Tuesday 24 April 2018

Tipp turn up the heat to topple Breffni

Tipperary 2-15 Cavan 0-18 - Kingspan Breffni Park

Bill Maher of Tipperary in action against Dara McVeety of Cavan during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Round 2B match between Cavan and Tipperary at Kingspan Breffni Park in Cavan. Photo: Sportsfile
Bill Maher of Tipperary in action against Dara McVeety of Cavan during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Round 2B match between Cavan and Tipperary at Kingspan Breffni Park in Cavan. Photo: Sportsfile

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Tipperary unleashed their devastating attacking game to come from six points behind for a handsome qualifier win. Moving in spectacular fashion from a soulless, dour defensive approach, they reproduced flashes of the form and flair that took them to last year's All-Ireland semi-final.

Second-half goals from Conor Sweeney and Robbie Kiely transformed this game and pushed Liam Kearns's side through to tomorrow morning's third-round draw.

Sweeney was initially isolated up front as Tipp channelled men back, and their offensive forays were predictable, and all too easy for the Cavan defence to deal with.

The Breffni men stretched their opponents with width, and after Sweeney and Jack Kennedy had shot early Tipperary scores, the home side began to move with menace. Caoimhin O'Reilly, making his first championship start, was a constant threat, linking well with attacking wing back Conor Moynagh to create a handful of scores.

Moynagh was a defensive lynchpin as well, making a couple of vital intercepts to set his side on the counter-attack.

Gearoid McKiernan and his midfield partner Tomas Corr steered over a couple of points each, and after taking the lead for the first time through Martin Reilly on 14 minutes, Cavan surged ahead.

Five points in a row, including a long- range effort from Moynagh, opened up a six-point lead, although they did have a let-off when Tipp skipper Brian Fox smashed a shot against a post.

Kiely pushed forward for a fine score, but otherwise, the Munster men were dependent on Sweeney's free-kicks to keep them in the game.

O'Reilly's second point sent the home side in with a 0-12 to 0-6 interval lead, but the game changed dramatically once Tipp reverted to a more natural attacking approach, one with which their players were eminently more comfortable. Fox narrowed the gap to a point, and Philip Austin came off the bench to add power and directness.

He sent over a point and won the free that Sweeney stroked home in the 56th minute to put the visitors back in front.

All-Star full-forward Michael Quinlivan, unable to start due to injury, was also introduced, but it was Austin who continued to be the tormentor, combining with Sweeney to send Kiely in to smash home their second goal on 57 minutes.

Quinlivan stretched the advantage to six, and late scores from Thomas Galligan, Seanie Johnston and Padraig Faulkner were not enough to save Cavan's season.

Scorers - Tipperary: C Sweeney 1-5 (1-0 pen, 0-5f), R Kiely 1-1, J Kennedy 0-3 (2f), K O'Halloran 0-2 (1f), M Quinlivan, P Austin, D Foley, B Fox 0-1 each. Cavan: G McKiernan 0-3 (1f), M Reilly, S Johnston (1f), C O'Reilly, T Corr, N McDermott (2f) 0-2 each, P Faulkner, C Moynagh, C Mackey, D McVeety, T Galligan 0-1 each.

Tipperary: C Kenrick; C O'Shaughnessy, A Campbell, E Moloney; B Maher, R Kiely, J Feehan; L Casey, G Hannigan; J Keane, K O'Halloran, B Fox; J Kennedy, C Sweeney, L Boland. Subs: D Foley for Boland (22), P Austin for O'Shaughnessy (h-t), M Quinlivan for Hannigan (47), L McGrath for O'Halloran (67), K Bergin for Maher (73)

Cavan: R Galligan; P Faulkner, K Clarke, J McLoughlin; J McEnroe, N Murray, C Moynagh; G McKiernan, T Corr; C Mackey, M Reilly, C Brady; C O'Reilly, L Buchanan, D McVeety. Subs: N McDermott for Brady (12), R Connolly for Buchanan (h-t), T Galligan for Corr (47), J Dillon for McDermott (56), S Johnston for O'Reilly (59), N Clerkin for McVeety (BC 60)

Referee: F Kelly (Longford).

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