Friday 23 March 2018

Galway up pace to end hoodoo

GALWAY 1-12 TIPPERARY 0-11 All-Ireland SFC Qual Rd 1

John Fallon

Galway had to dig deep to fend off another shock qualifier defeat, but in the end Alan Mulholland's men had enough to see them through at Pearse Stadium last night.

Tipperary were just unable to build on a great opening-half display as Galway stepped up a gear in the third quarter and booked their place in the next round. Tipp looked set for a shock win when they trailed by just a point, 0-6 to 0-5, at the interval, having played against the wind.

But they were blown away as the Tribesmen finally ended a losing run in the qualifiers that stretched back to 2004.

Tipp were able to build from deep and create chances against the wind and would have been in front had they not shot seven wides in the opening half.

Galway were more wasteful, hitting nine wides when they had the wind after being forced to shoot under pressure by the hard-working Tipp defence.

The sides exchanged points five times in the opening half before Sean Armstrong edged Galway in front at the break with his third point.

But they made a great start to the second half with points from Mark Hehir and Amstrong pushing them 0-8 to 0-5 and while Peter Acheson responded with a pointed free, Galway hit back.

Danny Cummins floated over a free and then lofted in another effort which goalkeeper Paul Fitzgerald punched but it fell to debutant Michael Farragher and he slotted it low into the bottom right of the net for Galway's first goal in a qualifier since 2007 against Meath and it put them ahead by double scores after 46 minutes.

Galway continued to dominate and Cummins extended the lead with his third point as the Tipperary challenge disintegrated.

Michael Meehan worked his way through the visitors' defence to shoot an excellent point after 52 minutes to make it 1-11 to 0-6.

Conor Sweeney landed three late points and O'Brien again found the range for Tipperary but they could not get the goal they needed.

Scorers – Galway: M Farragher 1-1, S Armstrong 0-4 (1f), D Cummins 0-3, M Meehan 0-2 (1f), P Conroy, M Hehir 0-1 each. Tipperary: C Sweeney 0-5, B O'Brien 0-2, S O'Brien, B Fox, H Coghlan, A Mataffa (f) 0-1 each.

Galway: M Breathnach; C Forde, F Hanley, K Kelly; C Doherty, G O'Donnell, G Sice; P Conroy, G Higgins; J O'Brien, S Armstrong, M Farragher; M Hehir, M Meehan, D Cummins. Subs: D O'Neill for Sice (64), T Flynn for O'Brien (68), F O Curraoin for Farragher (61), M Martin for Meehan (60).

Tipperary: P Fitzgerald; A Morrissey, P Codd, J Coghlan; B Fox, D Lynch, D Leahy; H Coghlan, S O'Brien; L Allen, P Acheson, I Fahey; C Sweeney, P Quirke, G Hannigan. Subs: B O'Brien for Fahey (56), A Matassa for O'Brien (60), B Mulvihill for Lynch (49).

Referee: P O'Sullivan (Kerry).

Irish Independent

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