County 4-Wall League Division 1 Final: Galen Riordan confirms his numero uno status with another victory

Review by AOB

Galen Riordan, Ballyhogue may have taken a little while to assert his superiority in the Division 1 final against Josh Kavanagh, St. Josephs, and indeed in this competition generally, but when defeat did become an option against his youthful opponent, he responded in a manner that left nobody in any doubt as to his right to be considered the Wexford number one 4-wall player.

It was Kavanagh who dominated all of the early exchanges, mainly behind an aggressive serve which troubled Riordan from time to time. It helped the 17-year-old into a position of dominance in that first game, as he controlled centre court and killed brilliantly to run up a 14-8 lead. Unfortunately for him though, Riordan was not prepared to give up on this first game and despite facing game ball on six occasions the county champion clawed his way back to level at 14-all.

It was then we saw the difference between a ruthless top class player and a very good youngster making rapid progress up the ladder. The young pretender had six chances to get the single point needed to bank that opening game but failed to take any of them, but when Riordan got one opportunity at 14 he served an unreturnable ball down the right hand side to clinch the game and put himself on the road to victory.

And indeed victory is was, because thereafter Riordan took complete charge of this final and against a somewhat demoralised opponent he turned on the style to coast home 15-2 in the second.

Galen Riordan, Ballyhogue with opponent Josh Kavanagh, St. Josephs and County Committee Chairperson Tracey Hogan
Galen Riordan, Ballyhogue with Josh Kavanagh, St. Josephs and County Committee Chairperson Tracey Hogan

Despite the loss, this was for Kavanagh a career building competition and to qualify for the final in such company showed he has what it takes to compete at this level. For Riordan it was in many ways a routine victory, eventually gained on the back of a superior skill set, allied to a mental toughness that only experience brings.