Sweeney show keeps Tipperary in promotion mix
Tipperary 3-17 Longford 0-18
Tipperary manager Liam Kearns has noticed a distinct split in Division 3 following his side's impressive victory over Longford on Saturday evening.
Tipp, Armagh, Louth and Sligo are battling it out for the two promotion spots on offer, with Longford, Laois, Offaly and Antrim locked in a relegation scrap.
Tipp moved into second place on Saturday, with their efforts acknowledged by an ever-increasing attendance ahead of the hurling clash with Kilkenny.
Conor Sweeney's 2-7 accounted for the Midlanders in this rearranged fixture and while Longford manager Denis Connerton was outraged when the game was postponed eight days ago, he had no excuses here.
Connerton said: "I don't blame anything - the only thing we can do is look at ourselves.
"We are not going to blame anybody else. We had the opportunity there tonight to perform, but we gave them a 10-minute start to the game and they, most certainly, don't need that."
Tipp were nine points clear within as many minutes, goals from Sweeney and Jimmy Feehan exposing alarming gaps in the Longford defence.
By half-time, Longford were back to within four, trailing by 0-12 to 2-10, but they could never get closer than three points in the second-half.
Sweeney's second goal, with eight minutes left, banished any lingering doubt, and Tipp head to Offaly next weekend in good form.
Kearns reflected: "We performed well and I would be happy with our attacking play. We kicked 3-17 and that's good scoring, but at the end of the day they kicked 18 points as well so we would not be happy with that aspect of it.
"Look, it was a good performance but there is room for improvement."
Scorers - Tipperary: C Sweeney 2-7 (0-3f), J Feehan 1-0, K O'Halloran 0-3 (2f), P Austin 0-2, L Casey, J Keane (f), B Fox, M Quinlivan (f), L Boland 0-1 each. Longford: R Smyth 0-7 (6f), M Quinn, S McCormack (2f) 0-3 each, J Keegan, D Masterson, L Moran, R McEntire, B Farrell 0-1 each.
Tipperary - E Comerford 7; A Campbell 7, P Codd 6, W Connors 7; E Moloney 7, R Kiely 8, J Feehan 8; L Casey 7, G Hannigan 6; J Keane 8, K O'Halloran 6, B Fox 6; C Sweeney 9, M Quinlivan 7, P Austin 6. Subs: L Boland 7 for Hannigan (46), S O'Connell 7 for Connors (49), K Fahey 6 for E Moloney (60), A Moloney 6 for Casey (64), L McGrath NR for O'Halloran (66), J Hennessy NR for Kiely (70+3).
Longford - P Collum 6; D McGelligott 5, D Brady 6, P McCormack 6; B O'Farrell 6, B Gilleran 6, B McKeon 6; D Gallagher 6, J Keegan 6; J McGivney 6, D Masterson 6, M Quinn 7; L Connerton 6, S McCormack 7, R Smyth 7. Subs: A Farrell 6 for McGelligott (b/c 21), L Moran 7 for O'Farrell (26), B Farrell 6 for McGivney (h-t), D Mimnagh 5 for Masterson (51), R McEntire 6 for Gallagher (57).
Ref - M McNally (Monaghan).