Friday 28 October 2016

Flashback: McGrath switch leaves Tipp top

5 years ago this week

Peter Sweeney

Published 14/08/2015 | 02:30

Man of the match Noel McGrath put away seven points for Tipperary
Man of the match Noel McGrath put away seven points for Tipperary
Jerry O'Connor got the winner for Cork
DJ Carey scored a 'typically brilliant goal' for Kilkenny

Tipperary 3-19 Waterford 1-18 (All-Ireland SHC semi-final)

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Tipperary set up a revenge mission on Kilkenny by beating Waterford in this All-Ireland SHC semi-final at Croke Park.

Tipp had lost the decider to the Cats 12 months previously and they were keen to make amends - as they showed with a ruthlessly efficient display against the Déise.

The Premier County lost their Munster opener to Cork, but bounced back through the qualifiers and manager Liam Sheedy kept working on and improving his team over the summer.

This game saw the move of Noel McGrath from corner-forward to centre-forward and it was a switch that clearly worked, the man of the match finishing with seven points, five from play, and keeping Michael 'Brick' Walsh out of the game.

Between them, McGrath, captain Eoin Kelly and John O'Brien scored 3-13 - more than the entire Waterford team put together.

Kelly got 2-3 and his first goal 18 minutes from time put Tipp eight points up. It was clear from here that they were cruising to a second straight All-Ireland final showdown with Kilkenny.

10 years ago this week: Allen changes the key

Cork 0-16 Clare 0-15 (All-Ireland SHC semi-final)

For much of this game it looked as though Cork's All-Ireland SHC crown was going to slip against 3/1 outsiders Clare, though they came good just before the end of this semi-final.

The Banner weren't given much hope of unseating John Allen's Liam MacCarthy Cup holders, but after 47 minutes they led by 0-13 to 0-6 having held the Rebels scoreless in the second half.

This great Cork team weren't about to lie down however. Allen made changes, taking normally reliable centre-back Ronan Curran off, moving John Gardiner into the middle and throwing on Wayne Sherlock.

This steadied the defence, quietened Clare's assault and laid the foundation for a remarkable comeback.

They won the final 20 minutes by 0-9 to 0-2. Niall McCarthy drew them level with two minutes left and 60 seconds later Jerry O'Connor fired over what proved to be the winner in a remarkable game.

Also this weekend, on the Saturday, Dublin and Tyrone played out an enthralling 1-14 apiece draw in an All-Ireland SFC quarter-final.

15 years ago this week: Carey solo goal inspires Cats

Kilkenny 2-19 Galway 0-17 (All-Ireland SHC semi-final)

Kilkenny eased into their third All-Ireland SHC final on the bounce as Brian Cody, in his second season in charge, closed in on his first Liam MacCarthy win as boss.

Galway looked good in the first half and led by 0-12 to 1-8 at the break, Andy Comerford's goal keeping the Cats in the contest.

But after the change of ends Kilkenny stamped their authority all over the game, with a typically brilliant DJ Carey solo goal three minutes after the restart setting them on their way.

Denis Byrne was in brilliant form for Cody's men, scoring five of his eight points from play. Henry Shefflin, still establishing himself as a senior star having made his debut the previous season, got 0-7 and Carey (left) chipped in with 1-2.

Alan Kerins was Galway's star man, nicking four off Philly Larkin during the first half on his way to a five-point haul.

This game was still in the balance coming into the final quarter, Kilkenny leading by just one, but in the last 20 minutes they outscored the Tribesmen by 0-8 to 0-1.

Their hunger and ruthlessness showed, having lost the previous two All-Ireland finals to Offaly and Cork respectively.

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