Meagher crushes Meath hopes as Tipp march into last four
Published 02/08/2011 | 05:00
Tipperary will meet Roscommon in the minor football semi-final after they battled their way past Meath at O'Moore Park yesterday.
It wasn't pretty, but the Premier County now take to Croke Park with wins over Cork, Kerry and the Royals to boost their confidence.
Tipp's meeting with Roscommon will be a repeat of the 1984 semi-final which they won before going down to Dublin in the final.
Michael Quinlivan was the star in a forward line that failed to click for long periods, but the victory was built around a powerful display from full-back John Meagher.
Meagher, who also lined out in the No 3 shirt for the county's minor hurlers, was flawless.
The sides shared six points in a drab opening half. Tipp forward TJ Ryan failed to recover from an ankle injury to start and his ruthlessness was sorely missed in the early exchanges.
Bobby O'Brien got Meath off the mark with a booming point after three minutes, but Philip Quirke slotted a free five minutes later to level the encounter.
With the Tipp defence on top, Meath were struggling to get chances in front of goal, but Bryan McMahon edged them ahead once again 11 minutes before the break.
O'Brien crashed an effort off the post when a goal looked likely moments later, but Tipp settled and two points from Quinlivan pushed them ahead in injury-time, only for Oliver Sheehan to take advantage of a quick free from McMahon to make it 0-3 each at half-time.
Meath had a goal from O'Brien disallowed for 'square ball' 10 minutes after the restart.
The toil continued after the break and it wasn't until Tipperary wing-back Colin O'Riordan split the posts from distance with his weaker left foot, that either side gained the upper hand. That inspirational score made it 0-6 to 0-5 for Tipp, but quick scores from Stephen O'Brien and Bill Maher stretched that lead to three.
Meath looked to pull their championship from the fire with a pair of points from McMahon and Anthony Forde, but three late scores from the courageous Munster champions sealed their spot in Croke Park.
Scorers -- Tipperary: M Quinlivan 0-4 (2f), P Quirke 0-2f, B Maher, S O'Brien, C O'Riordan, D Fitzelle, I Fahey (f) 0-1 each. Meath: B McMahon 0-4 (3f), B O'Brien, O Sheridan, A Forde 0-1 each.
Tipperary -- G Slattery; N Sullivan, J Meagher, C O'Sullivan; C O'Riordan, D Fitzelle, S Kennedy; S O'Brien, I Fahey; B Maher, P Quirke, G Henry; L McGrath, M Quinlivan, J McGrath. Subs: J Lonergan for Henry (49), TJ Ryan for Fahey (59), J Martin for Quinlivan (64).
Meath -- R Burlington; C Finn, C McGill, O Fitzpatrick; S Melia, S McEntee, A Forde; P Harnan, A Flanagan; O Sheridan, B O'Brien, S Sheridan; B McMahon, C O'Sullivan, W McGrath. Subs: E Wallace for S Sheridan (38), C Sheridan for McEntee (53), D Smyth for C Sheridan (49), R Gore for McGill (60), R Farrelly for McGrath (62).
Ref -- B Cassidy (Derry).