Dublin took a famous scalp last night as they defeated All-Ireland champions Tipperary by a point at Croke Park. The Sky Blues were in tremendous form as they put it up to the Premier County right from the off and led for the majority of the 70 minutes.
Conal Keaney was the star of the show as he bagged 14 points for the Dubs on his way to a man of the match performance. Tremendous displays by David O'Callaghan and Liam Rushe up front also caused no end of problems for the visitors.
Both sides opened well with Tipp just edging the first eight minutes as they took the lead by four points to two. Tasty points from Tipperary's Pa Bourke, Shane McGrath and a superb pointed sideline cut from David Young gave the All Ireland champions the early lead.
Dublin responded well and thanks to the unerring accuracy of Keaney from the dead ball were back on terms after 11 minutes. Dublin's No 10 was in clinical form with his free taking as he slotted over point after point when the opportunities came his way -- which were numerous as the Premier County's defence fouled over and over again in their own danger zone.
Centre-forward Declan O'Dwyer provided Dublin's most memorable moment of the first half as the he latched onto a great through ball and dispatched it to the net past a helpless Darren Gleeson. Ten minutes later the blue and gold had their own three pointer however, as John O' Neill blasted home from close in to put Tipp back into a one point lead, before the home side again responded thanks to the talismanic Keaney.
Trailing by 1-10 to 1-09 at the start of the second half, one might have expected the Munster side to come out all guns blazing but it was Dublin who got off to the better start as they raced into a four point lead -- their main threat Keaney on target again gwith another three successful frees inside 10 minutes.
Tipp managed to claw their way back to parity with points from Bourke, McGrath and substitute Brian O'Meara but with time running out Dublin again opened up a slender two point gap and both sides began to miss the target with a frequency not seen earlier in the game.
Tipperary had their chances to level things up late on but in truth that would have been harsh on Dublin as the victory was nothing more that the boys in blue deserved.
Scorers -- Dublin: C Keaney 0-14 (10f), D O'Dwyer 1-0, L Rushe, J Boland 0-1 each. Tipperary: P Bourke 0-6 (2f), J O'Neill 1-2, S McGrath 0-3(1f), D Young (s-l), M Gleeson, B O'Meara, E Kelly 0-1 each.
Dublin: G Maguire; S Hiney, T Brady, P Kelly; R Treanor, J Boland, S Durkin; J McCaffrey, S Ryan; C Keaney, D O'Dwyer, C McCormack; D O'Callaghan, L Rushe, P Carton. Subs: R O'Dwyer for S Ryan (30), P Ryan for C McCormack,
Tipperary: D Gleeson; P Stapleton, P Curran, M Cahill; D Young, M Gleeson, P Maher; B Maher, S McGrath; G Ryan, S Carey, P Maher; J O'Neill, P Fanning, P Bourke. Subs: R O'Dwyer for S Ryan (30),B O'Meara for P Fanning (ht), E Kelly for S Carey (50), J Woodlock for G Ryan (61).
Referee: J Sexton (Cork)