The 2022 Leinster GAA Walsh Cup got underway on Sunday last. With Galway, Offaly, Laois, Wexford, Dublin and Antrim all in action.
Galway 2-19 Offaly 0-19
Laois 1-16 Wexford 1-27
Dublin 2-27 Antrim 1-21
The eyes of the country were in Duggan Park Ballinasloe this afternoon for Henry Shefflin’s maiden appearance as Galway senior hurling manager, with his club colleague Michael Fennelly in the opposite dugout taking charge of Offaly.
Shefflin started an experimental team for the contest and in the end had to rely on goals in either half from Brian Concannon and Donal O’Shea to come through with a 2-19 to 0-19 win over their neighbours.
Offaly enjoyed plenty of success in front of the posts for the opening 35 minutes, with Eoghan Cahill their leading threat. The Birr man finished up with 0-11 (0-5f) on the day, while Galway leaned heavily on Donal O’Shea, son of former Tipper manager Eamon and the first player from Salthill/Knocknacarra to play senior hurling for Galway
Concannon’s goal made it 1-12 to 0-13 to Galway at half-time and that was still the margin going into the last 15 minutes when O’Shea scrambled his goal and both sides emptied the bench, leading to a disjointed conclusion to an otherwise competitive game.
Richie Lawlor’s goal after 47 minutes Rathdowney was the score that killed off Laois and set Wexford on their way to a 1-27 to 1-16 victory.
Wexford started well, hitting the first three points, but a Stephen Maher goal had the sides level with eight minutes played. The Model County continued to attack the game and play at a quite high tempo however, and Billy Dunne, Rory O’Connor and Cathal Dunbar were all prominent for Darragh Egan’s side as they took a 0-13 to 1-7 lead into half time.
Laois stayed in touch, with Maher their main scoring threat, but Wexford were able to make through the gears and make their strength in depth count once Lawlor fired in his goal.
Antrim hit the ground running at Parnell Park and a goal from Deaglan Murphy helped them to build up an eight-point lead mid-way through the first half, but the tide turned in Dublin’s favour, with Colin Currie building up scores and Cian O’Sullivan’s goal pushing them two points in front at half time.
Currie added their second goal shortly after half-time and Rian McBride, Chris Crummey and Eamon Dillon were all on target for the home side, who ran out 2-27 to 1-21 winners.