All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship quarter-final
It took Tipp just four minutes to take advantage of a Galway defence that showed their frailties last week against Kilkenny in their Leinster Senior Hurling final.
However more was involved for Liam Sheedy’s side to raise the green flag just four minutes in, as a wild Jason Forde strike on goal bounced fortuitously into the path of Séamus Callanan, who was even more fortunate to see Daiti Burke lose his footing, allowing the Drom-Inch deadeye to fire unabated into the far corner.
Tipp were showing cracks at the back themselves, as Conor Cooney’s superb first-time strike from the ground forced an even-better save out of Brian Hogan to keep the Premier goal unscathed.
The Tribesmen were relentless in their hunt for blood however, and were finding joy down the channel, where Cathal Mannion picked up a low ball inside, before cutting back and firing past Hogan on the near corner.
And soon the green flag was raised a second time at the Clare end of the ground, with Conor Whelan finding himself in loads of space between the lines, and largely left unchallenged he passed for Brian Concannon to net a second, Tipp now a goal behind.
However, there’s only been a point between these two in their last three championship meetings, and Liam Sheedy’s side didn’t go into this quarter-final as reigning champions without some determination, and set about the task of reducing the score.
Better yet, they had turned a three point deficit to a four point lead at half-time, outscoring their Connaught opponents 1-5 to a single point in the last 10 minutes of the second stanza.
The second Tipperary goal particularly galling for Galway netminder Éanna Murphy who had already denied Séamus Callanan and Jake Morris with an excellent double-save, before seeing Patrick Maher arrive from deep to burst past a flimsy Tribesmen defence and fire home from the ground.
That was part of 1-5 that Tipp scored in the last 10 minutes of the opening stanza that played Galway’s single point, and the Premier stretched their lead to six points following a spate of frustrating Tribesmen wides.
But Cathal Mannion kept Galway within touching distance, Joe Canning was usually metronomic from the dead ball, and after Ronan Maher was sent off in the 52nd minute for a second-yellow, the Premier’s dominance began to slip.
The turning point came from the unlikely figure of corner-back Aidan Harte, who took a handpass and while the entire ground waited for him to pop it over, he instead drove rocket low into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.
It knocked Tipp not just for three, but six, and it was fitting that Canning would slot the final point, with his 12th free, and 14th point in the game in total.
Galway through to the semis, and Tipp’s double dream is over.
Galway: Éanna Murphy; Aidan Harte, Daithí Burke, Shane Cooney (Darren Morrissey 71); Fintan Burke (Seán Loftus 58), Gearóid McInerney, Joseph Cooney; Pádraig Mannion, Johnny Coen (Adrian Tuohey 35); Joe Canning, Cathal Mannion, David Burke (Jason Flynn 35); Brian Concannon, Conor Cooney (Evan Niland 58), Conor Whelan.
Tipperary: Brian Hogan; Cathal Barrett, Ronan Maher, Alan Flynn; Niall O’Meara (Paddy Cadell 60), Brendan Maher, Padraic Maher; Noel McGrath (John McGrath 53), Michael Breen; Dan McCormack (Mark Kehoe 73), Barry Heffernan, Patrick Maher (Willie Connors 51); Jason Forde (Paul Flynn 65), Séamus Callanan, Jake Morris.
Scorers for Galway: J Canning 0-14 (0-12f, 0-1 cut), C Mannion 1-3, B Concannon 1-0, J Coen 0-1, J Cooney 0-1, C Cooney 0-1, C Whelan 0-1, S Loftus 0-1, J Flynn 0-1.
Scorers for Tipperary: J Forde 0-6 (0-5f), S Callanan 1-2 (0-1f), N McGrath 0-4, P Maher 1-0, M Breen 0-2, A Flynn 0-2, D McCormack 0-2, J Morris 0-1, N O’Meara 0-1, B Heffernan 0-1, W Connors 0-1, R Maher 0-1 (0-1f), B Hogan 0-1 (0-1f).
Referee: Johnny Murphy (Limerick)