Tipperary 3 – 25
Galway 4 – 13
SEAMUS CALLANAN’S HAT-TRICK of goals on top of eight points, helped Tipperary to come out on top of thrilling All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship first round qualifier in Thurles.
The final winning margin of nine points is flattering to Tipperary. This was a game that was right in the mixer until deep in the second half and the sides were level for the sixth and final time nine minutes from the end.
That levelling score from Joe Canning, however, was Galway’s sole effort in the final 20 minutes. Tipperary drove home 2 – 10 in the same period.
The result is Tipperary’s first Championship win since 2012 and it sends Galway packing with pressure growing on manager Anthony Cunningham, who side-stepped speculation on his future after the game.
The first half was an exhibition of open, attacking hurling with Tipperary forced to chase the game after Jason Flynn’s early goal.
Callanan bounced in his first goal after 12 minutes to send the hosts into the lead, but with Conor Cooney in deadly form from placed balls there was no shaking off the Tribesmen.
Indeed, it was a long range strike from Cooney that led to Galway’s second goal too as David Burke managed to get a flick into the corner after 31 minutes.
Along with Callanan, Tipp had John O’Dwyer and Noel McGrath in scintillating form and they were able to cancel out the goals and send the sides in level at the break, 1 – 12 to 2 – 09.
The scores were traded early in the second half too, but it was Galway’s third quarter, it was Jonathan Glynn’s third quarter.
The robust centre forward managed to ghost in behind the Tipp defence after 39 minutes and coolly convert his side’s third goal of the game.
And after six minutes and two Tipp points, Glynn was raising another green flag after claiming a high ball from Canning and spinning away from Padraic Maher to blast home from point-blank range.
Sub Dave Glennon would make the gap six soon after, but that was as good as things got for the Tribemen as the Tipp crowd turned up the intensity and it was matched by the men on the field.
With 17 minutes remaining, Callanan was allowed to bites of the cherry after bearing down on the Galway goal. The first was saved, the second was expertly driven into the corner.
Semple Stadium was rocking, but things really took off when Lar Corbett finally put his name to the score-sheet.
Sideline reports said that Eamon O’Shea was ready to take off the experienced forward, but the Sarsfields man took aim from the left touchline for two brilliant points either side of the hour mark.
With Canning’s response sandwiched in between, both of Corbett’s scores gave the Tipp faithful a lead to celebrate and the didn’t need to look back from there. Three points came in quick succession before Callanan made the maximum use of space in the middle of the Galway defence and slotted in his third goal before the clock turned red.
Tipperary: S Callanan (3-08, 0-07f), J O’Dwyer (0-06), N McGrath (0-05), L Corbett (0-02), J Woodlock (0-01); G Ryan, Patrick Maher (0-01), S McGrath (0-01), K Bergin (0-01).Galway: J Glynn (2-00), J Canning (0-05, 1sl), C Cooney (0-04f), David Burke (1-00), J Flynn (1-00), C Mannion (0-2); P Brehony (0-01) D Glennon (0-01).
Tipperary: D Gleeson; P Stapleton, Padraic Maher, M Cahill; B Maher, J Barry, C Barrett; R Maher, J Woodlock; G Ryan, Patrick Maher, N McGrath; J O’Dwyer, S Callanan, L Corbett.
Subs: K Bergin for R Maher (35), S McGrath for G Ryan (69), J O’Brien for Corbett (70+2).
Galway: C Callanan; F Moore, R Burke, D Collins; I Tannian, Daithi Burke, J Coen; A Smith, P Brehony; David Burke, J Canning, C Mannion; J Flynn, C Cooney, J Glynn.
Subs: J Cooney for Brehony (h.t.), D Glennon for David Burke (h.t), A Harte for Smith (46), N Burke for Tannian (58), D Hayes for Mannion (68).
Referee: C Lyons (Cork).