Fintan O’Toole reports from Semple Stadium
TIPPERARY GOT OVER the finish line first in Thurles tonight as Patrick Bonner Maher slammed home an injury-time goal that ensured they would deprive Wexford of capping their second-half comeback with a positive result.
Outplayed in the phase before half-time Wexford faced a seven-point deficit entering the second half but they chipped away at it manfully with Lee Chin spearheading their challenge as he finished with 0-10.
They couldn’t find a way to hit the net though with goalkeeper Daragh Mooney producing a couple of outstanding saves to deny Wexford’s Conor McDonald.
Jason Forde finished with 2-9 to his credit for Tipperary while Bonner chipped in with 1-2 and Michael Ryan saw 11 of his players get on the scoresheet. Success means Tipperary go top of the Division 1A league table on scoring difference as they have recovered from an opening loss to Clare and Wexford suffered their first defeat of the campaign.
The opening half produced a pair of goals, Jason Forde finishing delightfully to the net for Tipperary in the 13th minute after Sean Curran swept the ball across.
Wexford countered five minutes later as Kevin Foley’s vision saw him float a hand pass into the path of Lee Chin and he was grounded by Barry Heffernan. Aidan Nolan’s finish was sound from the resultant penalty and a green flag was raised.
A Paul Morris free quickly after Nolan’s goal edged Wexford ahead 1-7 to 1-4 but they trailed 1-15 to 1-8 at the break after Tipperary had dominated in several sectors of the pitch in the build-up to half-time.
Jason Forde found the net once more in the 44th minute and with 11 minutes of normal time left Tipperary were 2-20 to 1-14 clear. But Wexford reeled off five points without reply and after Padraic Maher landed a storming point from distance, Chin picked off a brace of points to cut the gap to three.
The home support in the crowd of 8,358 were growing nervous but Bonner Maher intervened with a clinical strike to the net to copperfasten victory.
Scorers for Tipperary: Jason Forde 2-9 (0-8f, 0-1 sideline), Patrick Maher 1-2, John McGrath 0-2, Donagh Maher, Barry Heffernan, Padraic Maher, Ronan Maher, Sean Curran, Noel McGrath, Michael Breen, Billy McCarthy 0-1 each.
Scorers for Wexford: Lee Chin 0-10 (0-4f, 0-2 ’65), Paul Morris 0-3 (0-3f), Aidan Nolan 1-0 (1-0 pen), Jack O’Connor, Kevin Foley 0-2 each, Shaun Murphy, Conor McDonald, David Dunne, Rory O’Connor 0-1 each.
1. Daragh Mooney (Éire Óg Annacarty-Donahill)
2. Seán O’Brien (Newport)
3. James Barry (Upperchurch-Drombane)
23. Donagh Maher (Burgess)
5. Barry Heffernan (Nenagh Éire Óg)
6. Padraic Maher (Thurles Sarsfields – captain)
7. Paudie Feehan (Killenaule)
8. Brendan Maher (Borris-Ileigh)
9. Ronan Maher (Thurles Sarsfields)
10. Seán Curran (Mullinahone)
11. Noel McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney)
12.Patrick Maher (Lorrha-Dorrha)
13. Michael Breen (Ballina)
14. Jason Forde (Silvermines)
15. John McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney)
24. Billy McCarthy (Thurles Sarsfields) for Heffernan (53)
18. Ger Browne (Knockavilla Donaskeigh Kickhams) for Curran (60)
26. Mark Russell (Lattin-Cullen) for Breen (60)
1. Mark Fanning (Glynn-Barntown)
19. Conor Firman (St Martin’s)
2. Damien Reck (Oylgate-Glenbrien)
3. Liam Ryan (Rapparees)
9. Shaun Murphy (Oulart-the-Ballagh)
7. Diarmuid O’Keeffe (St Anne’s)
6. Matthew O’Hanlon (St James – joit captain)
5. Paudie Foley (Crossabeg-Ballymurn)
8. Kevin Foley (Rapparees)
10. Aidan Nolan (Half Way House Bunclody)
12. Jack O’Connor (St Martin’s)
11. David Dunne (Davidstown-Courtnacuddy)
14. Lee Chin (Faythe Harriers – joint captain)
13. Paul Morris (Ferns St Aidan’s)
15. Conor McDonald (Naomh Eanna)
22. Rory O’Connor (St Martin’s) for Morris (48)
21. Cathal Dunbar (Ballygarrett) for Dunne (58)
20. Harry Kehoe (Cloughbawn) for Murphy (62)
18. Eanna Martin (Carrickshock, Kilkenny) for O’Keeffe (70)
Referee: James McGrath (Westmeath)
The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us!