Tallow’s strong finish blows Ballyduff away

Michael Kiely

 

Neil Power and Paudi Murphy try to contain Kieran Geary (Tallow) during their Waterford SHC second-round clash at Fraher Field. | Photo: Michael Kiely

Tallow 0-16; Ballyduff Lower 0-7 

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Tallow collected their first brace of points in this year’s county senior hurling championship on Friday evening last when they recorded a nine-point win over a Ballyduff Lower side that had defeated a fancied Passage six days previously.

The standard of hurling in the game was not very high but Tallow won’t be too worried as they will know only too well that a win is a win and sometimes you have to play in a style that’s not attractive for the neutral to get the required result.

Former Waterford player Paul O’Brien was by far the most impressive player on the field, rifling over points from all angles both from play and for frees. James Murray also impressed for the victors, while for Ballyduff Lower Jack Kennedy and Pat Fitzgerald stood out in the first 30 minutes but in the second half it was hard to pick out a player of note.

The opening period was very even, and unusual in a way in the fact that Ballyduff Lower went in front five times and five times Tallow pulled them back. Thus it was no surprise that the two sides headed for the dressing-rooms at the break five points each.

The second half was a much different affair, however, as Tallow were in full control from the off and in the end were full value for their nine-point win. Indeed, one would have to wonder if they were fielding with inter-county panelist Thomas Ryan in their starting fifteen what they could have won by, as five days earlier when they played Ballygunner at the same venue he proved to be one of their star performers.

Jack Kennedy and Paul O’Brien opened the scoring for their respective sides in the first and second minutes of the game. Neil Power and Paul O’Brien then exchanged points inside a seven-minute spell before Kennedy and O’Brien, as they had done earlier in the game, swapped scores just past the halfway stage of the opening 30.

The impressive Kennedy scored for a third time on 22 minutes but Luke McCarthy cancelled it out sixty seconds later. Former county player Pat Fitzgerald had the East Waterford side back in front with six minutes remaining but man of the match O’Brien ensured that the two sides went in at the break level when he scored his fourth point with three minutes of the half to play.

The second half was all of nine minutes old when the first score came: O’Brien pointing from a free. Neil Power had the sides level again on 41 minutes, but Ballyduff trailed off after that. The Pauls, Kearney and O’Brien, registered points for Tallow inside a minute of each other midway through the half, before O’Brien and Luke McCarthy raised further white flags for the conquerors in a four-minute spell to put Tallow four points up.

The same pair, and Kearney, all pointed again between the 51st and the 53rd minutes.

Paul Stephenson hit a consolation point with three minutes to go, but further points from Paul O’Brien on 58 and again on 61, and Paul Kearney sixty seconds later, ensured that Tallow ran out winners with a bit to spare.

Ballyduff Lower had Stephen O’Leary sent off two minutes from the end for what appeared to be a reaction to a free that Maurice Condon awarded to Tallow 30 metres from goal.

Tallow: B Power; Shane G McCarthy, D O’Brien, K Kearney; M O’Brien, J Murray, A Kearney; K Geary, P O’Brien; B Sheehan, Shane F McCarthy, P Kearney; J.P Grey, W Henley, Luke McCarthy. Subs. S Barry for Grey, E Sheehan for B Sheehan,

Scorers: P O’Brien 0-10, L McCarthy and P Kearney 0-3 each

Ballyduff Lower: B O’Leary; G Harris, J O’Leary, C Power; S O’Leary, C Kenny, P Kennedy; P Fitzgerald, P Stevenson; P Murphy, J Kennedy, N Power; N Clifford, R Barron, D Clifford. Subs: D VanVeen for Barron, M De Paor for N Power,

Scorers: J Kennedy 0-3, N Power 0-2, P Fitzgerald 0-1.

Referee: Maurice Condon (Clashmore).

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