All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Round 3 Qualifier – Tipperary 0-21 Offaly 1-12

Tipperary defeated Offaly by 0-21 to 1-12 in Round 3 of the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Qualifiers on Sunday in Portlaoise.

No nonsense as Tipp do the business

Tipperary 0-21 Offaly 1-12

By Diarmuid O’Flynn for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Monday, July 19, 2010

TIPPERARY may not have found the net in this All-Ireland qualifier at Portlaoise yesterday, but a primary goal was accomplished nevertheless. “It was about getting over the finishing line and back into the All-Ireland quarter-final,” said manager Liam Sheedy, a man who knows a thing or two about goal-setting. “Offaly are a fabulous team — they bring great passion and great heart. We were conscious of that coming into this game, we were anxious to try and get a bit of a headstart.”

That’s the thinking when you’re hotly fancied to win — a good start, lift your own players and deflate the opposition. That’s exactly what Tipperary got, and it all stemmed from the toss of a coin. So often you see teams on windy days winning the toss, then immediately ceding the advantage to the opposition — not Tipperary captain Eoin Kelly yesterday. From the moment referee John Sexton looked at the upturned coin on the back of his hand and nodded to Eoin, this game was decided. The wind would be in their sails from the throw-in, and from that throw-in everything Tipp did was professional and business-like. There was very little fancy stuff, no-one trying to create and score the perfect goal, just route one, straight down field stuff.

Having seen Offaly take Galway to the wire on two occasions, Tipperary were taking no chances. The plan was to keep it simple, use that wind to keep the scoreboard ticking over and go into the dressing room with a good lead. Then come back out and fight like dogs to defend it. Not that it was all about the elements. “The wind never won a game,” man-of-the-match Brendan Maher pointed out. “It was important to get a good start whether you were playing with it or against it, and that was our aim. We said we’d go out in the first half and do what we had to, then regather at half-time and take it on from there. The first half performance did set it up, thankfully we got a good lead and we were able to hold onto it.”

That was the game, in a nutshell. With Eoin Kelly on fire at full-forward, razor-sharp in everything he did, they led by six points after 19 minutes (0-7 to 0-1), had extended that to nine at the break (0-14 to 0-5). They had a whole array of scorers, including two from midfielder Maher, two more from flying wing-forward Gearoid Ryan, and one each from centre-back Conor O’Mahony (a free from just outside his own 45m line, an indicator of the strength of the wind), David Young (the second midfielder), centre-forward Shane McGrath (an experiment that worked), and corners Noel McGrath and Larry Corbett.

Offaly did show signs of the team that had drawn with Galway in the Leinster semi-final before bowing out narrowly in the replay. Sharp-shooter Shane Dooley had three pointed frees, big Joe Bergin and Derek Molloy with the other two scores. They also had nine wides, proof that they weren’t being overrun in the possession stakes, and suggestive of a challenge to come on the changeover, with the wind now at their backs. Disappointingly for their fine following, however, that charge never came.

With wing-back Declan Fanning sitting deep to offer extra protection to the full-back line in front of Dooley and Bergin, Tipp managed to nullify the inside threat of Offaly, and while the men from the midlands were starting to get the scoreboard moving, every time they got a point Tipperary almost instantly replied. Joe Bergin point for Offaly, Gearoid Ryan reply; Shane Dooley free, two from Eoin Kelly — on and on, Tipperary always keeping that nine-point half-time gap, even extending it to 10 in the 61st minute, with Kelly still their greatest threat inside. This was Tipp’s last stop in the backroads of the qualifiers, a place in the All-Ireland quarter-final secured, back in the meat of championship action. Their opponents? Galway, coached by former Tipperary star John McIntyre.

“A tough test,” said Maher. “But we are looking forward to it. Any game you play in this championship is tough, but we’re in the right end of it now, back in a quarter-final, back where we wanted to be .” They did allow Offaly in for a goal at the end, Shane Dooley finally finding a bit of space behind what had been a vigilant defence, which put a bit of a gloss on the final scoreline. In truth, however, and from the moment Kelly won that toss, this was never really a true contest.

TIPPERARY: B Cummins; P Stapleton, P Curran, M Cahill; D Fanning, C O’Mahony, Padraic Maher; B Maher, D Young; G Ryan, S McGrath, Patrick Maher; N McGrath, L Corbett, E Kelly. Subs used: S Callanan for Patrick Maher (56 mins), S Hennessy for Young (61), P Bourke for N McGrath (62), C O’Brien for B Maher (67), J O’Brien for S McGrath (69).

Tipperary Scorers: E Kelly 0-11 (0-8f, 0-1 ’65’), G Ryan 0-3, L Corbett, B Maher 0-2 each, C O’Mahony (0-1f), S McGrath, N McGrath 0-1 each.

OFFALY: J Dempsey; D Franks, P Cleary, J Rigney; D Kenny, R Hanniffy, D Morkan; B Murphy, D Hayden; B Carroll, J Brady, D Molloy; C Parlon, J Bergin, S Dooley.

Subs used: K Brady for Cleary (20-23 mins, blood sub), G Healion for Parlon (44), D Currams for J Brady (50), K Brady for Hayden (60), O Kealey for Molloy (64).

Offaly Scorers: S Dooley 1-7 (0-6f, 0-1 ’65’), J Bergin 0-3, D Molloy, D Hayden 0-1 each.

Referee: John Sexton (Cork).

Plus points for Sheedy as Tipp gain momentum


By Jackie Cahill for the Irish Independent newspaper

All-Ireland SHC Qualifier

Monday July 19 2010

TIPPERARY never had to hit the heights against Offaly in Portlaoise yesterday as they set up a mouth-watering All-Ireland quarter-final showdown with Galway. The venue for that titanic tussle next Sunday will be confirmed by GAA chiefs later this afternoon and Tipp can look forward to it with some optimism after back-to-back championship victories. Although still defensively sound, Tipp don’t look as powerful a unit as last year but they are sure to improve again next weekend after doing no more than enough to move comfortably past a below-par Offaly challenge. There was none of the fire from the Faithful County that almost saw them shock Galway in the Leinster semi-final as Tipperary led from start to finish in front of 13,888 spectators.

Offaly’s misery was compounded four minutes from time when sub Kevin Brady, who had only been on the pitch five minutes, was sent off for pulling across the legs of Shane McGrath. Tipp captain Eoin Kelly won the pre-match toss and his decision to play with the aid of a stiff breeze blowing into the Town End paid rich dividends. Brendan Cummins put the Offaly defence under immense pressure with booming puck-outs and at the break Tipp led comfortably by 0-14 to 0-5. For the most part, manager Liam Sheedy’s changes worked well as David Young forged a solid midfield partnership with former All-Ireland minor winning captain Brendan Maher, who was his team’s most impressive performer. Re-homed at centre forward, Shane McGrath’s natural inclination was to drift back towards the centre of the field but the Ballinahinch man still put in a useful shift. Gearóid Ryan, making just his second full championship start, hit three points in another solid display.

Kilkenny boss Brian Cody may well have afforded himself a wry smile last night as this time next week one of the main pretenders to the Cats’ throne will have fallen by the wayside. Sheedy doesn’t have the luxury of scanning the wider landscape and the Portroe man was happy with another victory. “It was about getting over the finishing line again today and back into the quarter-final. Offaly are a fabulous team — they bring great passion and great heart. We were very conscious of that coming into the game,” he said. “We were anxious to try and get a bit of a head start. In fairness to the lads, they struck some fabulous scores in the first half. That’s where we set our platform for the victory. We only had four wides in the first half.”

Offaly boss Joe Dooley has completed three years at the helm and has overseen definite progress. Talk on his future is “for another day I think” but the general feeling is that he will stick around. “We’re in a much, much different position than we were in last year,” he said. “We’re setting standards higher for ourselves and that’s the way it has to be.” They’re not yet at the level of Tipperary who were steady, rather than spectacular, yesterday. Lar Corbett had a sight of goal in the first minute, the closest Tipp came to a green flag, and they went on to lead by 0-10 to 0-2 after 24 minutes. Offaly, who registered nine first-half wides, hit just 1-5 from play, and the goal was a consolation score from Shane Dooley in stoppage time.

Scorers — Tipperary: E Kelly 0-11 (7f, 1 ’65), G Ryan 0-3, B Maher 0-2, C O’Mahony (f), D Young, S McGrath, N McGrath and L Corbett 0-1 each. Offaly: S Dooley 1-7 (0-6f, 0-1 ’65), J Bergin 0-3, D Hayden and D Molloy 0-1 each.

TIPPERARY — B Cummins 7; P Stapleton 7, P Curran 7, M Cahill 7; D Fanning 8, C O’Mahony 7, Pádraic Maher 7; D Young 7, B Maher 8; G Ryan 8, S McGrath 6, Patrick Maher 6; N McGrath 7, E Kelly 7, L Corbett 6. Subs: S Callanan 6 for Patrick Maher (57), S Hennessy 6 for Young (62), P Bourke 5 for N McGrath (63), C O’Brien n/a for B Maher (67), J O’Brien n/a for S McGrath (69).

OFFALY — J Dempsey 7; D Franks 6, P Cleary 6, J Rigney 6; D Kenny 6, R Hanniffy 7, D Morkan 6; B Murphy 7, D Hayden 6; B Carroll 5, J Brady 4, D Molloy 6; C Parlon 5, J Bergin 7, S Dooley 6.

Subs: G Healion 6 for Parlon (45), D Currams 5 for J Brady (50), K Brady 0 for Hayden (61), O Kealey n/a for Molloy (65).

REF — J Sexton

Offaly fall short

From the Irish Examiner newspaper

Sunday, July 18, 2010 – 05:03 PM

All-Ireland SHC Round 3 Qualifier

Tipperary 0-21 Offaly 1-12

Team captain Eoin Kelly claimed 11 points as Tipperary overcame Offaly in Portlaoise to book an All-Ireland SHC quarter-final berth. Liam Sheedy’s charges looked very impressive throughout and led by 0-14 to 0-5 at the interval, with seven of their players on target. Tipperary pressed on and were 0-17 to 0-7 ahead by the 42nd minute, watched by 13,888 spectators. A valiant Offaly side could not curb Kelly’s influence, and Shane Dooley’s injury-time goal was mere consolation. They also lost substitute Kevin Brady to a late dismissal. The victory for Tipperary sets up a quarter-final clash with Galway next weekend, and Kelly and company will take a good deal of momentum into that game.

Tipp hit the ground running at O’Moore Park, keen to kick from their high-scoring win over Wexford in the first phase of the qualifiers. And they showed great precision in the opening half, converting 14 of their 18 scoring chances to move comfortably ahead on the scoreboard. Free-taker Kelly was in good form from placed balls, knocking over four efforts. He was on target in the opening 10 minutes, along with Conor O’Mahony and Gearoid Ryan, as Offaly fell 0-3 to 0-0 behind. Shane Dooley opened the Faithfuls’ account in the 14th minute, but with a strong wind behind them, the Premier County side cantered ahead. Scores from Kelly, Brendan Maher, Noel McGrath and Lar Corbett sent them 0-7 to 0-1 clear by the end of the opening quarter.

Offaly pressed hard through the likes of Joe Bergin, Dooley, Derek Molloy and Brian Carroll, but scores were at a premium for the midlanders. A fourth point from the stick of Kelly opened up a 0-10 to 0-2 lead in the 23rd minute, before Offaly found some rhythm thanks to points from Molloy and Dooley. However, Tipperary gained the upper hand once more before the break, with Shane McGrath, Gearoid Ryan, David Young and Kelly on target to open up a nine-point gap. Bergin collected his second point from two early Offaly attacks, as the second half took on a more even feel. But there was no sense of complacency from Tipperary as they claimed three of the next four scores.

Offaly manager Joe Dooley introduced both Ger Healion and Daniel Currams and the shake-up had the desired effect. Midfielder Dylan Hayden set the Faithfuls off on this purple patch, connecting superbly for a rousing long range point in the 46th minute. Pointed frees arrived from Shane Dooley either side of a Kelly score, leaving the score-line at 0-18 to 0-10 as the game entered the final quarter. The high stakes saw the game get heated in the final stages, evidenced by an off-the-ball incident involving a number of players. Offaly substitute Kevin Brady was barely five minutes on the pitch when he was picked out of the bunch by referee John Sexton who gave him a straight red card. Kelly and Bergin swapped scores in the closing five minutes with Tipp’s victory now beyond doubt. With their Championship challenge at an end, Offaly managed to sign off with the game’s only goal, scored by corner forward Dooley in the second minute of injury-time.

Scorers: Tipperary: E Kelly 0-11 (0-8f, 0-1 ’65’), G Ryan 0-3, L Corbett, B Maher 0-2 each, C O’Mahony (0-1f), S McGrath, N McGrath 0-1 each.

Offaly: S Dooley 1-7 (0-6f, 0-1 ’65’), J Bergin 0-3, D Molloy, D Hayden 0-1 each.

TIPPERARY: B Cummins; P Stapleton, P Curran, M Cahill; D Fanning, C O’Mahony, Padraic Maher; B Maher, D Young; G Ryan, S McGrath, Patrick Maher; N McGrath, L Corbett, E Kelly.

Subs used: S Callanan for Patrick Maher (56 mins), S Hennessy for Young (61), P Bourke for N McGrath (62), C O’Brien for B Maher (67), J O’Brien for S McGrath (69).

OFFALY: J Dempsey; D Franks, P Cleary, J Rigney; D Kenny, R Hanniffy, D Morkan; B Murphy, D Hayden; B Carroll, J Brady, D Molloy; C Parlon, J Bergin, S Dooley.

Subs used: K Brady for Cleary (20-23 mins, blood sub), G Healion for Parlon (44), D Currams for J Brady (50), K Brady for Hayden (60), O Kealey for Molloy (64).

Referee: John Sexton (Cork)

Team News

The Tipperary team to play Offaly in Phase 3 of the GAA Hurling All Ireland Senior Championship qualifiers on Sunday next at Portlaoise shows 2 changes in personnel from the team which started the last game against Wexford. Paddy Stapleton and Paul Curran come into the team in place of Conor O’Brien and Seamus Callanan. There are a number of positional switches, the most notable of which see regular midfielder Shane McGrath named at centre forward and man of the match against Wexford, David Young named to replace him at midfield.

The team is

1. Brendan Cummins (Ballybacon Grange)

2. Paddy Stapleton (Borris-Ileigh)

3. Paul Curran (Mullinahone)

4. Michael Cahill (Thurles Sarsfields)

5. Declan Fanning (Killenaule)

6. Conor O’Mahony (Newport)

7. Padraic Maher (Thurles Sarsfields)

8. Brendan Maher (Borris-Ileigh)

9. David Young (Toomevara)

10. Gearóid Ryan (Templederry Kenyons)

11. Shane McGrath (Ballinahinch)

12. Patrick Maher (Lorrha and Dorrha)

13. Noel McGrath (Loughmore Castleiney)

14. Lar Corbett (Thurles Sarsfields)

15. Eoin Kelly (Mullinahone) Captain.

All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Qualifier Round 3 – Cork 0-12 Wexford 0-5

Cork defeated Wexford by 0-12 to 0-5 in Round 3 of the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Qualifiers on Sunday at Wexford Park.

Cork gathering momentum

Wexford 0-5 Cork 0-12

By Fintan O’Toole for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Monday, July 19, 2010

CORK’s backdoor rehabilitation continues to progress in a brisk manner after they fashioned their latest success in Wexford Park yesterday. Conor Counihan’s men were convincing victors over Wexford in an All-Ireland SFC qualifier round 3 clash that was ruined by the wretched weather. It was a day of cascading showers and gusting winds in the south-east, which resulted in this clash bearing the look of a mundane March league encounter rather than a July championship game crackling with intensity. The conditions seriously impaired on the efforts of both teams to engage in flowing passages of play, yet despite both teams having tackled adverse weather last weekend in Páirc Uí Chaoimh and Pearse Stadium before churning out qualifier round 2 victories, it was Cork who adapted in a superior fashion here. This tie had the capacity to trouble Cork, with Wexford in buoyant form after their Salthill heroics. But Cork’s greater nous proved integral in helping them claim honours, as they played smart football in controlling the exchanges and retaining possession both with and against the wind. They produced blistering opening periods to both halves as they led 0-5 to 0-0 by the 17th minute and then scored the first four points of the second-half as well. Those bursts of power had the twin effect of draining the life out of Wexford’s challenge and quelling the roar of the Model supporters.

“We just showed a bit of a grip there in the second-half when it was needed and things were shaky,” manager Conor Counihan said afterwards. “With the home crowd getting behind them here, it was important we dug in and the lads did that. It was never going to be a high-scoring game in those conditions, scores were hard to come by. Between the swirling wind and the rain, it made it very difficult. We took some poor decisions in the first-half and there’ll be plenty work to be done. But you’d have to be pleased overall.” This match was far more beneficial to Cork than the staggeringly lopsided clash with Cavan. They had to dig deeper to deliver the right result and this battle will stand to them as they prepare to renew acquaintances with Limerick next week.

Defensively Cork were excellent, restricting the space available to Wexford’s livewire inside attackers Ciarán Lyng and Matty Forde. Jamie O’Sullivan stuck tenaciously to Lyng throughout, Michael Shields was similarly tight on Forde and limiting that pair to a single point from play went a long way towards securing the victory for Cork. Outside them Redmond Barry was never allowed to pull the strings creatively by Paudie Kissane and on the opposite flank of the defence Graham Canty was an immense presence. Canty epitomised Cork’s shrewd use of possession throughout as they limited turnovers of the ball and used the open space of the wings rather than ploughing into traffic in the middle. Cork’s injury woes are showing signs of abating. John Miskella survived 70 minutes of tougher combat and embellished his display with a trademark second-half point that arrived after a series of patient passes in defence. Aidan Walsh’s hamstrings held up importantly around the middle and he notched the score of the day with a serious thump from distance in the first-half. And Nicholas Murphy had a huge impact at midfield when introduced in the second-half at a time when Cork’s challenge creaking. Cork found it difficult to make much headway in attack for long stages. The weather was a clear impediment in this regard and Wexford’s best performers on the day were in their backline, with both Graeme Molloy and David Murphy impressing.

Even with the wind at their backs Cork endured a 15-minute scoring drought in the first-half and their struggles were even more pronounced in the second-half as 30 minutes passed between Miskella striking Cork’s 11th point and Ciaran Sheehan popping over their 12th and final score of the day. But Cork’s forwards did work exceptionally hard with Patrick Kelly in particular processing a huge amount of possession from wing-forward. In the scoring stakes Ciaran Sheehan grabbed two skilful points while both Kelly and Daniel Goulding located their A-game’s when it came to converting placed balls in the testing wind. As they only trailed 0-7 to 0-3 at the interval, Wexford were entitled to face into the second-half in a state of confidence that could stage an upset. But they were left reeling as Cork produced a lightning scoring blitz after half-time to lead 0-11 to 0-3 by the 44th minute.

It was the type of thunderous opening that Wexford badly needed and the stark reality was their play was too sub-standard in the second-half. They failed to carve open the Cork defence to give their forwards the latitude to score and too much possession was coughed up from going into contact around the middle. Cork were content to soak up the Wexford pressure as they had established enough of a buffer on the scoreboard. The outcome was inevitable from the midway point of the second-half with Cork able to start planning for next week and Wexford left to reflect on another qualifier exit.

WEXFORD: A Masterson; J Wadding, G Molloy, B Malone; A Flynn, D Murphy, A Doyle; E Bradley, D Waters; C Morris, R Barry, C Byrne; C Lyng, M Forde, S Roche. Subs used: B Doyle for Byrne (25 mins), PJ Banville for Roche, P Naughter for Waters (both 54), D Carter for Molloy (68), B Brosnan for Lyng (70+2).

Wexford Scorers: A Flynn, E Bradley, C Lyng (0-1f), M Forde, B Brosnan 0-1 each

CORK: A Quirke; R Carey, M Shields, J O’Sullivan; G Canty, P Kissane, J Miskella; A O’Connor, A Walsh; F Goold, P O’Neill, P Kelly; D Goulding, C Sheehan, C O’Neill. Subs used: P Kerrigan for Goold (35+1 mins), N Murphy for O’Connor (half-time), D Kavanagh for Murphy (59, blood sub), N O’Leary for Kissane, J Hayes for O’Neill (both 67), F Lynch for Kelly (70+2).

Cork Scorers: P Kelly 0-4 (0-3f), D Goulding 0-3 (0-2f), C Sheehan 0-2, G Canty, A Walsh, J Miskella 0-1 each.

Referee: Gearoid O Conamha (Galway)