Tuesday 23 January 2018

McGrath puts himself back in the frame for championship

Dublin 2-22 Tipperary 3-18

John McGrath's return to Tipperary was capped off with 2-5 in the first half
John McGrath's return to Tipperary was capped off with 2-5 in the first half

Jackie Cahill

John McGrath made his return to the Tipperary colours last night as Dublin claimed victory in a SH challenge at Upperchurch-Drombane GAA club.

The game was held as the local club opened new facilities and McGrath caught the eye with 2-5 in the first half, as Dublin's Colm Cronin posted 2-4.

McGrath missed the concluding stages of Tipp's NHL campaign with a pelvic injury but his return is good news for manager Eamon O'Shea ahead of next month's Munster semi-final against Clare or Limerick.

A brace from McGrath and another goal from his cousin Liam helped Tipp to lead by 3-11 to 1-12 at half-time, in front of a bumper crowd.

Cronin's goal kept Dublin in touch and in the second half, the Sky Blues reeled in the hosts, as Cronin struck again eleven minutes from time.

Tipp assistant manager Michael Ryan, an Upperchurch-Drombane clubman, was proud of the opportunity to showcase the new developments.

And he said: "It's great to get a good game with Dublin, a high-scoring game way above our expectations, given the amount of club games going on.

"We had fellas creaking really and truly but fair play to them."

Both sides will have left last night with plenty of cause for optimism. For Dublin it was a confidence-boosting victory just a fortnight out from their championship clash with Galway, while for Tipperary it was a solid showing on a night when they were down so many bodies.

Scorers - Tipperary: J McGrath 2-5 (0-2f), C Kenny 0-5, L McGrath 1-0, S Bourke & B Maher (2f) 0-2 each, C Ryan, S McGrath, P Maher & P Ryan (f) 0-1 each. Dublin: C Cronin 2-4, P Ryan 0-4 (2 65s, 1f), D Plunkett 0-3, C Dooley, D O'Connell, B Quinn, D Treacy & O O'Rorke 0-2 each, S Lambert 0-1.

Tipperary - D Egan, Pádraig Stapleton, J Barry, T Treacy; Bill Maher, T Hamill, P Heffernan; S McGrath, A Ryan; S Bourke, D McCormack, C Ryan; L McGrath, C Kenny, J McGrath. Subs: T Comerford for Barry (20), K Morris for L McGrath, P Maher for C Ryan, K O'Dwyer for A Ryan, P Ryan for J McGrath (all half-time), Paddy Stapleton for Treacy (45), Brendan Maher for McCormack (56).

Dublin - A Nolan, N Corcoran, M Carton, S Barrett; S Stapleton, S Lambert, J Boland; B Quinn, D O'Connell; D Plunkett, C Cronin, P Ryan; D Treacy, C Dooley, O O'Rorke. Subs: R O'Dwyer for O'Rorke (55), D Sutcliffe for Ryan (61), C Crummy for Carton (64), R McGowan for Barrett (66).

Ref - C Lyons (Cork).

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