Tipperary boss resigns as Down, Longford and Westmeath advance in qualifiers

Liam Kearns called a halt to his reign as Tipp football manager following their defeat to Down.

Liam Kearns Liam Kearns pictured during Tipperary's defeat to Down in the All-Ireland senior football qualifiers. Source: Philip Magowan/INPHO

THE TIPPERARY SENIOR footballers will be under new management next season after Liam Kearns announced his resignation following today’s loss to Down.

Kearns spent four years in charge of Tipp and guided them to an All-Ireland semi-final in his first season in the job.

However, having made a surprise Munster Championship exit at the hands of Limerick, the Premier County’s campaign was brought to an end by Down this afternoon at Páirc Esler.

Donal O'Hare celebrates scoring a goal Donal O'Hare celebrates after scoring Down's goal. Source: Philip Magowan/INPHO

There was also success today in the first round of the qualifiers for Longford and Westmeath, who eliminated Carlow and Waterford respectively.

With Philip Austin playing a pivotal role in the first half by chipping in with 1-1, Tipp took a 1-5 to 0-5 lead in at the break in Newry.

However, Down were superior in the second period, aided significantly by the introduction of Cory Quinn, who contributed three points. Donal O’Hare’s goal was crucial for the hosts, who ultimately ran out 1-13 to 1-10 winners.

Conor Doyle and Donal McElligott Donal McElligott of Longford under pressure from Carlow's Conor Doyle. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

At Netwatch Cullen Park, Longford rebounded from last weekend’s Leinster quarter-final loss to Kildare to get the better of a disappointing Carlow side.

Despite registering 18 wides, the final scoreline was comprehensively in Longford’s favour. James McGivney and Patrick Fox scored the goals in a 2-11 to 0-7 victory.

Westmeath were also comfortable winners at TEG Cusack Park, where they saw off Waterford’s meek challenge to secure their first qualifier win since 2012.

Gavin Cooney
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Boidu Sayeh and Tommy Prendergast Waterford's Tommy Prendergast tangles with Boidu Sayeh of Westmeath. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

After leading by 0-9 to 0-1 at half-time, Ronan O’Toole found the net in the second half of a 1-22 to 0-7 triumph in Mullingar.

All-Ireland SFC qualifiers round one

Down 1-13 Tipperary 1-10
Longford 2-11 Carlow 0-7
Westmeath 1-22 Waterford 0-7
Monaghan 1-10 Fermanagh 1-6 (match report)

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