Sunday 21 July 2019

Casey's fine finish proves big moment for Tipperary

Tipperary 3-9 Donegal 0-13

Liam Casey of Tipperary celebrates following the match. Photo: Sportsfile
Liam Casey of Tipperary celebrates following the match. Photo: Sportsfile

A late smash-and-grab effort by Tipperary lifted them off the bottom of Division 2 and left erstwhile table-toppers Donegal stunned at Semple Stadium.

Tipp trailed for much of the game, but stayed in it, largely thanks to goals by Steven O'Brien and Liam McGrath.

The Premier men then hit the front in the 64th minute with a brilliantly placed goal by Liam Casey, before tacking on further points to carve out an unlikely win.

Finding themselves stuck at the bottom of the ultra-competitive division with a point from their first two games, Tipp needed to hit their home turf running.

They did just that, as O'Brien planted a shot in the middle of the net after a fine run and pass by his midfield colleague Jack Kennedy.

That was barely a minute into the game and, shortly afterwards, Oisín Gallen opened the scoring for Donegal from an offensive mark.

Ciaran Thompson of Donegal in action against Liam Casey. Photo: Sportsfile
Ciaran Thompson of Donegal in action against Liam Casey. Photo: Sportsfile

As the half wore on, Donegal's direct passing started to pay dividends, with nice scores from Michael Langan, twice from play, as well as Niall O'Donnell and Jamie Brennan.

Tipp, by comparison, were more laboured in their build-up play, but when they ran at their opponents, they made hay.

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Kennedy set up a point for Philip Austin, always dangerous at wing-forward, and O'Brien in the middle, along with Brian Fox and Alan Campbell and Kevin Fahey in defence, were useful in possession as the visitors led by 0-10 to 1-4 at the interval.

They would have been further ahead but for a brilliant Michael O'Reilly save, diving to his right, from a 32nd-minute Jamie Brennan penalty after Hugh McFadden was fouled.

The home side's opening score of the second-half didn't arrive until the 54th minute.

And it was badly needed when it came, a long free by Liam McGrath freakishly deflected into the net, thanks to a mix-up on the Donegal goal-line, before their grandstand finish decided the contest in their favour.

Scorers - Tipperary: L Casey, S O'Brien 1-1 each, L McGrath 1-0 (f), P Austin, B Fox, C Sweeney (1f) 0-2 each, L Boland 0-1. Donegal: C Thompson 0-4 (2f, 1s), O Gallen (1m), M Langan (1f) 0-3 each, J Brennan 0-2, N O'Donnell 0-1.

Tipperary - M O'Reilly 9; A Campbell 8, J Meagher 7, E Moloney 6; K Fahey 7, D Brennan 7, J Feehan 6; S O'Brien 7, J Kennedy 7; P Austin 8, L Casey 8, B Fox 8; K O'Halloran 6, C Sweeney 7, L McGrath 8. Subs: L Boland 7 for Casey (46), C O'Shaughnessy 7 for Feehan (58), C Kennedy for Kennedy (66), D O'Meara for Austin (70), P Codd for K Fahey (70).

Donegal - S Patton 6; S McMenamin 7, B McCole 7, E Bán Gallagher 6; C Ward 7, T McCleneghan 6, R McHugh 7; H McFadden 7, M Langan 8; N O'Donnell 7, C Thompson 8, C McGonagle 6; O Gallen 7, J McGee 6, J Brennan 7. Subs: L McLoone 7 for McGee (44), E McHugh 7 for McCleneghan (46), M McElhinney for Gallen (66), P Brennan for McMenamin (69).

Ref - Brendan Cawley (Kildare).

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