Tipperarys Jake Morris in action against Galway’s Aidan Harte in yesterday’s All-Ireland SHC quarterfinals. Photo: sports file
Galway ended Tipperary’s tenure as All-Ireland champions at the Gaelic Grounds yesterday in an effort that did not fully eradicate the sins of the Leinster Finals.
The winners have been helped to have an extra man in the final 20 minutes after Cathal Barrett’s red card and they will know that serious improvement is needed to get Limerick in the All-Ireland semi-finals next Sunday defeat.
At the moment, however, you can look at the glass in both directions. Galway will keep a full eye on one half as they have to without being fooled enough to ignore their shortcomings. They came through shortly after Tipp ran a good chunk of the game. The almost unreasonable trust in Joe Canning remains – he filled his boots 0-14 and was involved in a number of other points – but Cathal Mannion made it 3-1 and his brother Pádraic took the match off after half-time made a statement post.
Tipp woke himself up after losing to Limerick with a cathartic win over Cork and sometimes brought a fluent language into the game that Galway found difficult to keep up with. They led by six points shortly after the break and in the first half Noel McGrath was at his best with four points from the game, while he set up another for Jason Forde with a tough pass. But after the break, McGrath faded and couldn’t survive the entire match.
His brother John didn’t start, and John O’Dwyer wasn’t on matchday’s squad. But Tipp, reinforced by a goal from Seamus Callanan in the fourth minute, had ginger on both sides after a half that swayed like a grain field in the wind as he led at half time (2-13 to 2-9 ) their moments.
Shortly before the interval, Galway was hit with a goal from Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher for 1: 4 with no response and the four-point interval deficit soon rose to half a dozen on the restart.
Yet all of these blows soaked Galway and found an answer. In the first half, David Burke, who was recalled from the bench after a formidable appearance against Kilkenny, fell down to provide additional cover but Tipp still hit her for two goals. It makes sense to put a player with Burke’s intelligence and his potential to drop the ball into profound roles, although the question of how well the Galway attack will work as a result remains to be seen.
Brian Concannon scored in the 19th. Minute, his second goal in the championship, which Conor Whelan had set nine minutes earlier after a first Galway goal from Mannion. In the second half, substitutions helped spark Galway when it was needed most. Adrian Tuohey was lively and playful and scored in 66. Minute the crucial third goal that eventually managed to overtake their rivals on the scoreboard.
Referee Johnny Murphy, who likes the whistle, deserves applause for ignoring a foul on Canning so the game can continue. Aidan Harte came at the end of the train and from a long distance ended with a low shot past Brian Hogan.
Just before Hartes goal, Tipp showed twice through Sub-Willie Connors and Ronan Maher to reopen the lead after Galway equalized for the first time in half an hour. But on heavy November soil, the extra man has to say it.
Tipp never gave up the fight. In the end, Brian Hogan came in from 20 yards, his shot was directed over the bar and Daithí Burke had to score a decisive hit in the final seconds before being fouled, ending Tipp’s last hope of saving the game with a final one Dig goal.
« Unfortunately, we just came a little short, » said her manager Liam Sheedy. « Tight margins. We fought like champions. That’s all i can ask. «
On a day that marked the 100th anniversary of Bloody Sunday and the murder of one of their district men, they certainly didn’t want courage. The fresh legs of Jason Flynn and Sean Loftus gave Galway decisive impetus in the later phases. Both the points and his colleague Evan Niland contributed with an important intervention to reduce the typing pressure somewhat.
Tipp now faces a possible New Year rebuilding phase with some of their players on the wrong side of 30 and hurlers of the youngest under 20 and under 21 All-Ireland winning teams making their claims. It will be interesting to see if Sheedy decides to stay in place. The pursuit of a second All-Ireland in a row, last achieved in the 1960s, will take at least a few more seasons.
« We’re really excited to have a crack next week, » said Shane O’Neill, just a stone’s throw from his home club. But he knows they will need serious improvements to overthrow his homeland.
Goalscorers – Galway: J Canning 0-14 (12f, 1 s / l), C Mannion 1-3, B Concannon, A Harte 1-0, J Coen, C Cooney, J Cooney, C Whelan, J Flynn , S Loftus 0-1 each. Tipperary: J Forde 0-6 (5f); N McGrath 0-4; S Callanan 1-2 (f), Patrick Maher 1-0, A Flynn, M Breen, D McCormack 0-2, N O’Meara, R Maher (f), B Hogan (f), B Heffernan, J Morris, W connections 0-1 each.
Galway: E Murphy; A Harte, Daithí Burke, S.. Cooney; F.. Burke, G.. McInerney, J.. Cooney; P. Mannion, J.. Coen; J. Canning, C.. Mannion, David Burke; C Whelan, C Cooney, B Concannon. Subs: J Flynn for David Burke & A Tuohey for Coen (h-t); E Niland for C Cooney & S Loftus for F Burke (58); D Morrissey for S Cooney (71).
Tipperary: B Hogan; C.. Barrett, B.. Maher, R.. Mower; Padraic Maher, N.. O’Meara, B.. Heffernan; A Flynn, M Breen; D.. McCormack, N.. McGrath, Patrick Maher; J. Forde, S.. Callanan, J.. Morris. Subs: W Connors for Patrick Maher (50); J McGrath for N McGrath (53); P Cadell for O’Meara (59); P Flynn for Forde (65); M Kehoe for McCormack (72).
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