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Tipp set up Tribes showdown as Faithful fail to fire

TIPPERARY'S 0-21 to 1-12 win over Offaly in Portlaoise may have been comfortable, but the real drama is set to unfold after they set up a mouth-watering All-Ireland quarter-final showdown with Galway.

Tipp manager Liam Sheedy, however, was just glad to get another win on the board.

"It was about getting over the finishing line again and back into the quarter-final. Offaly are a fabulous team -- they bring great passion and great heart. We were very conscious of that coming into the game," he said.

"We were anxious to try and get a bit of a head start. In fairness to the lads, they struck some fabulous scores in the first half. That's where we set our platform for the victory. We only had four wides in the first half." Offaly boss Joe Dooley, meanwhile, has completed three years at the helm and has overseen definite progress. When asked about his future in the role he replied: "That's for another day I think."



Higher

"We're in a much, much different position than we were in last year," he said. "We're setting standards higher for ourselves and that's the way it has to be."

For Tipp, although still defensively sound, they don't look as powerful a unit as last year but they are sure to improve again next weekend after doing no more than enough to move comfortably past a below-par Offaly challenge.

There was none of the fire from the Faithful County that almost saw them shock Galway in the Leinster semi-final as Tipperary led from start to finish in front of 13,888 spectators.

Offaly's misery was compounded four minutes from time when sub Kevin Brady, who had only been on the pitch five minutes, was sent off for pulling across the legs of Shane McGrath.

Tipp captain Eoin Kelly won the pre-match toss and his decision to play with the aid of a stiff breeze blowing into the Town End paid rich dividends. Brendan Cummins put the Offaly defence under immense pressure with booming puck-outs and at the break Tipp led comfortably by 0-14 to 0-5.

For the most part, manager Liam Sheedy's changes worked well as David Young forged a solid midfield partnership with former All-Ireland minor winning captain Brendan Maher, who was his team's most impressive performer.

Rehomed at centre forward, Shane McGrath's natural inclination was to drift back towards the centre of the field but the Ballinahinch man still put in a useful shift. GearĂ³id Ryan, making just his second full championship start, hit three points in another solid display.

Lar Corbett had a sight of goal in the first minute, the closest Tipp came to a green flag, and they went on to lead by 0-10 to 0-2 after 24 minutes. Offaly, who registered nine first-half wides, hit just 1-5 from play, and the goal was a consolation score from Shane Dooley in stoppage time.


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