the score board a much better complexion as Loughnane, Williams and Liddy breached the Galway defense for goals. But this late lapse for Galway was just a small blemish on an otherwise very rewarding day for the Tribesmen.
Galway Adrians Mullins, David Lynch, Liam Butler, Paul Cahill, Aaron Farrell(0-1), Paul Kelly, John McLaughlin(0-2), Kieran Geary(0-2), Roy Hanley, Bob McCarthy, Kevin Reilly(1-12), Aidan Moylan, Adrian Purcell(2-5) Subs Conor Slatter, John Blake, Alan Shercock, Danny Breen, Conor O'Brien, Tadgh Lyons, John O'Sullivan Tipperary Kevin Kennedy, Conor Hayes, Paddy Touhey, David Liddy(1-2), Brian Burke, Paul O'Connor(0-1), Enda Loughlin(0-2), Conor McInerney(0-1), John Saddliers, Paul Loughnane(1-4), Jason Daly(0-1), James Williams(2-0), Mark Langton Subs John Madden, David Loughnane, Ciaran Cox, Robbie Quinlan, Tony Spillane Referee Paddy Hogan Man of Match Kevin Reilly
LEITRIM TOP KERRY
Leitrim got their championship aspirations and actions back on track as they got the better of Kerry in this tense, physical battle. With Leitrim's Pat Madden and Adrian O'Connor dominating midfield, it ensured a plentiful supply of the ball to the forwards. Chief among the score getters were Tommy Freeman who ended up with 1-7 for the day but he alsogot good support from Rory Woods, Ken O'Connor and Dan Doona.
At the other end Kerry's vaunted attackers, Barry John Walsh, Alan O'Donoghue, Kevin Walsh and Paddy Smith werewell held in check by Paudge O'Connor, Alan O'Sullivan, Kevin O'Brien and Johnny Goldrick. Indeed, Leitrim's margin of victory should have been more, but they failed to turn their territorial superiority into more scores.
Leitrim went on the attack from the throw in but Doona's attempt was wide of the target. Nevertheless, Freeman had the opening score after a minute from a free after he was fouled. He also had the second point after four minutes for a foul on Doona. Two minutes later, Leitrim's third point came from a surging run by Goldrick who picked out Big Kenny with a fine pass, but the big man was fouled as he attempted to shoot. Once again, Freeman pointed the free; ah yes, he certainly is the freeman.
At the other end sporadic attacks by Kerry ended with wides for the Walsh duo and Paddy Smith. Leitrim were still controlling the game as Woods landed the fourth point while withstanding several robust challenges to his portly frame in the process. The score was set up by the tenacious tackling of Lonan McGuire as he intercepted a promising Kingdom attack.
Over a quarter had elapsed before Kerry had their first score. It was a major one, a goal from a penalty. Keeper Power hauled down danger man Kevin Walsh as he turned to shoot. Walsh blasted the resultant penalty to the roof of the net with power and precision. The drama quickly switched to the other end where a high shot from Freeman hovered in the goalmouth where attempts from Doona and Adrian O'Connor failed to steer in over the line.
The ball was eventually cleared to safety but not for long as an Alan O'Sullivan run ended with a foul on the forty which Freeman pointed. O'Sullivan was also involved in the next score as he and McGuire, along with fullback Paudge O'Connor, carried the ball almost the length for the fullback to hit the score.
Twenty minutes had elapsed before Kerry had their first point which was a spectacular effort from Ambrose O'Donovan after he linked up well with Kevin Walsh, Kerry's most dangerous player. At the other end, the Kingdom rearguard were having a tough time curtailing the burly Big Bird, aka Big Kenny, as he won another free with Freeman pointing as a result. Substitute Mike Creegan soon made his presence felt after he entered the fray as tenacious tackling in the corner forced a turnover and speedster Creegan cut along the end line to loft a pass to Big Kenny who was duly flattened, a formidable task.
Freeman shaved the inside of the post with the spot kick to leave Leitrim ahead by 1-7 to 1-1 as half time approached. Kevin Walsh had the last score of the period for a foul on the other Walsh, Barry John. Though Freeman opened the scoring after twenty seconds with a point, Kerry had the better of the exchanges for the next quarter as they hit three unanswered.
First, Ambrose O'Donovan landed a fine effort from distance while Kerry also wasted a number of chances. Further points from O'Donoghue and Walsh left just a goal between the sides but they would get no closer as the bustling Woods drew a free which Freeman pointed. For the remaining quarter Leitrim stepped up production as they hit three points with Doona hitting two, while Freeman had the other from a late hit on fullback O'Connor as he was about to record his second point. Leitrim also spurned a good goal chance as a good delivery from Madden sent Adrian O Connor in on goal but he blasted the ball off keeper Clifford for a forty five.
Kerry's only response was an O'Donovan point after Barry John Walsh did the support work. Overall, Leitrim were full deserving of their victory as they played as a team using very constructive and for the most part disciplined tactics.
Leitrim Kieran Power, Kevin O'Brien, Paudge O'Connor(0-1), Lonan McGuire, John Goldrick, Alan O' Sullivan, Kieran Scannell, Pat Madden, Adrian O'Connor, Jeff Farrell, Rory Woods(0-1), Colm Cronin, Dan Doona(0-3), Ken O'Connor, Tommy Freeman(1-7) Subs Mike Creegan, Dermot Keane, Ryan Sullivan, Pat Daly Kerry Shane Clifford, Anthony Glacken, Paul McGill, Diarmuid Lyng, Darren Courtney, Eoghan O'Mahoney, Johathon Lyne, Mike Jim Fitzgerald, Ambrose O'Donovan(0-3), Kevin Walsh(1-2), Barry John Walsh, Niall Corbett, Alan O'Donoghue(0-1), Paddy Smith, Ross Donovan Subs CJ Molloy, Sean Reilly, Alan Lyne, Brian O'Connor, Nobbie Smith, Dermie Foley, Paul Geaney Referee Eugene Kyne. Man of Match, Tommy Freeman.
CORK ULTIMATELY PREVAIL OVER CAVAN
In the opening quarter there was little between these teams as they were like boxers in the early rounds cautiously sizing each other up. Vinney Lehane had the opening score, finishing a good move involving John McLoughlin and Mike Travers.
The ubiquitous Jason Kelly returned the kick out for a score. Barry McGinn had the Breffni Boys first score whileIan Rowland and Derek Courtney added a brace for the Rebels with the ever running John Fitzpatrick in support. The Cavan men then produced their brace via Ronan McGinley and McGinn.
Approaching the halfway stage, Jonathon O'Sullivan and Steve Harold exchanged points before Cork surged ahead with points from Travers, Fitzpatrick, Lehane and Rowland(2) before a miscued pass into the middle was intercepted by Paul Lambe and he made full use of numerous long strides to crash the ball to the net. Courtney, relishing in his new position, and the hard working Lehane finished the scoring to leave the Rebels ahead by 0-12 to 1-4 at the break.
McGinn opened the second period with a point but Rowland replied for the Rebels and Jason Kelly landed two very impressive scores from long distance frees. Cavan picked up the pace for the next quarter to hit four points as Cavan's best player, Lambe, surged forward for two and the very industrious Harold and O'Halloran hit the target as well leaving just a goal between the sides.
Brian McCarthy had a great chance of a goal, but keeper O'Mahoney enhanced his reputation with a fine save. Cork sprung back into action as Kelly, O'Sullivan and Lehane added late points while Cavan had a chance of another goal but Harold's penalty went the wrong side of the post.
Cork Darren O'Mahoney, Pat Harrington, John McLouhglin, Liam Hanley, Rory Stafford, John Fitzpatrick(0-1), Gary Lowney, Jason Kelly(0-4), Ian Rowland(0-4), Derek Courtney(0-2), Francie Cleary, Vinney Lehane(0-4), Jonathon O'Sullivan(0-2), Mike Travers(0-1) Subs Shay Furlong, Pat Mahoney, Tadgh Foley. Referee, John Fitzpatrick Man of Match Jason Kelly Cavan Maurice Power, Dennis McCarthy, Alan Carolan, Ciaran Martin, Paul Lambe(1- 2), Ronan McGinley(0-1), Ronan Fitzsimmons, Steve Harold(0-2), Kevin Cardin, Brendan Reilly, Justin O'Halloran(0-1), Barry McGinn(0-3), Brian McCarthy, Joey McKeon, Finbar O'Neill