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Road to Croker: Tipperary's path to the All-Ireland hurling final

Here’s how Eamon O’Shea’s side returned to the All-Ireland final after an early Munster championship defeat to Limerick.

Sunday, June 1: Munster Championship, semi-final (Semple Stadium)

Seamus Hickey celebrates scoring a point Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

TIPPERARY 2-16 Limerick 2-18

Defending champions Limerick dumped Tipperary out of the Munster championship for the second successive year with a stunning two points win in Tipp’s backyard.

It was a first senior championship win for the Shannonsiders over Tipperary in Thurles since 1973 and their first provincial championship victory at Semple since 1997. The defeat was Tipp’s fourth straight championship defeat, but things looked rosy when Gearóid Ryan goaled early in the second-half to put them in control and in a strong position to book their place in the Munster final.

But Limerick’s star forward Shane Dowling, who hit 2-9, buried a 68th minute equalising goal before late scores from Thomas Ryan and Seamus Hickey sealed the dramatic win.

TIPPERARY: D Gleeson; C Barrett, Pádraic Maher, M Cahill; J Barry, B Maher, C O’Mahony; K Bergin, S McGrath; G Ryan (1-02), N McGrath (0-01), N O’Meara (0-01); J O’Dwyer, (0-05, 1f) S Callanan (0-05, 3f), Patrick Maher (1-00). Subs: L Corbett (0-01) for Barry (54), D Maher (0-01) for O’Meara (62), C O’Brien for Cahill (65), S Bourke for O’Dwyer (68), T Stapleton for S McGrath (70).

LIMERICK: N Quaid; T Condon, R McCarthy, S Hickey (0-01); P O’Brien, W McNamara, G O’Mahony; J Ryan, P Browne (0-01); D Hannon (0-01), D O’Grady (0-02), S Dowling (2-09, 1-09f); G Mulcahy (0-01), K Downes (0-02), S Tobin. Subs: T Ryan (0-01) for Tobin (61), M Ryan for Mulcahy (70+2).

Saturday, July 5: All-Ireland Qualifers, Round 1 (Semple Stadium)

Lar Corbett Source: James Crombie/INPHO

TIPPERARY 3-25 Galway 4-13

Tipperary produced a remarkable comeback to turn a six point deficit into a nine point victory over Galway at Semple Stadium.

Facing elimination without winning a game for a second successive year, Tipp found themselves 4-12 to 1-15 behind with just under 20 minutes left on the clock. But Eamon O’Shea’s troops blitzed Galway from then until the final whistle, outscoring the Tribesmen by 2-10 to 0-1.

Tipp responded to some of the criticism leveled at them following their loss to Limerick, with Shane McGrath, John O’Dwyer and Noel McGrath all excelling. Seamus Callanan was the stand out player, finishing with 3-8 (3-1 from play) to his name.

TIPPERARY: D Gleeson; P Stapleton, Padraic Maher, M Cahill; B Maher, J Barry, C Barrett; R Maher, J Woodlock (0-01); G Ryan, Patrick Maher (0-01), N McGrath (0-05); J O’Dwyer (0-06), S Callanan (3-08, 0-07f), L Corbett (0-02). Subs: K Bergin (0-01) for R Maher (h.t.), S McGrath (0-01) 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 (0-01); David Burke (1-00), J Canning (0-05, 1sl), C Mannion (0-2); J Flynn (1-00), C Cooney (0-04f), J Glynn (2-00). Subs: J Cooney for Brehony (h.t.), D Glennon (0-01) for David Burke (h.t), A Harte for Smith (46), N Burke for Tannian (58), D Hayes for Mannion (68).

Saturday, July 12: All-Ireland Qualifers, Round 2 (O’Moore Park)

Brian Carroll under pressure Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

TIPPERARY 5-25 Offaly 1-20

Tipperary’s run through the qualifers picked up speed with a high scoring dismissal of Offaly on a miserable day in Round 2. They found the net four times during the first half, through Seamus Callanan, Lar Corbett and Patrick Maher, to lead 4-09 to 0-11 at the interval.

Brian Carroll’s impressive free-taking abilities kept Offaly in touch but eventually Tipp’s firepower saw them home with Callanan’s second goal arriving in injury time.

TIPPERARY: D Gleeson; P Stapleton, P Maher, M Cahill; B Maher, J Barry, C Barrett; K Bergin (0-04), J Woodlock (0-01); G Ryan, P Maher (1-01), J O’Dwyer (0-01); N McGrath (0-01), S Callanan (2-10, 0-07f), L Corbett (2-02). Subs: D Maher (0-02) for Ryan (6-10 Blood); D Maher for Ryan (HT); T Stapleton (0-01) for Barrett (47); E Kelly (0-1 for O’Dwyer (58); S McGrath for Woodlock (59); J Forde (0-01) for P Maher (66).

OFFALY: J Dempsey; C Parlon (0-01), R Hanniffy, N Wynne; C McDonald, K Brady, E Nolan; D Currams (0-01), S Ryan (0-01); J Bergin (0-03, 0-01f, 0-01 65’), C Mahon, C Egan (1-00); D Kenny, B Carroll (0-13, 0-10f), S Dooley (0-01). Subs: S Cleary for Kenny (30); K Connolly for Brady (HT); P Geraghty for Cleary (61); T Geraghty for Connolly (68).

Sunday, July 27: All-Ireland Series, quarter-final (Croke Park)

Shane Bourke celebrates after John OÕDwyer scored his sides opening goal Source: James Crombie/INPHO

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TIPPERARY 2-23 Dublin 0-16

A second-half brace of goals from John O’Dwyer eased the Premier men to a comfortable win over Dublin in the All-Ireland quarter-final. Dublin, who meekly surrendered their Leinster crown to Kilkenny three weeks previous, were expected to put up a greater fight but they trailed by seven at half-time and it was plain sailing for the Tipp from then on.

Dublin let a golden chance slip to reduce the gap to four in the third quarter when Paul Ryan had a penalty saved by Brendan Maher before Conal Keaney flashed the rebound over the bar. Tipp sensed the danger and O’Dwyer’s two goals arrived shortly afterwards to swing the pendulum firmly back in their favour and seal the win.

Sunday, August 17: All-Ireland Series, semi-final (Croke Park)

Seamus Callanan celebrates scoring his second goal Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

TIPPERARY 2-18 Cork 1-11

O’Shea’s troops sent Cork home from HQ with their tails between their legs with a shock ten point beating in the All-Ireland semi-final.

Seamus Callanan moved to the front of the queue to be named Hurler of the Year with 2-04 while his partner in crime John O’Dwyer hit six points from play on a day where the Rebels were outclassed in every facet of the game.

Callanan found the net after six minutes from a sweet delivery by Shane O’Neill and Tipp never looked back. They led by two at the break, but with the wind at their backs in the second half and Shane McGrath and James Woodlock enjoying near-total dominance in centre-field, Cork had no answer after half-time.

Callanan’s second goal after 46 minutes stretched Tipp further in front and Cork registered just 1-3 after the interval. The Rebels’ goal was only a consolation, a neat finish by Rob O’Shea with three minutes to play.

CORK: A Nash (0-02f); C Joyce, S O’Neill, S McDonnell; D Cahalane, M Ellis, L McLoughlin; D Kearney, A Walsh (0-01); S Harnedy (0-01), B Cooper, C Lehane (0-04); P Horgan (0-02f), P Cronin, A Cadogan (0-01). Subs: P O’Sullivan for Cadogan (46), S Moylan for Cronin (46), R O’Shea (1-00) for Walsh (55), J Coughlan for Harnedy (64).

TIPPERARY: D Gleeson; P Stapleton, J Barry, C Barrett; K Bergin, B Maher, Pádraic Maher; S McGrath (0-03), J Woodlock (0-03); G Ryan, Patrick Maher, N McGrath (0-02); J O’Dwyer (0-06), S Callanan (2-04, 0-01f), L Corbett. Subs: D Maher for Ryan (57), E Kelly for Corbett (60), J Forde for Patrick Maher (63), M Cahill for S McGrath (65), C O’Brien for Woodlock (69).

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