Galen Riordan produces an awesome performance to keep his back to back U21S hopes alive

All Ireland under 21 singles champion Galen Riordan, Wexford with Daniel Hayes, Tipperary
All Ireland under 21 singles champion Galen Riordan, Wexford with Daniel Hayes, Tipperary

Galen Riordan, Wexford produced a masterclass of handball at St. Mary’s today to defeat Daniel Hayes, Tipperary 21-12, 21-1 and remain on course to defend his All Ireland 60×30 under 21 singles title.

The Tipperary player came with a good reputation having defeated some big names in the Munster championship and his all out attacking style made for exciting viewing at the Wexford town venue. Nine times in the early stages the scores were level but when it got to 11-11 it was Riordan who made the break. Up until then the stylish and skillful Ballyhogueman had worked hard to stop it slipping away but when he got a few aces in front at 13-11 he simply put on the afterburners to leave his opponent trailing in his wake.

Several terrific passing shots down the right were out of the top drawer and when other opportunities presented themselves his shot selection was impressively spot on every time. After staying with Riordan for so long and sometimes looking like he could present a real challenge, it was remarkable that Hayes, from a position of deserved parity at 11-11 in that first game, could only muster a further two scores in the remainder of the match. That his challenge floundered so dramatically was down to the brilliance of Riordan who rolled up his sleeves to produce a performance that was as high on work rate as it was on everything else.

If Riordan was very good in that first game he was simply awesome in the second and try as he might Hayes could do nothing to stem the tide. One brilliant shot followed another as the young Wexford champion showed just what he is capable of and while the winning margin of 21-1 may seem harsh on the Munster champion, in truth he played as well as he could against an opponent who is surely destined for the very top in the coming years.

On the evidence of this display he will enter the All Ireland final against either Ryan Mullen, Tyrone or Niall Joyce, Mayo in fine fettle.