Murphy not carried awayJuly 31, 2012 - 7:00am
THE ability of Matt Murphy and his selectors to churn out title-contending Galway minor hurling teams year after year was very much in evidence at Tullamore on Saturday when a shell-shocked Wexford side never really recovered from the young Tribesmen’s early scoring blitz in a one-sided All-Ireland quarter-final.
This was Galway’s first championship outing of the summer – it was Wexford’s fifth – but the boys in maroon came out with all guns blazing. Galway enjoyed a dream start, to lead by 2-4 to 0-1 after just seven minutes.
Another burst of scoring between the 12th and 22nd minutes saw the All-Ireland champions lead by an incredible 2-12 to 0-2 and, while Wexford roused themselves for a second half fight-back, the outcome was already beyond doubt at that stage.
Galway looked fit, strong, and up for it, while the solidity of 2011 survivors Paul Killeen and Sean Sweeney in the central defensive positions gave them a firm foundation for what could be described as a sensational victory, no matter how limited the Wexford challenge.
Shane Caulfield of Kilconieron also turned in an exceptional performance at wing back during a fine first half in which no less than nine Galway players made an impact on the scoreboard.
Some of the movement and inter-play between the midfielders and forwards was a joy to behold at times, although afterwards team manager Murphy was keen to point out that they can expect a far tougher challenge from Munster champions Tipperary in next month’s All-Ireland semi-final.
“I suppose we got the start you’d dream about,” said Murphy. “Once we got the 2-3 or 2-4 on the board, it was always going to be an uphill battle for Wexford. You know, minors are funny animals. They can drop their heads easily enough.
“We went in 16 points up at half-time. That’s not a true reflection of where Wexford are at. Wexford are a good bit better than that. I have sympathy for them, because when I was playing underage hurling for Galway that was where we were at fairly often.”
For more, read this week's Connacht Sentinel.