Saturday 20 January 2018

Ryan expects 'interesting' semi-final after Callanan leads stroll for Tipp

Tipperary 4-28 Offaly 3-13

Tipperary's John O'Dwyer in action against Offaly's Michael Cleary. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile
Tipperary's John O'Dwyer in action against Offaly's Michael Cleary. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile

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Tipperary eased to a league semi-final meeting with Wexford after handing out an 18-point quarter-final beating to Offaly who themselves fired two late goals to rein in some of the deficit.

Tipp manager Michael Ryan had a stress-free day at the office in O'Connor Park, Tullamore after a brief Offaly resistance was broken as soon as Tipp got their opening goal on 18 minutes courtesy of Seamus Callanan. It will be Michael Ryan against Davy Fitzgerald now in the league semi-final, a meeting Ryan is looking forward too.

"Delighted to go through, that is what was on offer here today for whoever won. We are through to a semi-final. We go on now to what looks like a very interesting semi-final. It is all to play for," Ryan said afterwards.

"Ye know more about Wexford than I do. What I can say for sure is that Davy has made an instant impact since he went down there. Anyone who follows the game and knows his personality, from the minute he went down there, I knew this would be good for Wexford. He brings that energy that's infectious. We did play them early in the spring down in Waterford and it was a great game for both of us.

"I am right in saying there are three Division 1B teams, that will throw a few arguments. What's this debate about one tier and another tier, it certainly didn't count today."

Callanan hit 2-11 as Tipp showed no mercy to an Offaly side who were gallant but outclassed.

Tipperary's Seamus Callanaan in action against Offaly's Paddy Rigney. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile
Tipperary's Seamus Callanaan in action against Offaly's Paddy Rigney. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile

Shane Dooley added two late goals to increase their total but, in truth, once Callanan hit that opening goal, the writing was on the wall.

Tipp led 1-14 to 0-7 at the break after the sides had been level at 0-4 each after 11 minutes.

Niall O'Meara impressed at centre-forward in that opening half as Offaly, hurling with the wind, struggled to keep a leash on the Tipp forwards.

Tipp's second goal didn't arrive until 17 minutes from time when Paul Flynn netted but as more space appeared and tired legs came into play, Tipp got in for two more from Callanan and Steven O'Brien.

Tipperary's Seamus Callanan in action against Offaly's Shane Dooley. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile
Tipperary's Seamus Callanan in action against Offaly's Shane Dooley. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile

After the game, Tipp manager praised the competitive nature in the squad while also revealing that Patrick 'Bonner' Maher will return to the fold soon. "We have a hugely competitive squad in there," he added. "There are a lot of bodies screaming for chances to play. You can never take any opposition for granted and we didn't today.

"We came up here and lined out a really strong team, the best available, because we were intent on getting something out of it.

"Even as late as Tuesday and Wednesday when we were looking at this squad, we lost two or three more in the intervening three of four days.

"On the upside, we are getting a few lads back. Cathal Barrett has been chomping at the bit. In terms of the other fellas, we are due to get 'Bonner' back during the week which will be great. Just to get him back in the fold.

"He is only coming into the country so we won't see him back on the pitch or anything like it. It will be great to get him back, he is a great player."

Offaly manager Kevin Ryan was keeping upbeat after the game.

"They'll certainly learn themselves in relation to even just keeping going. You can see the difference in the pace of it - we won very few breaks today.

"They were strong enough in a lot of the rucks and came away with some ball but the breaking ball, Tipp were just way sharper onto it. Once we can see that in a positive way and work towards it," he added

Scorers - Tipperary: S Callanan 2-11 (7f, 1 '65), N O'Meara 0-5, P Flynn & S O'Brien 1-1 each, D McCormack 0-4, M Breen 0-3, N McGrath, J O'Dwyer & S Cahill 0-1 each. Offaly: S Dooley 2-8 (6f), O Kelly 1-0, P Murphy 0-2, A Treacy, S Ryan & C Kiely 0-1 each.

Tipperary - D Gleeson 6; T Hamill 7, J Barry 7, A Flynn 8; S Kennedy 7, R Maher 7, P Maher 7; J Forde 6, M Breen 7; D McCormack 8, N O'Meara 8, N McGrath 6; J O'Dwyer 6, S Callanan 9, J McGrath 7. Subs: S O'Brien 8 for N McGrath (h-t), P Flynn 8 for J McGrath (43), C Barrett 7 for T Hamill (46), D Quinn 7 for P Maher (52), S Cahill 6 for N O'Meara (63).

Offaly - J Dempsey 7; P Rigney 6, M Cleary 6, E Grogan 6; D King 7, A Treacy 7, S Gardiner 6; D Shortt 6, S Ryan 7; P Murphy 6, S Dooley 7, C Kiely 6; S Cleary 6, E Nolan 6, O Kelly 6. Subs: P Camon 6 for C Kiely (29), T Carroll 6 for P Murphy (51), P Guinan 6 for M Cleary (52), L Langton 6 for S Gardiner (61).

Ref - C Lyons (Cork)

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