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Dublin: 9 °C Tuesday 18 December, 2018

Tipperary hit key goals to claim win over Galway in All-Ireland semi-final thriller

It’ll be the Premier against the Cats in the decider next month.

Tipperary's Padraic Maher up against Galway's Conor Cooney.
Tipperary's Padraic Maher up against Galway's Conor Cooney.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Tipperary 2-19
Galway 2-18

Fintan O’Toole reports from Croke Park

TIPPERARY STRUCK TWO key goals in the last ten minutes and survived a late Galway onslaught to book an All-Ireland senior hurling final place this afternoon.

The Munster champions were on the rocks entering the finale but critically prised apart the Galway defence to hit the net twice at Croke Park in front of an attendance at 54,227.

Substitute John O’Dwyer hit the first in the 61st minute from an extremely narrow angle after being fed possession by John McGrath.

And then McGrath turned finisher to notch the second two minutes later, on the end of a team move that had seen Patrick Maher and Seamus Callanan make the hard yards.

That McGrath strike proved Tipperary’s last score and in a frantic finale, Galway hit points courtesy of Conor Cooney (free) and substitute Shane Maloney to shave Tipperary’s advantage.

That Maloney score proved the final one of the game – just like the 2015 instalment between these counties – but on this occasion Galway fell the wrong side of the result as they could not find the levelling score to secure a replay.

Conor Cooney celebrates scoring  a goal Conor Cooney celebrates his first-half goal for Galway. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Galway lost their talisman Joe Canning through injury at half-time while defender Adrian Tuohy was also withdrawn due to injury.

The Tribesmen were in front 1-10 to 0-11 at the interval with Conor Cooney smashing home an early goal after Galway capitalised to strip Tipperary’s Niall O’Meara of possession.

They further rattled Tipperary after the interval when Joseph Cooney intercepted a Brendan Maher handpass in the 43rd minute before careering clear and finishing with aplomb for Galway’s second goal.

Dan McCormack with Daithi Burke Tipperary's Dan McCormack battles with Galway's Daithi Burke. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

That strike left Galway ahead 2-12 to 0-15 and while Tipperary quickly drew level, Galway nudged themselves ahead again thanks to a pair of frees from Conor Cooney and a point by Conor Whelan.

Padraic Maher banged over a long-range point in reply during that scoring burst yet Tipperary still trailed 2-15 to 0-19 with ten minutes on the clock.

But ultimately Tipperary came good when their need was greatest. They only scored twice in the last 17 minutes of action yet both of those strikes were goals. Previously Tipperary had been prevented from raising the green flag when Noel McGrath crashed a shot off the bar in the 10th minute and his brother John saw a close-range effort tipped past the post by Colm Callanan in the 40th minute.

Tipperary danger man Seamus Callanan was well-marshalled by the excellent Daithi Burke throughout but his 0-9 haul from placed balls was invaluable while Michael Breen and Noel McGrath also made important scoring contributions. Tipperary stood tall at the finish and savoured a splendid victory.

John O'Dwyer celebrates his goal with John McGrath John O'Dwyer celebrates his goal for Tipperary with John McGrath Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Scorers for Tipperary: Seamus Callanan 0-9 (0-8f, 0-1 ’65), John McGrath 1-1, John O’Dwyer 1-0, Noel McGrath, Michael Breen 0-3 each, Ronan Maher, Padraic Maher, Brendan Maher 0-1 each.

Scorers for Galway: Conor Cooney 1-6 (0-4f), Joe Canning 0-5 (0-3f, 0-1 ’65), Joseph Cooney 1-1, Conor Whelan, Jason Flynn 0-2 each, Shane Maloney, David Burke 0-1 each.


1. Darren Gleeson – Portroe

2. Cathal Barrett – Holycross-Ballycahill
3. James Barry – Upperchurch-Drombane
4. Michael Cahill – Thurles Sarsfields

5. Seamus Kennedy – St. Mary’s
6. Ronan Maher – Thurles Sarsfields
7. Padraic Maher – Thurles Sarsfields

8. Brendan Maher (Capt.) – Borris-Ileigh
9. Michael Breen – Ballina

10. Dan McCormack – Borris-Ileigh
11. Patrick Maher – Lorrha-Dorrha
12. Noel McGrath – Loughmore-Castleiney

13. John McGrath – Loughmore-Castleiney
14. Seamus Callanan – Drom & Inch
15. Niall O’Meara – Kilruane MacDonaghs


21. Tomás Hamill (Moyne-Templetuohy) for Pádraic Maher (blood) (24)
7. Padraic Maher for Hamill (27)
25. John O’Dwyer (Killenaule) for O’Meara (45)
20. Jason Forde (Silvermines) for Noel McGrath (57)
19. Sean Curran (Mullinahone) for Breen (67)
21. Tomás Hamill for Kennedy (71)


1. Colm Callanan — Kinvara

7. Aidan Harte — Gort
6. Daithí Burke — Turloughmore
3. John Hanbury — Rahoon-Newcastle

9. Adrian Tuohy — Beagh
4. Padraic Mannion — Ahascragh-Fohenagh
5. Gearóid McInerney — Oranmore-Maree

2. Johnny Coen — Loughrea
8. David Burke — St Thomas’

14. Cathal Mannion — Ahascragh-Fohenagh
11. Joseph Cooney — Sarsfields
12. Joe Canning — Portumna

15. Jason Flynn — Tommy Larkin’s
13. Conor Whelan — Kinvara
10. Conor Cooney — St Thomas’


20. Andrew Smith (Portumna) for Canning (blood) (24)
12. Canning for Smith (27)
25. Cyril Donnellan (Padraig Pearses) for Canning (inj) (half-time)
20. Andrew Smith (Portumna) for Tuohy (inj) (half-time)
23. Shane Maloney (Tynagh-Abbey-Duniry) for Whelan (65)
22. Niall Burke (Oranmore-Maree) for Cathal Mannion (65)
19. David Collins (Liam Mellowes) for Harte (67)

Referee: Barry Kelly (Westmeath)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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