Tipperary complete dream day for Munster football as they join Clare in All-Ireland quarter-final for the first time
Tipperary 1-21 Derry 2-17
TIPPERARY footballers achieved a historic breakthrough tonight when they reached the All-Ireland quarter-final for the first time.
It has been quite a season for Liam Kearns' side who defeated Cork in the Munster championship for the first time since 1944. Now, courtesy of this thrilling win over Derry they are in the last eight of the All-Ireland series for the first time
Regardless of how they fare next Sunday against Galway, they're in bonus territory.
The counties clashed in Round 4 of the qualifiers two years ago in Tullamore with Galway securing a five point win in a shoot-out which produced 37 scores including eight goals. Rest assured, there won't be as many goals next Sunday!
As a result of Tipperary's win the other quarter-final scheduled for HQ next Sunday will feature a clash between Kerry and Clare.
The cards have certainly fallen in the Kingdom's lap this season – they are odds on favourites to reach the last four in the All-Ireland series without playing any team outside their province and no county which played higher than Division 3 this season.
This was a disappointing end to Derry's summer, though they have recovered some lost territory since a woeful performance against Tyrone in the first round of the Ulster championship nine weeks ago. In truth, they're not All-Ireland quarter-final material.
Tipperary hit five points on the spin in the first 11 minutes and although Danny Heavron lifted the siege for Derry when he burst through and his rasping shot was pushed over the crossbar by Tipp keeper Evan Comerford, the Munster side moved into a 0-7 to 0-3 lead after 20 minutes while Michael Quinlivan was denied a goal by Derry keeper Thomas Mallon.
With Derry's playmaker Mark Lynch being effectively policed by Ciaran McDonald, it was Heavron and late replacement Niall Loughlin – who scored three points from play in the first half - who led the Derry comeback.
Tipperary started to experience trouble securing their own kick and Derry took advantage, hitting four points on the spin before a another Heavron run split the Tipp defence and his offload was hit to the net by Lynch in the 32nd minute.
By then Tipperary's shooting had also gone awry – neither side recorded a wide up until the 24th minute, then the Premier county hit six in a row. But they finally got some traction in injury time after being denied a penalty when Philip Austin went down.
The referee appeared to award a free for an early infringement in the movement and O'Halloran – whose striking of the ball from the ground in the first quarter was immaculate – converted his third placed ball and then Quinlivan hit his second point from play and his third of the half to leave the minimum between the sides at the break with Derry leading 1-8 to 0-10.
Mallon came to the rescue again when he saved brilliantly from Sweeney soon after the resumption but O'Halloran nailed his fourth free of the evening soon afterwards to tie up the game.
There was nothing between the sides though Tipp were very unlucky not be awarded a close in free in the 45th minute when Philip Austin was tripped but the referee ruled that the forward had over-carried the ball.
But they got a crucial break less than five minutes later after a shot from Bill Maher dropped short and goalkeeper Thomas Mallon sent his clearance straight to Kevin O'Halloran, who kept his head and planted the ball in the Derry net to give his side a three point advantage. The next ten minutes boiled down to a place kicking contest between Quinlivan and Lynch, though Tipp had extended their advantage to five with seven minutes of normal time remaining.
Derry emptied their bench and the changes worked; they hit the next two points and as Tipp failed to secure a succession of kick outs, Derry moved the ball down the right flank before transferring it across the goal and substitute Eoghan Browne was on hand to guide the ball to the net to give Derry a sensational lead.
Heavron hit his fourth point from play to double their advantage before an O'Halloran free - he was later black carded - gave Tipperary a chance and they reserved their best until the end with a brace of points from Conor Sweeney to secure a famous win. Brendan Rogers did have a chance at the death to send the game into extra time but his effort from distance drifted wide.
Derry: T Mallon, O Duffy, C McKaigue, K McKaigue; C McFaul, B Rogers, C Mullan, B Rogers; C McAtamney, N Holly; D Heavron (0-4) N Loughlin (0-3), E Lynn (0-1), J Kielt (0-2, 1f), E McGuckin, M Lynch (1-4, 3f). Subs: N Toner for Lynn 43m, C Bradley for Kielt 50m; E Bradley (0-1) for Holly 51; L McGoldrick (0-1) for Duffy 56m; E Brown (1-0) for McGuckian 62m; N Forrester for Heavron 73m; M Hanley for O'Shaughnessy 74m.
Tipperary: E Comerford; C McDonald, A Campbell, J Feehan; B Maher (0-1), C O'Shaughnessy, R Kiely; P Acheson (0-2), G Hannigan; P Austin (0-1), J Keane (0-2), B Fox; K O'Halloran (1-5, 1 45, 4f), M Quinlivan (0-6, 3f), C Sweeney (0-5). Subs: A Moloney for Hannigan ht; S Leahy for Kiely 68m.
Referee: Marty Duffy (Sligo)