Wednesday 21 August 2019

Callanan's net gains heading for goalscoring record

Séamus Callanan. Photo: Sportsfile
Séamus Callanan. Photo: Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Séamus Callanan will be seeking to act out his version of the 'Magnificent Seven' against Wexford in Croke Park on Sunday, having scored a goal in all six of Tipperary's championship games to date.

It takes his total to 6-14 - all from play - a very impressive return, which will have come under close scrutiny by Davy Fitzgerald.

He will also be conscious that Tipperary have averaged 2-23 per game, which is the highest of the four semi-finalists. Wexford's sweeper system has functioned well in restricting opposition attacks, with only Kilkenny getting a goal against them from open play in five championship games.

It was scored by Adrian Mullen in the 'round-robin' game, with the other goal coming from a free by Dublin's Seán Moran.

Wexford goalkeeper Mark Fanning kept clean sheets against Galway, Carlow and Kilkenny (Leinster final). His team have the second best defensive average (20.2 points), with Limerick the most secure on 19.4.

With Jason Forde, who has scored a total of 2-45 (1-15 from play) taking over Tipperary's free-taking duties, Callanan has been free to concentrate on all other aspects of his game and has responded impressively.

His 1-4 against Cork on the opening day of the Munster championship was followed by 1-0 (Waterford), 1-3 (Clare), 1-4 and 1-1 (two games v Limerick), 1-2 (Laois).

Callanan's 6-14 is by far the highest return from play among the four semi-finalists. Tipp colleague John McGrath is second on 2-15, followed by TJ Reid (3-11), Noel McGrath and Conor McDonald (each on 1-12).

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No Limerick player features in the top five. Aaron Gillane has scored 2-7 from play, with Peter Casey on 1-11, Graeme Mulcahy 1-9 and Tom Morrissey 0-12.

The reigning All-Ireland champions have an excellent spread of scorers, underlining their ability to threaten from all angles near and far.

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