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2023 Allianz Football League Division 3 – Offaly 2-14 Tipperary 0-13

March 18, 2023 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Offaly defeated Tipperary by 2-14 to 0-13 in the Allianz Football League Division 3 on Saturday March 18th at FBD Semple Stadium Thurles.

Match Highlights

Tipp and Offaly pay tribute to the late Liam Kearns with outing former boss would likely espouse

Report by Kieran Shannon for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Tipperary 0-13 Offaly 2-14

This one was probably best put by the eloquent chair of the Tipp football committee in the match programme that essentially doubled up as a tribute supplement to one of the best and most popular managers of this millennium.

“In normal circumstances,” wrote Conor O’Dwyer, “this would be billed as a crunch game for both counties as the visitors chase promotion and the hosts look to survive in the division.

“However, the terrible sad news that filtered through last Sunday evening puts this game in a much different light. It is now about two teams and two football counties that have had the pleasure of Liam Kearns’ company during his all too-short life.”

Intentionally or not, the song of choice over the Semple Stadium PA as both teams ran out within seconds of one another was rather fittingly Springsteen’s Glory Days, an ode to the brevity of life but with its up-tempo anthemic quality one you could imagine Kearns belting out with his penchant for giving any party a song.

Then minutes before throw in, both sides and management teams lined up on their respective 65s, arms linked, and faced one another, in tribute to Kearns, clapping either side of a brief eulogy and a minute’s silence.

The game itself was played very much in the spirit of what the eloquent O’Dwyer anticipated and Kearns would likely espouse.

“One can only imagine what he [Kearns] would want,” wrote O’Dwyer in his match notes, “but I’m guessing his wish would be for both teams to attack at every opportunity, give it all in the pursuit of victory, and whatever the result, get ready to go again the next day.”

That’s what we got in front of a crowd of roughly 800 in Thurles; a fine, open game with no shortage of endeavour (while there were three yellow cards in the opening half, it was a game without any malice; even the late black card Offaly’s Jack Bryant picked up was a dubious call from the otherwise excellent James Molloy).

For sure it had its sprinkling of errors as you’ll inevitably get at this level. Offaly’s game but overly-trigger-happy full forward Anton O’Sullivan had several shots drop short in the opening quarter.

Tipperary’s Stephen Quirke fluffed a glorious scoring chance by over-carrying the ball, making his fisted point null and void. But both players let alone teams more than compensated for such mishaps.

Only minutes after his disallowed point, Quirke had scored his third point from play for the first half alone. The relentless O’Sullivan kicked a boomer of a point for his side’s last score of the opening half. Tipp had jumped into an early 0-3 to 0-1 lead, and while Offaly would then reel off four consecutive points with their rapid transition game particularly evident, Tipp would stay within striking distance to leave it 0-9 to 0-7 at the half.

The third quarter followed in much the same vein. Offaly at the 50th minute-mark were four up but Tipp rallied: a couple of successive points from lively sub Mark Russell, another long-range free from goalkeeper Michael O’Reilly and a couple of points from stalwart midfielder Jack Kennedy reduced the deficit to a point entering the last five minutes of normal time.

But then, aptly enough, given who Kearns was coaching only last Sunday, there was a goal, in fact two of them for the Offaly men. In added time, with O’Reilly pushing forward trying to carve out an equaliser, Tipp were left open at the back and Offaly countered, with Ruairi McNamee and Sullivan poaching.

And so Kearns’ last team’s promotion push continues, while Tipp stare at relegation.

Tipperary scorers: S Quirke 0-3, J Kennedy 0-3 (two frees), M O’Reilly 0-2 (both frees), M Russell 0-2, C Deeley, M O’Shea, C Cadell 0-1 each.

Offaly scorers: R McNamee 1-3, N Dunne 0-4 (2 frees, 1 mark); D Hyland 0-4 (2 frees), A Sullivan 1-1, B Allen and J Maher 0-1 each.

TIPPERARY: M O’Reilly; S O’Connell, J Feehan, C Deely; E Moloney, K Fahey, C O’Shaughnessy; P Feehan, J Kennedy; S Quirke, K Ryan, T Doyle; M O’Shea, C Cadell, S O’Connor.
Subs: D Leahy for Doyle (35 mins); M Russell for Cadell (43); L McGrath for Feehan (56); M Stokes for O’Shea (61), L Boland for Deely (67);

OFFALY: I Duffy; L Pearson, D Hogan, D Dempsey; R Egan, P Cunningham, C Donohoe; J McEvoy, C McNamee; J Maher, R McNamee, N Dunne; B Allen, A Sullivan, D Hyland.
Subs: L Egan for Maher (50 mins); J Bryant for Dunne (56); C Farrell for Allen (67).

Referee: J Molloy (Galway)

Team News


March 18, 2023
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm


FBD Semple Stadium Thurles

GAA Units