Allianz Hurling League Division 1A – Tipperary 2-20 Galway 2-18

Tenacious Tipp hearten Ryan

Tipperary 2-20 Galway 2-18

By Jackie Cahill for the Irish Examiner newspaper

A first Allianz National Hurling League victory of the season for Tipperary and a first defeat for Galway were the main talking points from a high-scoring encounter at Semple Stadium yesterday. A tie that was level 14 times was settled by late scores from Johnny Ryan, with his first touch, and Noel McGrath as Tipp edged home by two points in front of 4,951 spectators in Thurles. It was typical March hurling, error-ridden on a deceptively heavy sod, but Tipperary manager Declan Ryan won’t complain after his charges bounced back from their opening day mauling to Kilkenny in Nowlan Park. A Waterford Crystal Cup final victory over Clare sandwiched in between will have boosted confidence levels and the style of Tipp’s play was noticeably changed as they used possession more intelligently. Gone was the reliance on the route one approach that failed against Brian Cody’s charges on All-Ireland final day and again 15 days ago as Tipp’s forwards moved more fluidly and picked off some neat scores as a consequence.  Galway, too, played their part and led with nine minutes remaining before the home outfit did just about enough down the home stretch with a late flourish that will have heartened Ryan.

The talent within the Tipp ranks remains unquestionable but the job for Ryan and coach Tommy Dunne is to get them playing again to levels of 2010. Galway coach Tom Helebert insisted that the Tribesmen are still very much a work in progress, behind the likes of Tipp and Kilkenny in terms of core strength and fitness levels. But the inside line of Damien Hayes, James Regan and Bernard Burke showed enough to suggest that they could form a potent unit come the summer as the trio finished with a combined tally of 2-7 from play. Pa Bourke was Tipperary’s scorer-in-chief, hitting 1-6, including a glorious first half goal before he was withdrawn in stoppage time. So far this year, six-time All Star and former team captain Eoin Kelly has had to be content with a place on the bench and he lasted less than a minute yesterday, coming off with a hamstring twinge having replaced Shane McGrath at half-time.

This morning, manager Ryan will be pleased to reflect on two valuable League points, instead of reading about the continuing absence of Lar Corbett. With the 2010 Hurler of the Year offering no indication that he is set to return, Tipp fans are straining their eyes into the attacking sextet and crying out for a hero to emerge. Shane Bourke, so impressive for UCC in their Fitzgibbon Cup success, took his chance to impress with a hard-working display rewarded by two points from play while in the other corner forward position, John O’Neill clipped over two gems. Brian O’Meara at full-forward perhaps won his battle with David Collins on points but the star turn in attack was Noel McGrath, who bagged 1-3 and a lovely 42nd minute goal.

“We got on the ball a bit handier today and we used it a lot better when we were in possession,” was Ryan’s assessment and he was spot on. McGrath’s goal was a case in point as Timmy Hammersley and Pa Bourke did well to get passes away in confined spaces before McGrath planted a smashing shot past James Skehill. At half-time, Galway led 1-9 to 1-8 following a 35 minutes that saw the teams level six times. The visitors began in devastating fashion as James Regan planted a shot into the top corner in the third minute to establish a 1-1 to 0-0 lead, just a minute after Skehill did brilliantly to keep out a rasping O’Meara drive. Tipp were level by the 11th minute, however, and goaled in the 29th minute as O’Meara somehow kept hold of possession under extreme pressure before Bourke finished clinically. Boosted by a second goal, from McGrath, Tipp led by 2-11 to 1-10 in the 42nd minute but a Damien Hayes goal for Galway levelled the tie at 2-11 apiece four minutes later.

“The lads stuck at it. It was nip and tuck in the second half and they stuck at it,” Ryan reflected. That they did as Helebert was left disappointed that Galway did not emerge with at least a share of the spoils. He said: “We’re disappointed not to take something out of it. We thought we’d worked hard to get something. “A few decisions went against us late on. We felt one or two of the calls were, at best marginal but we didn’t get them. We have to accept it and move on. “When you’re trying to come from where we are and build a team you need every break you can get.”

Scorers for Tipperary: P Bourke 1-6 (0-5f), N McGrath 1-3 (0-1f), J Woodlock, B Maher, J O’Neill & S Bourke 0-2 each, C O’Mahony (65), B O’Meara, J Ryan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Galway: N Burke 0-7f, D Hayes 1-3, J Regan 1-2, C Cooney 0-3 (1f), B Burke 0-2, B Daly 0-1.

TIPPERARY: B Cummins; D Maher, P Curran, M Cahill; J O’Keeffe, C O’Mahony, P Maher; J Woodlock, B Maher; P Bourke, N McGrath, S McGrath; J O’Neill, B O’Meara, S Bourke.
Subs: E Kelly for S McGrath (h.t.), T Hammersley for Kelly (inj, 38), J Ryan for Pa Bourke (70+1).

GALWAY: J Skehill; D Connolly, D Collins, G O’Halloran; J Cooney, F Moore, N Donoghue; D Burke, C Donnellan; C Cooney, N Burke, I Tannian; D Hayes, J Regan, B Burke.
Subs: B Daly for Tannian (28), J Coen for J Cooney (33), P Gordan for Donoghue (43), A Harte for Donnellan (53), E Ryan for N Burke (65).

Referee: C McAllister (Cork)

Ryan delight as Premier edge thriller

By Martin Breheny for the Irish Independent newspaper

LEVEL on no fewer than 14 occasions on an afternoon when the weather and the hurling presented a good impersonation of early summer, a richly satisfying contest at Semple Stadium finally swung Tipperary’s way in stoppage-time. Late points by substitute Johnny Ryan and Noel McGrath (free) enabled Tipperary to take their first League points of the season from a game that was so finely balanced all day that Galway were desperately disappointed not to have taken something out of it. Their supporters in the crowd of 4,951 weren’t enamoured with the performance of Cork referee Cathal McAllister, contending that many of the close calls went Tipperary’s way.

Galway selector Tom Helebert walked a diplomatic line on the subject afterwards. “We felt one or two of the calls were, at best, marginal but we didn’t get them. We have to accept it and move on. When you’re trying to come from where we’re coming from and build a team, you need every break you can get,” he said. Still, Galway could take plenty of positives from the manner in which their young team matched Tipperary in the majority of the key facets, with the notable exception of calmness under pressure.


Most of the Tipperary team have been driving in the fast lane for quite some time and are ultra-accomplished when it comes to manoeuvring around tight corners. They did it on a number of occasions yesterday, starting early on after they found themselves 1-1 to 0-0 behind after three minutes. Bernard Burke had fired Galway ahead in the first minute and 90 seconds later, James Regan raced through the centre of the Tipperary defence and beat Brendan Cummins with a crisp finish. In between, James Skehill had made a brilliant save from Brian O’Meara while Cummins had to be at his vigilant best in the fifth minute to stop Bernard Burke from scoring a second Galway goal.

All that early drama set the scene for what developed into a cracking contest. The sides were level on six occasions in the first half, with Galway finishing the stronger. They scored three late points to lead by one (1-9 to 1-8) at half-time after Pa Bourke had put Tipperary two points clear with a goal in the 29th minute. Tipperary were the more progressive side early in the second half, out-scoring their rivals by 1-3 (the goal came from Noel McGrath) in the opening seven minutes, but Galway’s response was emphatic and effective. A Damien Hayes goal in the 45th minute reignited them and, from there to the finish, it was tight and tense as both sides worked extremely hard in every sector.

Tipperary led by three points after 54 minutes but Galway were back level on the hour mark and a point ahead a minute later. Tipp twice moved ahead on the run-in but Galway drew level in the 69th minute when Conor Cooney, who took over the free-taking duties following Niall Burke’s departure, slotted a point from an acute angle. A draw was looking likely but Johnny Ryan made an important contribution seconds after his arrival when he fired over a point and Noel McGrath closed out the scoring with a pointed free which Galway felt — with some justification it must be said — was a harsh decision against them. Having beaten Dublin in the first round, a draw would have been a good result for Galway but a win was absolutely vital for Tipperary who had lost heavily to Kilkenny two weeks earlier.

Tipperary manager Declan Ryan attributed the win to a vast improvement in their ball-winning and usage. “We got on the ball a bit handier today (than in the Kilkenny game) and we used it a lot better when we were in possession. “We gave away a good number of frees so that’s something we can work on. Overall, the boys worked very hard all through so we can be happy from that point of view,” he said.

Nobody typified the work ethic more than midfielder Brendan Maher, who was a hugely influential figure. He had plenty of willing accomplices too on a day when Tipperary needed to be extremely sharp to wear down a new-look Galway side, which looks to be taking shape nicely. “It was the sort of game we wanted, even if it wasn’t the result we wanted. We needed to be hard and competitive in the tackle and we were,” said Helebert. “There was great honesty of effort out there. We have plenty to work on but that’s a positive in itself. Our fitness isn’t the same as the likes of Kilkenny and Tipperary, but we’re working on it. It will take time.”

One disappointment for Tipperary was the departure of Eoin Kelly with a hamstring injury one minute after his introduction as a sub for the second half. He had been involved in the play only once before being forced off and the full extent of the damage now remains to be seen. It was the only downer for Tipperary on a day when they got their League ambitions back on target. “There’s a long way to go in the League, but there are all sorts of possibilities out there. Our hurling has improved a lot over the last couple of weeks. Every game is a big game now. That’s the way it should be,” said Ryan. Tipperary will be back in Semple Stadium next Sunday (against Waterford) while Galway must travel to Pairc Ui Chaoimh to take on Cork. It’s a tough assignment for a squad that’s still very much in the formative stage, but the signs are encouraging and while they were disappointed by the circumstances of yesterday’s defeat, it will have taught them some valuable lessons.

Man of the Match: B Maher (Tipperary)

Scorers — Tipperary: P Bourke 1-6 (0-5f), N McGrath 1-3 (0-1f), J O’Neill, B Maher, S Bourke, J Woodlock 0-2 each, B O’Meara, C O’Mahony (1f), J Ryan 0-1 each.

Galway: N Burke 0-7 (7f), D Hayes 1-3, J Regan 1-2, C Cooney 0-3 (1f), B Burke 0-2, B Daly 0-1.

Tipperary — B Cummins 7; D Maher 7, P Curran 7, M Cahill 8; J O’Keeffe 6, C O’Mahony 7, P Maher 7; J Woodlock 7, B Maher 9; P Bourke 8, N McGrath 8, S McGrath 6; J O’Neill 7, B O’Meara 7, S Bourke 7. Subs: E Kelly for S McGrath (h-t), T Hammersley 7 for Kelly (36), J Ryan for P Bourke (70).

Galway — J Skehill 7; D Connolly 6, D Collins 7, G O’Halloran 7; N Donoghue 7, F Moore 7, J Cooney 6; D Burke 7, C Donnellan 6; C Cooney 7, N Burke 7, I Tannian 5; D Hayes 8, J Regan 8, B Burke 7. Subs: B Daly 7 for Tannian (28), J Coen 7 for J Cooney (30), P Gordon 6 for Donoghue (44), A Harte 6 for Donnellan (52), E Ryan for N Burke (65).

Ref — C McAllister (Cork)



Tipp snatch points at the death

Report from the web site

Tipperary 2-20 Galway 2-18

Pa Bourke bagged 1-6 against Galway this afternoon to kick start Tipperary’s National Hurling League season. The Thurles Sarsfields attacker proved that there can be life after his departed clubmate Lar Corbett with a clinical display. Bourke hit 1-1 from play, including a blistering second half goal, and five frees as Tipp collected their first victory of the season. This was a much-improved performance from the Premier County, who were battered by Kilkenny at Nowlan Park in the opening round of matches. And a hard-fought victory in a match that was level 14 times was achieved against a Galway outfit that showed plenty of promise against Dublin a fortnight before.

With the sides level at 2-18 apiece late on, Johnny Ryan came off the bench to put Tipp ahead with his first touch before classy centre forward Noel McGrath sealed victory from a free. Tipp just about deserved their victory against the visiting Tribesmen who finished the match with 2-7 from a dangerous full-forward line. In front of 4951 spectators, Tipp came with the late surge to secure their opening points of the season. Two more beckon next Sunday when struggling Waterford come to town and suddenly, Tipp could be right back in business with early season silverware already secured in the form of the Waterford Crystal Cup.

So far this year, six-time All-Star and former team captain Eoin Kelly has had to be content with a place on the bench and he lasted less than a minute, coming off with a hamstring twinge having replaced Shane McGrath at half-time. Shane Bourke, so impressive for UCC in their Fitzgibbon Cup success, took his chance to impress with a hard-working display rewarded by two points from play while in the other corner forward position, John O’Neill clipped over two gems. Brian O’Meara at full-forward perhaps won his battle with David Collins on points but the star turn in attack was McGrath, who bagged 1-3 and a delicious 42nd minute goal.

At half-time, Galway led by 1-9 to 1-8 following a 35 minutes that saw the teams level six times. The visitors began in devastating fashion as James Regan planted a shot into the top corner in the third minute to establish a 1-1 to 0-0 lead, just a minute after Skehill did brilliantly to keep out a rasping O’Meara drive. Tipp were level by the eleventh minute, however, and struck for a goal of their own in the 29th minute as O’Meara somehow kept hold of possession under extreme pressure from Galway defenders before Bourke finished clinically. Boosted by a second goal, from McGrath, Tipp led by 2-11 to 1-10 in the 42nd minute but a Damien Hayes goal for Galway levelled the tie at 2-11 apiece four minutes later. Remarkably, the sides were level again five times before Ryan and McGrath scored the late points to secure the win for Tipperary.

Scorers for Tipperary: P Bourke 1-6 (0-5f), N McGrath 1-3 (0-1f), J Woodlock, B Maher, J O’Neill & S Bourke 0-2 each, C O’Mahony (65), B O’Meara & J Ryan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Galway: N Burke 0-7f, D Hayes 1-3, J Regan 1-2, C Cooney 0-3 (1f), B Burke 0-2, B Daly 0-1.

TIPPERARY: B Cummins; D Maher, P Curran, M Cahill; J O’Keeffe, C O’Mahony, P Maher; J Woodlock, B Maher; P Bourke (J Ryan 70+1), N McGrath, S McGrath (E Kelly h.t., T Hammersley 38); J O’Neill, B O’Meara, S Bourke.

GALWAY: J Skehill; D Connolly, D Collins, G O’Halloran; J Cooney (J Coen 33), F Moore, N Donoghue (P Gordan 43); D Burke, C Donnellan (A Harte 53); C Cooney, N Burke (E Ryan 65), I Tannian (B Daly 28); D Hayes, J Regan, B Burke.

Referee: C McAllister (Cork)

Team News

The Tipperary SH team to play Galway in the Allianz Hurling League round 2 shows 5 changes from the team which lost to Kilkenny in round 1. John O’Keeffe, James Woodlock, Shane McGrath, John O’Neill and Shane Bourke all come into the team in place of Shane Maher, David Young, Gearoid Ryan, Adrian Ryan and John O’Brien.

1. Brendan Cummins (Ballybacon-Grange)

2. Donagh Maher (Burgess)

3. Paul Curran (Mullinahone) Captain

4. Michael Cahill (Thurles Sarsfields)

5. John O’Keeffe (Clonoulty Rossmore)

6. Conor O’Mahony (Newport)

7. Padraic Maher (Thurles Sarsfields)

8. James Woodlock (Drom and Inch)

9. Brendan Maher (Borris–Ileigh)

10. Pa Bourke (Thurles Sarsfiedls)

11. Noel McGrath (Loughmore Castleiney)

12. Shane McGrath (Ballinahinch)

13. John O’Neill (Clonoulty Rossmore)

14. Brian O’Meara (Kilruane MacDonaghs)

15. Shane Bourke (JK Brackens)

The Galway side to play Tiperary in this Sundays Allianz NHL tie in Thurles has just been announced as follows:

1. James Skehill

2. Declan Connolly

3. David Collins

4. Ger O’Halloran

5. Niall Donohue

6. Fergal Moore

7. Tony Og Regan

8. David Burke

9. Cyril Donnelan

10. Conor Cooney

11. Niall Burke

12. Iarlaith Tannian

13. Damian Hayes

14. James Regan

15. Bernard Burke


16. Jamie Ryan

17. Padraig Shiels

18. Brian Flaherty

19. Paul Gordon

20. Joseph Cooney

21. Barry Daly

22. Eanna Ryan

23. Johnny Coen

24. Aidan Harte

25. Jason Grealish

26. Tadgh Haran


The Tipperary Supporters Club invite members to a get together immediately after Sunday’s match v Galway in the Park Avenue Hotel, near Semple Stadium. Come and enjoy complimentary finger food, tea and coffee and take part in a draw for a Tipperary jersey signed by the senior hurling panel and other prizes. This event is sponsored by Ryan Motor Power, Skoda Dealers, Clonmel and kindly hosted by Declan and Niamh Carr in the Park Avenue Hotel. 2012 Membership will be available at the event. The Tipperary Supporters Club junior mascot for the match is Dylan Maher, Dunkerrin.

Match Preview

Allianz Hurling League Division IA

From the web site

Tipperary v Galway, Semple Stadium, Thurles, 2.30pm

After the long winter break, supporters are always keen to make an early assessment of their team and in that light, the opening game of the Allianz Hurling League tends to take on greater significance than it ordinarily might.

It was hardly surprising, therefore, that Tipperary’s defeat to Kilkenny in Round 1 of the Allianz League was greeted with such pessimism in the Premier County. Coupled with the withdrawal of Lar Corbett from the squad the previous month, the eight-point loss supported suggestions that Tipperary had lost even further ground to the Cats since last September’s All-Ireland final.

“I’m very disappointed with the performance overall. It looks like Kilkenny are a couple of steps ahead of us and two or three gears ahead of us overall,” said Tipperary manager Declan Ryan after the game. “That’s the most disappointing thing really – our lads have a lot of work put in and have been training particularly hard pre-season. The overall display today was disappointing and that’s all you could say, really.”

Whether they have lost ground or not, Ryan must lift his players for a vitally important game against a youthful Galway side with their tails up after a seven-point win over Dublin in their League opener.

Playing a Kilkenny side with 12 starters from last September was as tough a start to the campaign as one could imagine. Galway, although full of confidence and youthful exuberance, might just be the kind of team Tipperary will fancy taking their frustrations out on.

Last Sunday’s 1-21 to 2-12 win over high-flying Clare in the Waterford Crystal Cup final will have gone some way to restoring confidence. “It was a good workout for us,” said Ryan. “After the game against Kilkenny the last day we were looking for a good performance, and it was a tough battle today.”

Paul Curran and Brendan Maher are available after recovering from hamstring injuries, while John O’Brien and Gearoid Ryan are doubtful with finger and neck problems respectively. Seamus Callanan and Patrick Maher are long-term absentees but are reported to be making good progress by the Tipperary camp.

Although Galway were not in action last weekend, the Connacht side that lost the M. Donnelly Interprovincial final to Kilkenny in Nowlan Park, Kilkenny was effectively a Galway team. The ever-busy Anthony Cunningham doubled as the provincial manager and used the outing as a chance to have a look at some of his fringe players.

Galway went into their game against Dublin with eight of the side that won the U21 title the previous year in their starting XV. Although they performed admirably that day, one of the squad’s senior players, captain Fergal Moore, has warned of the dangers of playing with so many newcomers at this level.

“We have a young and inexperienced team – we are trying to build a team – and we are learning that you can’t afford to switch off for a second at this level,” said Moore. “If you do, the ball is gone and if the ball is gone, it is generally a score down the other end of the pitch. It will come with time but we will have to learn pretty quickly on the road.”

Cunningham will again place his faith in the players that served him so well at underage level, while the likes of Cyril Donnellan, Damien Hayes and Moore provide much-needed experience. Joe Canning remains sidelined with a knee injury, but was hardly missed against Dublin, as Niall Burke was superb from placed balls and scored five points from play for good measure.

Judging by their Allianz League record against Tipperary – two wins in 12 meetings since 2001 – Galway could be brought back down to earth with a bump in Semple Stadium on Sunday.


Allianz Hurling League Division 1A – Cork 2-18 Dublin 2-17

Plucky Rebels refuse to surrender

Dublin 2-17 Cork 2-18

By Michael Moynihan for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Cork left Croke Park with their second Allianz HL Division 1A victory yesterday, a win that looked unlikely in a game which Dublin dominated for long periods. However, the introduction of several young players in the second-half stiffened the visitors’ challenge and got them over the line. Dublin had a last-gasp chance to equalise but Paul Ryan’s difficult free drifted just wide of the posts. “It was difficult but I thought he’d point it,” said Cork boss Jimmy Barry-Murphy afterwards. “He’s an excellent free-taker but it was a difficult angle, in fairness. I was well pleased to see it going wide. I wouldn’t have had any cribs with a draw at that stage. I certainly would have settled for that with ten minutes to go. Delighted overall that we sneaked it.”

A fair description. Dublin had improved steadily through the game – they managed just one point, from Ryan, and seven wides in the opening quarter, a period when Cork were far more efficient, with four points from Pa Cronin, Ben O’Connor, Patrick Horgan (free) and Patrick Cronin. Simon Lambert took a clever hand pass from David Treacy on 20 minutes and shot for goal, only for Donal Óg Cusack to tip his effort over the bar for Dublin’s second point. That galvanised the home team to a run of three more points, two from Paul Ryan (one a 65) and a long-range effort from Joey Boland, making it five points apiece, while it was Cork’s turn to rack up the wides, collecting five in ten minutes.

In the closing stages of the half Dublin had points from Ryan(another 65) and Johnny McCaffrey while Paudie O’Sullivan had two in response for Cork, with Conor Lehane, the star of their game with Waterford, chipping in with two late points to make it 0-9 to 0-7 at the half in favour of the visitors. The game wasn’t long livening up: a minute into the second-half dithering on the wing by Cork left Simon Lambert through for a goal, only for Cathal Naughton to respond instantly with a Cork goal. Dublin drove on, however, and when Liam Rushe won a penalty, Paul Ryan’s shot was saved, only for Ryan O’Dwyer to finish smartly – 2-9 to 1-10 on 40 minutes.

Dublin then hit six points, with the impressive Danny Sutcliffe hitting three; Cork were relying on Patrick Horgan’s accuracy from frees to stay in touch, but Dublin looked strong enough to keep them at bay, with Joey Boland and Paul Schutte ensuring the Leesiders couldn’t gain parity up front. Two Ryan points, one from a free, made it 2-16 to 1-16 with five |minutes left and Dublin looking good when Cork attacked through the middle of the field – Sean Óg Ó hAilpín and Darren Sweetnam combined, then Paudie O’Sullivan and sub Jamie Coughlan worked a one-on-one for the latter with Dublin ’keeper Gary Maguire.

Coughlan kept his head and slipped the ball across to Cronin, who knocked it home for a score that rocked Dublin. “A real Cork goal,” said Daly, “If I can say that as a Clare man – we seemed to have the run of play at the time but didn’t take our chances.” In a nervy ending Sutcliffe – again — edged the Dubs ahead, only for another Cork sub, William Egan, to hit a fine leveller from long range. Lehane won a vital free as the clock ticked to 70 minutes and Horgan converted, then Ryan’s late free tailed wide.

Barry-Murphy was quick to pay tribute to the young players introduced in the second half. Darren Sweetnam added drive at midfield and won possession, Egan hit a fine point and shut down Dublin’s last attack, while Lorcan McLoughlin won a vital ball near the end. “We’ve said from the start we wanted to bring young players in to see if they can make the jump to inter-county,” said Barry-Murphy. “It’s a big step up, and I thought the subs did very well when they came in. “Now it’s Galway, Kilkenny and Tipperary, it doesn’t get any tougher, but momentum is a great thing and I think the players will learn a lot from today.”

Scorers for Dublin: P Ryan 0-8 (2 65s, 2fs), D Sutcliffe 0-5, S Lambert 1-2, R O’Dwyer 1-0, J Boland 0-2.

Scorers for Cork: P Horgan 0-7 (5fs), P Cronin 1-3, C Naughton 1-1, C Lehane 0-3, P O’Sullivan 0-2, B O’Connor, W Nagle 0-1 each.

DUBLIN: G Maguire; N Corcoran, P Schutte, R Tranor; M Crton, J Boland, S Durkin; J McCaffrey (capt), D Sutcliffe; C McCormack, R O’Dwyer, S Lambert; D Treacy, L Rushe, P Ryan.

Subs: D O’Callaghan for McCormack (32), A McCrabbe for Treacy (ht), R O’Carroll for McCaffrey (52), M O’Brien for Lambert (62), E Dillon for O’Carroll (69).

CORK: D Óg Cusack (capt); S O’Neill, SMcDonnell, B Murphy; J Gardiner, R Cashman, E Cadogan; S Óg Ó hAilpín, T Kenny; C Lehane, P Cronin, C Naughton; P Horgan, P O’Sullivan, B O’Connor.

Subs: W Egan for Cashman (39), L McLoughlin for Kenny (48), D Sweetnam for Gardiner (54), J Coughlan for O’Connor (59).

Referee: J McGrath (Westmeath)

Allianz Football League Division 1 – Kerry 2-16 Donegal 1-8

Clever Kerry scupper Donegal’s game plan

Kerry 2-16 Donegal 1-08

By Kieran McCarthy for the Irish Examiner newspaper

It’s a result that will certainly pleasethe football purist. While it’s flirting with the realms of sensationalism to brand Kerry’s emphatic hammering of Donegal in a surprisingly one-sided Division 1 contest yesterday as a victory for football, this double-scores rout at Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney was important in its own right. On a day when Kerry took outright ownership of top spot in the division, the Kingdom played with a swagger and style that an off-colour Donegal simply couldn’t match, and which now leaves the Ulster champions in deep relegation trouble. Bar the opening five minutes when Donegal raced 0-3 to 0-0 clear — with Patrick McBrearty, Anthony Thompson and Michael Murphy all on target — the visitors were outplayed, outfought and, crucially, out-thought by what Kerry manager Jack O’Connor branded as “clever” football.

“No matter how much you get bodies back, with a bit of clever rotation of the ball you can always get men free. We worked very hard and spoke a lot about that this week, about being clever on the ball and shipping the ball to the support runner,” O’Connor said. “Moving the ball quick is vital in a game like this, if you start soloing the ball into tackles and losing the ball, obviously that’s playing into their strengths. Our use of the ball was clever today.” So much was made of the contrasting styles of both teams in the lead up to the game but it was only the home side that turned up, as Donegal endured a miserable afternoon, compounded by Eamonn McGee’s second-half red (two yellows). For a team whose foundation is built on its strong defensive base, to ship 2-16 is a serious blow.

“This is the first time it’s happened to us in the last two years. It’s going to happen sometime and if it’s going to happen anywhere, this is the place. You have to take lessons and move on. Mayo in Ballyshannon next Sunday is a good test of us now to see if we can bounce back and try and get something from that game,” Donegal boss Jim McGuinness reflected. With Donegal well off the pace and almost wiped out in midfield where Bryan Sheehan and Anthony Maher’s partnership continues to blossom, it’s hard to accurately judge just how impressive Kerry were, but there are plenty of positives to take into next weekend’s away trip to Cork. Vying for top of the list was a much-improved, and badly needed, performance from Kieran Donaghy; easily his best game of the year.

In a two-minute first-half spell, Donaghy swung over two super efforts from distance, each to a huge roar of approval from the terrace, that left Kerry 1-6 to 0-5 in front, with Patrick Curtin blasting home a fantastic goal, after 17 minutes, that owed much to the work-rate of Paul Galvin. By half-time, Kerry’s advantage had swelled to 1-8 to 0-6, as Bryan Sheehan — top scoring with 1-7 — continued to punish Donegal from placed balls and Barry John Keane did his bit to highlight the new wave of young players currently sweeping the Kingdom.

Of the fresh faces, it was wing-back Peter Crowley that stole the show, hugely impressive in defence and attack, while Brian McGuire’s continued improvement is strengthening Kerry’s options. “It’s fantastic that those young fellas are mad for road. Peter and Brian have been going great guns, Patrick Curtin was a revelation today, Barry John Keane played well, James O’Donoghue was doing really well until he pulled a hamstring last week. That’s great for us because there is no question that we needed to find new players,” Jack O’Connor said. And it was one of those young guns, Curtin, who was fouled for Kerry’s early second-half penalty that Bryan Sheehan tucked away, and after points from McGuire and Sheehan, again, the Munster men led 2-10 to 0-6.

A brace of Michael Murphy points — their best player on the day — kept Donegal alive, if only just, though when the classy forward converted his side’s penalty midway through the half, it raised the hope of a more competitive contest. It was the falsest of dawns. A game that has promised so much and ultimately delivered very little, from a competitive viewpoint, petered out to its inevitable conclusion, as five points on the spin sealed an emphatic Kerry win. With Colm Cooper, Tomás Ó Sé, Donnchadh Walsh and James O’Donoghue all to return, Jack O’Connor has a welcomed selection headache, while Jim McGuinness has problems of a different kind.

Scorers for Kerry: B Sheehan 1-7 (7f, 1-0 pen), P Curtin 1-1 (1f), K Donaghy, A Maher 0-2 each, B J Keane, B McGuire, P Galvin, P Crowley 0-1 each.

Donegal: M Murphy (3f, 1-0 pen) 1-5, P McBrearty 0-2, A Thompson 0-1.

KERRY: B Kealy; M Ó Sé, D Bohan, K Young; P Crowley, E Brosnan, B Maguire; A Maher, B Sheehan; P Galvin, Darran O’Sullivan, K Donaghy; BJ Keane, Declan O’Sullivan, P Curtin.

Subs: S Enright for D Bohane (ht, inj); A O’Mahony for M Ó Sé (61); K O’Leary for BJ Keane (63); D O’Callaghan for Declan O’Sullivan (67); S Scanlon for B Sheehan (67).

DONEGAL: P Durcan; F McGlynn, N McGee, P McGrath; A Thompson, K Lacy, L McLoone; R Kavanagh, N Gallagher; M McHugh, R Bradley, E McGee; C McFadden, M Murphy, P McBrearty.

Subs: D Walsh for L McLoone (ht); M O’Reilly for R Bradley (ht); C Toye for M McHugh (59).

Referee: Syl Doyle (Wexford)

Allianz Hurling League Division 1A – Kilkenny 2-21 Waterford 1-15

Stern test for clinical Kilkenny

Waterford 1-15 Kilkenny 2-21

By Diarmuid O’Flynn for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Kilkenny continued their impressive early-season form with a nine-point win in sunny Walsh Park yesterday but not before getting a stern early examination from the injury-hit home side. Already without the vastly experienced John Mullane and Eoin Kelly from the forward division, Waterford lost All Star corner-back Noel Connors and star full-forward Shane Walsh before a ball was struck, but after a very solid first half were within a point of the All-Ireland champions at the break (1-10 to 1-9).

Doing most of the damage for the Déise in that opening period was a precocious full-forward line with an average age of 20 but Martin O’Neill, Gavin O’Brien and Maurice Shanahan were all to the fore. Waterford came back from two points down to take a two-point lead by the 26th minute (1-7 to 0-8), the towering Shanahan with a superb goal set up by Pauric Mahony, O’Neill and captain Michael ‘Brick’ Walsh. Wing-back Tony Browne also had a brace of points for Waterford, both from around his own 65. It was Tony’s first game of 2012 but it was the start of his 22nd season and he’s looking as fit and as fresh as ever.

Kilkenny were struggling in that first half, Brick Walsh doing very well on the 40 for Waterford, the defence also doing well. The Kilkenny goal though was eminently preventable, Richie Power charging though the middle, Matthew taking brave possession in heavy traffic of Richie’s lobbed pass, beating Ian O’Regan with a low angled shot. Unfortunately for the strong local support in the large crowd of around 6,000 that was a sign of things to come. Within three minutes of the restart Kilkenny increased their lead by three points. Their second goal, again by Ruth but set up by a fantastic handball-type pass by Richie Hogan, TJ Reid twice involved, put daylight between the teams (2-14 to 1-10, 44th minute) and from there to the finish it was Kilkenny in control.

Eoin Larkin had a goal that wasn’t allowed, a bullet that rebounded from the back stanchion with such pace it was missed by everyone in the ground, including the umpires. Overall then another very impressive early-season show from Kilkenny, Paul Murphy brilliant at the back, TJ Reid with a fielding exhibition, Richie Power deadly from placed balls. A happy Brian Cody afterwards then, understandably. With the Walsh Cup and the Railway Cup (Leinster were mostly Kilkenny) already in the bag they have now taken two giant steps towards qualification for the semi-final of this year’s league, are looking as sharp as they’ve even been at this time of year.

“It’s beautiful weather, really mild,” is Brian Cody’s explanation. “Really hurling weather and that contributes to it. Very often at this time of the year it’s freezing cold, but this weather — it’s like playing in the summer.” His Waterford counterpart Michael Ryan was looking at the positives. “I’m very happy with the first half. In the second half the physical strength and experience of Kilkenny came to the fore and as our lads tired they were able to take the right options up front. “We’ve got a lot of good young lads, we’re determined that if some fella is doing well we’re not worried about his age or his birth cert — if he’s good enough he’s going to get on the team. We had 12 fellas injured for the Cork game, eight still missing today — hopefully by the end of the league we’ll have everyone back.” By then it may well be too late for Waterford, now in relegation territory, but yesterday in Walsh Park there were green shoots.

Scorers for Kilkenny: R Power 0-10 (8fs), M Ruth 2-1, E Larkin 0-3, R Hogan, C Fennelly, TJ Reid (1 s/l) 0-2 each, M Fennelly 0-1.

Scorers for Waterford: M Shanahan 1-3, M O’Neill 0-6 (4fs), G O’Brien, T Browne (1f) 0-2 each; S Prendergast, Paudie Mahony (f) 0-1 each.

KILKENNY: E Murphy; P Murphy, JJ Delaney, J Tyrrell; T Walsh, P Hogan, C Fogarty; M Fennelly, R Doyle; TJ Reid, R Power, E Larkin; C Fennelly, R Hogan, M Ruth.

Subs: K Joyce (P Hogan 43), J Mulhall (C Fennelly 56), W Phelan (Delaney 67), C Buckley (M Fennelly 67).

WATERFORD: I O’Regan; D Fives, L Lawlor, Phillip Mahony; T Browne, K Moran, D Prendergast; P O’Brien, S Molumphy; Pauric Mahony, M Walsh, S Prendergast; M Shanahan, M O’Neill, G O’Brien.

Subs: J Nagle for D Prendergast (46), S O’Sullivan for S Prendergast (51).

Referee: J Sexton (Cork).


Dominant Cats roll on in League

Published on Monday 12 March 2012 10:00

ALL-Ireland champions, Kilkenny continued their current red hot form when overpowering limited Waterford in the Allianz National Hurling League in Walsh Park yesterday (2-21 to 1-15), writes John Knox for the Kilkenny People newspaper.

The Cats didn’t exactly take up where they left off against Tipperary in the first round, but when they let rip from the start of the second half they made things look easy against a Waterford team that is being reshaped by new manager, Michael Ryan. Kilkenny were all business from the throw-in. An early foul on Eoin Larkin led to Richie Power opening their account from a free. Michael Fennelly added a second before the losers’ most threatening attacker, Maurice Shanahan shot a reply.

At one stage the visitors opened out a lead of 0-6 to 0-3, but a well taken goal by Shanahan in the 16th minute, with an assist by Michael Walsh, levelled the scores at 0-6 to 1-3. Kilkenny, who were top class at winning ball on their own puck-outs, won back the lead through T.J. Reid before strong attacker leader, Richie Power converted a free to give them a bit more breathing space. However, the evergreen Tony Browne, who was wonderful for Waterford during this half, cracked over a great point from the right half-back position to inspire his colleagues. During the following minutes the home team got on top, and they actually held the lead between the 22nd and 27th minutes (1-7 to 0-8).

A well put away goal by Matt Ruth, who shot to the net from a tight angle on the left after turning a hopeful pass from Power into something really good, lifted Kilkenny and drove them on to lead of 1-10 to 1-9 at the end of a tame first half. From the start of the second half the game simply ran away from Waterford. They were hit for 1-4 against a single point reply during the nine minutes after the run as the Cats turned up the heat big time. Richie Power opened the barrage by shooting a point. Richie Hogan followed in like fashion before Power added his second and Kilkenny third point. Maurice Shanahan tried to arrest the slide when pulled back a nice point. That drew a reply from the on fire Hogan, who proceeded to rip asunder the home defence. In the 44th minute Hogan started the deadly move that also involved T.J. Reid and finished with Matt Ruth crashing home his second goal.

Kilkenny shot 2-14 to 1-10 clear. Waterford never got within shouting distance after that. The visitors were so comfortable nearing the end that they introduced a number of subs, including Kieran Joyce and Willie Phelan in defence. The All-Ireland champions entertain League champions, Dublin, at Nowlan Park on Sunday. A third win would put them within touching distance of the semi-finals. “We want to do as well as we can in the League, and win it if we can,” Kilkenny manager, Brian Cody said at the start of the campaign. So far, so good, would be the assessment of things right now.

Scorers: Kilkenny – Richie Power (0-10, seven frees); Matt Ruth (2-1); Eoin Larkin (0-3); T.J. Reid, Colin Fennelly, Richie Hogan (0-2 each); Michael Fennelly (0-1). Waterford – Martin O’Neill (0-6, four frees); Maurice Shanahan (1-3); Tony Browne (0-2, one free); Gavin O’Brien (0-2); Seamus Prendergast (0-1); Paudie Mahony (0-1, free).

Kilkenny – Eoin Murphy, Paul Murphy, J.J. Delaney, Jackie Tyrrell, Tommy Walsh, Paddy Hogan, Conor Fogarty, Michael Fennelly, Richie Doyle, T.J. Reid, Richie Power, Eoin Larkin (capt), Colin Fennelly, Richie Hogan, Matthew Ruth. Subs – Kieran Joyce for P. Hogan 43rd min; John Mulhall for C. Fennelly 56th min; Cillian Buckley for M. Fennelly 67th min; Willie Phelan for J.J. Delaney 67th min.

Waterford – Ian O’Regan, Darragh Fives, Liam Lawlor, Philip Mahony, Tony Browne, Kevin Moran, Declan Prendergast, Stephen Molumphy, Paul O’Brien, Seamus Prendergast, Michael Walsh (capt), Paudie Mahony, Martin O’Neill, Maurice Shanahan, Gavin O’Brien. Subs – Jamie Nagle for D. Prendergast 45th min; Shane O’Sullivan for S. Prendergast 51st min.

Referee – John Sexton (Cork)

Allianz Football League Division 4 – Clare 1-12 Carlow 0-14

Clohessey seals Banner victory

Carlow 0-14 Clare 1-12

By Gerry Quinn for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Alan Clohessey emerged as the Clare hero when he scored an injury-time winning point at Dr Cullen Park yesterday. The Banner County trailed 0-14 to 0-10 with four minutes left but corner forward Rory Donnelly pointed from play and then Micheal O’Shea raced through a minute later before crashing home the game’s only goal, to level matters. Carlow’s Seán Gannon had a chance to put his side back in front but shot badly wide. Clohessey then had the final say, as Michael McDermott’s men got their second successive win.

Scorers for Carlow: JJ Smith 0-6, (4fs), B Murphy 0-4fs, P Reid 0-2, J Murphy, D Hayden 0-1 each.

Scorers for Clare: D Tubridy 0-5 (2fs), M O’Shea 1-1, R Donnelly, A Clohessey 0-3 each.

CARLOW: T O’Reilly; B Kavanagh, P McElligott, P Murphy; B Kavanagh, S Redmond, T Bolger; Brendan Murphy, J Murphy; Brian Murphy, P Reid, E Finnegan; D Hayden, S Gannon, JJ Smith.

Subs: D Foley for J Murphy (inj 18), D St Ledger for Hayden (67), D Mulvaney for P Murphy (69).

CLARE: J Hayes; B Hartnett, S Brennan, L Healy; M McMahon, G Kelly, J Hayes; G Brennan, G Quinlan; G Kelly, S McGrath, A Clohessy; R Donnelly, D Tubridy, M O’Shea.

Subs: P O’Dwyer for Hayes (inj 3), N Brown for Quinlan (ht), T Donnellan for Brennan (61).

Referee: D Maher (Westmeath)

Allianz Hurling League Division 1B – Clare 0-18 Antrim 0-12

Banner made to battle by Antrim

Clare 0-20 Antrim 0-12

By Charlie Keegan for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Clare recorded their second win of the Allianz Division 1B campaign with a hard fought victory over Antrim at Cusack Park, Ennis yesterday. Davy Fitzgerald’s side led by a point (0-8 to 0-7) at the break but upped gears on the restart despite the red card dismissal of Domhnall O’Donovan for striking PJ O’Connell. Clare edged it marginally in the opening stages and relied on an early second-half blitz of five unanswered points inside eight minutes to set up victory.

Those scores came via a Nickey O’Connell free, two from play by the in-form corner-forward Colin Ryan and two more placed balls by Conor McGrath. Fitzgerald’s men played a rather slow and methodical hand-passing game before the interval but the more direct approach paid rich dividends after the interval. Caimin Morey was introduced off the bench on the hour mark and he impressed with two points in the final ten minutes. Antrim will rue bad misses by Karl Stewart and PJ O’Connell and the visitors also finished with 14 men following the dismissal of their star man, Neil McManus, for a second yellow card with three minute remaining.

Scorers for Clare: N O’Connell (0-6) 4 f’s, C McGrath (0-6) 4 f’s, C Ryan (0-3), C Morey (0-2), J Conlon, D Keane, C McInerney (0-1) each.

Scorers for Antrim: S McNaughton (0-5) f’s, N McManus (0-4) 1 f, K Stewart, PJ O’Connell, C McFall 90-1) each.

CLARE: P Kelly, D O’Donovan, C Dillon, C Cooney, B Bugler, P O’Connor, E Barrett, N O’Connell, P Donnellan (Capt.), J Conlon, D Keane, F Lynch, C McInerney, C McGrath, C Ryan.

Subs: C Morey for McInerney (59), J Clancy for Lynch (69), L Markham for O’Connell (69).

ANTRIM: C O’Connell, A Griffin, C Donnelly, K McGourty, K B McShane, N McAuley, S McCrory, N McManus, M Gettens, K Stewart, M Herron, C McFall, S McNaughton, C McCann, PJ O’Connell.

Subs: K Sheeran for McCann (half-time), D Lynch for McFall (46), D Hamill for O’Connell (67).

Referee: B Gavin (Offaly)

Allianz Hurling League Division 1B – Limerick 1-24 Laois 2-12

Mulcahy the menace as Allen’s Limerick finally lift off

Laois 2-12 Limerick 1-24

By Brendan Buckley for the Irish Examiner newspaper

John Allen secured his first win as Limerick hurling boss in Portlaoise yesterday. The Cork man’s side had previously failed to overcome Clare in the Waterford Crystal Cup and the opening league tie but will take comfort from this nine point win in O’Moore Park that kick-starts the Limerick promotion aspirations. While this was far from a sparkling performance the Shannonsiders were worthy winners and always looked likely winners after racing into a 1-8 to 0-2 lead inside 15 minutes.

Although the home side will bemoan their tally of 13 wides – compared to seven for Limerick, it was the opening quarter that decided the tie. Graeme Mulcahy was the name on the lips of all in the small attendance at the end of the opening half as he hit a splendid six points from play. Limerick were afforded time on the ball and opted to find Mulcahy in the corner and last year’s U21 star repaid that confidence with some sharp finishes. Indeed the early Limerick supremacy could have been greater but a Niall Moran goal was ruled out for a square ball in the sixth minute.

But Limerick did have the ball in the net in the 12th minute when David Breen fired home after Eoin Reilly had saved Mikey Ryan’s shot. That goal spurred Laois to life. Willie Hyland (frees), Tommy Fitzgerald and Brian Dunne hit points to reduced the lead to 1-9 to 0-6. Goal-scorer Breen added two points for Limerick with Shane Dowling accurate from frees and they led at 1-13 to 0-9 with half time approaching. Then Michael McEvoy popped up with a Laois goal after barging through the cover to find the net.

Five points up at the interval, Limerick built on the advantage on the restart with further Dowling frees. Hyland again replied and midway through the half it was 1-17 to 1-11 to the eventual winners. But that was it for Laois with just one more score in the remaining 22-minutes of action. And, that score came in injury time when Brian Dunne scrambled a goal after Limerick outplayed the home side for most of the second half.

It wasn’t free flowing hurling from Limerick but they notched up with points with Conor Allis, Paul Browne, Niall Moran and Breen all firing over. Limerick lost teenage free-taker Dowling to injury, but his U-21 colleague Allis stepped into the free-taking duty was unerring as the men in green eased towards the winners line. In the second minute of injury time came some respite for Laois when Dunne ended 22-minutes without a score when scrambling to the net after goalkeeper Reilly delivered a long free into the opposing goalmouth. But was too little, too late and Limerick record their first league win without ever reaching top gear.

Scorers for Limerick: D Breen 1-4, G Mulcahy, S Dowling (4frees) 0-6 each, C Allis 0-5 (3frees, ’65), N Moran 0-2, P Browne 0-1. Scorers for Laois: W Hyland 0-8 (6frees), B Dunne 1-2, M McEvoy 1-0, J Fitzpatrick, T Fitzgerald 0-1 each.

LIMERICK: N Quaid, S Walsh, R McCarthy, T Condon, W McNamara, D O’Grady, G O’Mahony; P Browne, J Ryan; C Allis, D Breen, S Dowling, G Mulcahy, N Moran, M Ryan.

Subs: T O’Brien for S Dowling (43), T Ryan for G O’Mahony (62), N Maher for J Ryan (64), D Moloney for T Condon (67), M Carmody for M Ryan (67).

LAOIS: E Reilly, B Stapleton, D Maher, B Smith, C Dunne, J Fitzpatrick, M Whelan, J Walsh, B Dunne, W Hyland, M McEvoy, S Maher, J Brophy, T Fitzgerald, N Foyle.

Subs: P Mullaney for B Smith (26), W Dunphy for J Brophy (43), S Bourke for J Walsh (46), D Peacock for S Maher (64), D O’Mahony for T Fitzgerald (69).

Referee: T Carroll (Offaly)

Allianz Hurling League Division 2A – Carlow 0-20 Kerry 1-13

Carlow blow for Kingdom

Kerry 1-13 Carlow 0-20

By Kieran McCarthy for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Paudie Kehoe fired 11 points as Carlow all but ended Kerry’s hopes of promotion from Division 2A of the Allianz Hurling League yesterday. Despite trailing by seven points late in the first-half (1-10 to 0-6), after Kerry’s Shane Nolan had the game’s only goal, Carlow bossed the entire second period. With Kehoe scoring 0-7 (six from frees) in the second-half alone, as well as a brace from impressive full-forward Craig Doyle, Carlow overpowered the hosts whose challenge faltered badly.

Keeping Kerry to just three second-half scores, Carlow pulled level (0-15 to 1-12) with 13 minutes left before Kehoe’s only score from play edged the division table-toppers ahead for the first time. Kerry’s Shane Brick had them level once more (1-13 to 0-16) but by now all the momentum was with Carlow and they kicked on in the final five minutes, scoring four unanswered points through Mark Brennan, Craig Doyle and a Kehoe brace. Following on from their emphatic opening round win over Down, this result leaves Carlow in pole position, while Kerry’s league hopes are in tatters after two successive losses.

Scorers for Kerry: S Nolan 1-3, S Brick (3f) 0-5, W O’Dwyer 0-2, P Boyle, J Griffin, D O’Connell (f) 0-1

Scorers for Carlow: P Kehoe (10f) 0-11, C Doyle 0-3, R Coady 0-2, M Brennan, J Kane, M Kavanagh, E Byrne 0-1 each.

KERRY: B Rochford; R Horgan, T Murnane, P Costello; J Godley, D Dineen, A O’Connor; W O’Dwyer, J Griffin; M Boyle, A Boyle, S Nolan; P Boyle, S Brick, D O’Connell.

Subs: C Harris for J Godley (41, inj); C Harty for D O’Connell (60); L Boyle for J Griffin (60); M Lynch for A Boyle (64).

CARLOW: F Foley; A Corcoran, E Nolan, D Shaw; J Corcoran, S Kavanagh, J Rogers; J Kavanagh, R Coady; A Gaule, J Kane, P Kehoe; M Kavanagh, C Doyle, D Roberts.

Subs: M Brennan for M Kavanagh (21); E Byrne for D Roberts (24); G Kelly for A Corcoran (ht); R Smithers for J Kane (57); E Coady for S Kavanagh (61).

Referee: Jer O’Connell (Cork)

Allianz Football League Division 3 – Cavan 4-10 Tipperary 0-14

Dunne delivers as Cavan dominate

Tipperary 0-14 Cavan 4-10

By Jackie Cahill for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Cavan eased their relegation fears with a comprehensive eight-point victory against Tipperary at Semple Stadium yesterday. Tipp, who finished the match with 13 players, appear destined for the drop down to Division 4 after slumping to a fourth defeat in as many outings. The Premier men shipped 15 points against Wexford on their travels a week before and boss John Evans described yesterday’s tie as ‘a make or break’ fixture for his men.

But his charges managed just six points from play and fluffed their lines badly as a miserable afternoon was compounded by red cards for midfielder Brian Jones and top scorer Barry Grogan. Cavan finished the game with 14 men as corner-forward Brendan Fitzpatrick was dismissed seven minutes before half-time for a second bookable offence but that hardly affected the rampant Breffni men. In first half stoppage time, Jones was dismissed for a high tackle and the afternoon would get even worse at the death when Grogan received a straight red card from referee Michael Meade. Tipperary led 0-3 to 0-2 in the early stages but goals from Martin Dunne and Mark McKeever helped Cavan to lead 2-6 to 0-6 at half-time. In the 48th minute, top scorer Dunne, who notched 2-4, netted again before wing back Barry Watters surged forward for a fourth Cavan goal four minutes later.

Scorers for Tipperary: B Grogan 0-9 (7f), P Acheson, S Ryan, D Heffernan, H Coghlan & B O’Brien (f) 0-1 each.

Scorers for Cavan: M Dunne 2-4 (0-1f), M McKeever 1-1, B Watters 1-0, N McDermott 0-3 (1f), P O’Reilly & G McKiernan 0-1 each.

TIPPERARY: M O’Donnell; E Connolly, L Egan, C McDonald; D Lynch, T Ryan, R Kiely; G Hannigan, B Jones; S Carey, P Austin, D Heffernan; P Acheson, S Ryan, B Grogan.

Subs: H Coghlan for Hannigan (h.t.), D Butler for S Ryan (43), B O’Brien for Carey (52), E Ryan for Lynch (59).

CAVAN: K Fannin; D Barkey, D Reilly, R Flanagan; B Watters, P O’Reilly, R Maloney-Derham; D Givney, G McKiernan; N Smith, M McKeever, K Meehan; B Fitzpatrick, N McDermott, M Dunne.

Subs: D O’Dowd for O’Reilly (inj, 59), S McCormack for Meehan (64), D McKiernan for G McKiernan (70+2).

Referee: M Meade (Limerick)