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Sacre blue and gold! Tipp footballers reach first All-Ireland semi-final in 81 years

The Premier County hammered Connacht champions Galway by nine points in this afternoon’s quarter-final at Croke Park.

Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Galway 1-10
Tipperary 3-13

By Jackie Cahill at Croke Park

THE SEASON THAT keeps on giving for the Tipperary senior footballers reached new heights at Croke Park this afternoon as they advanced to the All-Ireland semi-finals.

Contesting a very first quarter-final, Tipp ensured their progress to the last four for the first time since 1935 with a stirring nine-point victory over Connacht champions Galway.

Michael Quinlivan netted in the first half and Conor Sweeney, hero of the hour against Derry in the qualifiers last weekend, bagged a second half brace as Tipp, not for the first time, turned the form-book on its head.

In front of 29,251 spectators, Tipp outscored Galway by 2-5 to 0-5 in the second half to set up a clash with Mayo or Tyrone on 21 August at GAA HQ.

Tipp led by 1-8 to 1-5 at half-time but were caught by a sucker-punch Damien Comer goal in stoppage time.

Comer stormed through and held off challenges from Jimmy Feehan and latterly Alan Campbell to crash the ball high past Evan Comerford.

From a position where they were six points clear, Tipp went in with a three-point interval lead and left some scores behind them too.

The Premier County registered six wides to Galway’s three, dropped a number of efforts short and saw a George Hannigan shot bounce back into play off the upright.

Damien Comer Damien Comer scored a memorable first-half goal for Galway. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

But Tipp were in trouble in the early stages, falling 0-1 to 0-4 behind by the 15th minute.

Galway danger-man Danny Cummins was looking lively and had a brace of points to his credit but Tipp netted in the 17th minute to turn the game on its head.

Robbie Kiely’s incisive run cut through the massed Galway ranks and when the ball squirted loose, Hannigan forced a good save from Bernard Power.

But Quinlivan reacted quickest to palm the ball home at the Hill 16 end for the equalising score.

That goal sparked a run of 1-6 without reply from Tipp – as Galway went 18 minutes without troubling the scoreboard.

Michael Quinlivan celebrates after scoring a goal Tipperary forward Michael Quinlivan celebrates his goal. Source: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

Quinlivan added two points, one a free, but Galway missed a glorious goal chance when captain Gary O’Donnell got himself in a tangle as he prepared to shoot.

Tipp hit back at the other end when Brian Fox fed Philip Austin and he forced a good save from Power, before O’Halloran pointed the resultant 45.

O’Halloran added a point from play, flashing a shot just over the bar, before Sweeney and Quinlivan raised white flags.

Paul Conroy ended Galway’s scoring drought with a 33rd-minute point as the game swung from one end to the other and while Sweeney kicked his second point for Tipp, Comer had the final say in the first half with that magical goal.

Galway began the second half impressively as Shane Walsh landed a free, won after Thomas Flynn claimed the throw-in.

But Tipp were rampant and after Quinlivan was denied one-on-one by Power, Sweeney bagged the first of his goals with a ground effort after Bill Maher made headway in the 41st minute.

Philip Austin dragged a shot wide four minutes later as Tipp punched holes in the Galway defence but another goal did come in the 47th minute, Sweeney rising highest to fist home Jimmy Feehan’s delivery to the edge of the square.

Galway’s miserable afternoon continued as sub Adrian Varley was black-carded with ten minutes left and the Tribesmen finally registered a second half point from play in the 62nd minute.

Late on, they also had captain Gary O’Donnell yellow-carded for simulation and Paul Conroy became their second player to receive a black card.

Tipperary didn’t score after Peter Acheson’s 56th minute point but had enough done to continue their voyage.

Scorers for Galway: Damien Comer 1-0, Shane Walsh 0-4f, Danny Cummins 0-3, Paul Conroy, Eamon Brannigan & Paul Varley 0-1 each.

Scorers for Tipperary: Conor Sweeney 2-2, Michael Quinlivan 1-4 (0-1f), Kevin O’Halloran 0-4 (1f, 1 45), Robbie Kiely, Peter Acheson & Brian Fox 0-1 each.

Galway

1. Bernard Power (Corafinne)

2. Eoghan Kerin (Anach Cuain)
3. Declan Kyne (An Fhairce)
4. David Wynne (Maigh Cuilinn)

6. Gary O’Donnell (Réalta Thuama – captain)
5. Liam Silke (Corafinne)
7. Gareth Bradshaw (Maigh Cuilinn)

8. Paul Conroy (Naomh Séamus)
9. Thomas Flynn (Baile Átha an Rí)

10. Gary Sice (Corafinne)
14. Shane Walsh (Cill Choirin-Cluain Bheirne)
12. Johnny Heaney (Cill Ainnin)

15. Danny Cummins (Baile Clár na Gaillimhe)
11. Damien Comer (Anach Cuain)
13. Eamon Brannigan (Naomh Mícheál)

Subs: 

24. Adrian Varley (Seamróige Cortúin) for Sice (48)
20. Paul Varley (Seamróige Cortúin) for Heaney (50)
21. Enda Tierney (Uachatar Árd) for Brannigan (53)
25. Patrick Sweeney (Cill Ainnin) for A Varley (b/c 61)
22. Peter Cooke (Maigh Cuilinn) for Walsh (63)
23. Eddie Hoare (Naomh Mícheál) for Conroy (b/c 69)

Tipperary

1. Evan Comerford (Kilsheelan-Kilcash)

2. Colm O’Shaughnessy (Ardfinnan)
4. Ciarán McDonald (Aherlow)
5. Bill Maher (Kilsheelan-Kilcash)

6. Robbie Kiely (Carbery Rangers, Cork)
3. Alan Campbell (Moyle Rovers)
7. Jimmy Feehan (Killenaule)

8. Peter Acheson (Moyle Rovers – captain)
9. George Hannigan (Shannon Rovers)

10. Josh Keane (Golden-Kilfeacle)
13. Philip Austin (Borrisokane)
12. Brian Fox (Éire Óg Annacarty)

11. Kevin O’Halloran (Portroe)
14. Michael Quinlivan (Clonmel Commercials)
15. Conor Sweeney (Ballyporeen)

Subs: 

17. Alan Moloney (Rockwell Rovers) for Keane (65)
18. Shane Leahy (Arravale Rovers) for Maher (69)
19. Martin Dunne (Moyle Rovers) for Hannigan (70+3)
21. Mark Hanley (Aherlow) for Quinlivan (70+5)

Referee: Conor Lane (Cork).

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