O'Shea demands more from clinical Premier
Tipperary 5-25 Offaly 1-20 - ALL-IRELAND SHC QUALIFIER
EAMON O'SHEA wasn't happy with Tipperary's performance at O'Moore Park despite their 17-point winning margin.
Tipp took their qualifier tally to a huge 8-50 with another classy attacking display, with Seamus Callanan bagging 2-10 on the night.
Callanan has scored 5-18 in his last two games but there was concern at the end when the Drom and Inch forward went off with an injury sustained when Cathal Parlon threw his hurl at the free-scoring forward as he fired home his second goal.
Callanan and Gearoid Ryan will undergo scans to assess the full extent of their injuries but it is understood that they are in no danger of missing the All-Ireland quarter-final on July 27.
Two championship victories in the space of two weeks must have felt like buses for Tipp and O'Shea. They were waiting so long for one but then two came along within seven days of each other.
But momentum is like that and with another decent performance under their belts, Tipp can look forward to the business end of the campaign with renewed optimism.
And with holders Clare dumped out on Saturday, the race for the Liam MacCarthy Cup has been blown wide open.
There are still issues at the back to be ironed out from a Tipp perspective as Colin Egan struck for an avoidable second-half Offaly goal while the free count allowed Brian Carroll to strike 10 of his 13 points from placed balls.
But if Tipp's policy continues to be a case of 'we'll score more than you', then they're in a good place right now. Callanan was superb again and Lar Corbett marked his return to something approaching his best form with a 2-2 haul.
Knitting it all together was the indomitable figure of Patrick 'Bonner' Maher, scorer of 1-1 and creator of Callanan's first-half goal.
Maher was excellent once again and in midfield Kieran Bergin was firing on all cylinders.
Bergin paid the price for a below-par performance against Limerick in last month's Munster semi-final by losing his place for the Galway qualifier.
But Tipperary's revolving doors saw Bergin return to the starting line-up after he had impressed in a substitute role against Galway.
Bergin shot four points from play and O'Shea said: "Kieran has worked really hard since the Limerick game to improve on the levels that he wouldn't have been happy about. And he would be the first to say that to me. He is highly motivated and wants to achieve. He's 28, he is making up for lost time. When you get to that age time isn't your friend."
Tipp were two goals ahead inside four minutes – with Corbett and Maher on target. They added two more before the break, Corbett hitting his second before Callanan nabbed his first, and Tipp were 4-9 to 0-11 clear at half-time.
But Offaly were game for spells in the first half, getting to within two points before Corbett's second goal.
With Carroll a beacon of light for Offaly, they were just four points behind, 1-16 to 4-11, early in the second half before Tipp pulled away, with Eoin Kelly coming off the bench to raise the roof with a trademark point.
O'Shea warned: "There is no guarantee on any given day that the turn-on switch will be found when you want it.
"One of the things at this level, you cannot afford to turn off like that because sometimes when you turn on again it is too late.
"Having said that they do know they need to improve. We are not happy. I don't mean that with any disrespect to winning the game, but we are not happy with our own level.
"Offaly brought something to the game and that should be acknowledged. They fought and were well organised. The win didn't reflect the game, it was certainly closer to a seven, eight, nine-point game."
Meanwhile, Offaly legend Brian Whelahan indicated that he would like to manage the team for a second season. It's been a difficult campaign for the Faithful County but he will ask for the chance to improve matters.
"I'm an Offaly man and to train your county team is the highest honour in your county," he said.
"If I'm asked to take up that mantle again next year, I'd love to be getting another chance. This year has been a baptism of fire both from a player and management point of view. It's a thing that we have to plan out a lot better for next year but we've learned a lot this year.
"They got off to a great start – we hurled our way back into it but the goal before half-time was a real killer."
Scorers –Tipperary: S Callanan 2-10 (7fs), L Corbett 2-2, Patrick Maher 1-1, K Bergin 0-4, D Maher 0-2, J Woodlock, J O'Dwyer, N McGrath, E Kelly, J Forde, T Stapleton 0-1 each. Offaly: B Carroll 0-13 (10fs), C Egan 1-0, J Bergin 0-3 (f, 1 '65'), C Parlon, S Dooley, S Ryan, D Currams 0-1 each.
TIPPERARY – D Gleeson 6; P Stapleton 7, Padraic Maher 7, M Cahill 8; B Maher 7, J Barry 7, C Barrett 6; K Bergin 8, J Woodlock 7; G Ryan 6, Patrick Maher 8, J O'Dwyer 6; N McGrath 6, S Callanan 9, L Corbett 8. Subs: D Maher 7 for Ryan (temp 7-12), D Maher for Ryan (h-t), T Stapleton 7 for Barrett (47), E Kelly 7 for O'Dwyer (59), S McGrath 6 for Woodlock (60), J Forde for Patrick Maher (66).
OFFALY – J Dempsey 6; N Wynne 6, R Hanniffy 6, C McDonald 6; K Brady 5, E Nolan 5, C Parlon 5; C Mahon 5, S Ryan 6; S Dooley 6, D Kenny 5, C Egan 6; B Carroll 8, D Currams 6, J Bergin 7. Subs: S Cleary 6 for Kenny (31), K Connolly 5 for Brady (h-t), P Geraghty 5 for Cleary (62), T Geraghty n/a for Connolly (69).
REF – A Kelly (Galway)