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Allianz NFL Division 2 – Tipperary 1-9 Meath 0-10
Tipperary defeated Meath by 1-9 to 0-10 in Round 4 of the Allianz GAA Football National League Division 2 on Sunday in Semple Stadium Thurles.
Allianz National Football League, Division 2 – Round 4
Tipperary 1-9 Meath 0-10
By Cathal Ryan
In the opening game of a double header in Semple Stadium on Sunday afternoon Tipperary gained an invaluable victory over last year’s All Ireland Semi Finalists Meath in a bid to stay afloat in Division 2 of the Allianz National Football League. The home side scored the only goal of the game when referee Tom Lynch appeared to change his mind after initially directing for a free out only to then decide to award a penalty on second thought as Peter Acheson was being man handled in the square after a great catch in a crowded area. Barry Grogan stepped up and dispatched the spot kick with precision and power to the right of Royal’s keeper Paddy O Rielly in the 54th minute.
John Evans men had to withstand heavy pressure late on as the importance of the victory showed in the grit and determination that was displayed by the Tipperary defending. In particular Cian Ward who looked a classy kicker when allowed any time or space caused concerns for the Tipperary defence.
This victory leaves Tipperary on three points after four matches and knowing that their fate in division two is very much in their own hands. The delight in the Tipperary camp was evident at the final whistle as the scalp of one of last year’s All Ireland Semi Finalists is just what the doctor ordered to drive the side forward. Meath and manager Eamon O Brien will be very disappointed as they had earmarked making an assault at promotion this year and with only two victories from four that hope seems to be diminishing.
Cian Ward opened the scoring in the 3rd minute through a free won by robust full forward Joe Sheridan. But Tipperary came to terms with the pace of the game very soon and a wonderful sideline kick from Barry Grogan drew the home side level. With the breeze behind them as they scored into the town end of the stadium Tipperary looked to press home the advantage of the elements. Industrious centre forward Philip Austin scored two good points from play in the 7th and 11th minute as well as getting through a mountain of work around the field.
Then three consecutive frees highlighted a purple patch for the Premier County as two were converted by Barry Grogan and one by Conor Sweeney to leave them 0-6 to 0-1 up after 23 minutes. The Meath team could sense they needed to act as this game could get away from them and responded with two points in two minutes through Shane McAnarney and Cian Ward. Both sides traded a further score to leave the half time score at 0-7 to 0-4 in favour of the Tipp men.
Meath now playing with the breeze looked to stamp their authority on proceedings early in the second half and two Cian Ward points along with one from Shane O Rourke closed the gap before the 54th minute penalty award that regained the advantage that Tipperary would not relinquish again. Shane O Rourke and Cian Ward again tagged on points late on but Meath didn’t do enough to close the gap after the penalty. The work rate and commitment of Tipperary won the day and this side continues to show improvement under John Evans in Division 2.
Tipperary: Paul Fitzgearld; Ciaran McDonald, Niall Curran, Paddy Codd; Christopher Aylward, Robbie Costigan, Ciaran McGrath; George Hannigan, Seamus Grogan; Peter Acheson, Philip Austin (0-2), Brian Mulvihill; Conor Sweeney (0-1,1F), Brian Coen (0-1), Barry Grogan (1-5, 1-4F,1S/L). Subs: Stephen Hahessy for C. Sweeney (h/t), John Cagney for B. Mulvihill (51), Alan Rockett for S. Grogan (56), Sean Carey for P. Austin (62), Liam O Gorman for B. Coen (68).
Meath: Paddy O Rourke; Niall McKeigue, Eoghan Harrington, Chris O Connor; Seamus Kenny, Michael Burke, Anthony Moyles; Nigel Crawford, Mark Ward; Shane McAnarney (0-1), Cian Ward (0-5, 1F, 1S/L), Jamie Queeney; David Bray, Joe Sheridan, Stephen Bray (0-1). Subs: Ollie Lewis for J. Sheridan (h/t), Shane O Rourke (0-2) for J. Queeney (48), Peadar Byrne (0-1) for S. McAnarney (55), Niall Mooney for D. Bray (70).
Referee: Tom Lynch (Kerry)
Evans hails charges as Tipp hold nerve to rock Royals
Tipperary 1-9 Meath 0-10
By Jim O’Sullivan for the Irish Examiner newspaper
Monday, March 15, 2010
IT mattered little to the Tipperary management that they secured their first victory in the National Football League yesterday in Semple Stadium by beating a Meath side which performed well below the standard normally expected from the Royals. At the finish, it was almost a struggle for the home side to hold on to a lead which dwindled after the concession of three points in the final ten minutes, but Tipp coach John Evans’ assertion that they ‘deserved’ to win was endorsed by a disappointed Eamonn Barry. “It’s big for these lads,’’ said a jubilant Evans afterwards. “You put Down and Meath in front of these guys and it’s huge from where we have come. We held our nerve and we stayed in the game the whole way. We had to hold the ball and make Meath work and that is what we did.” For his part, the Meath manager accepted the inadequacies in his team’s display and agreed that the Tipperary goal in the 55th minute proved decisive.
The first-half was a drab affair, with Tipperary the more impressive, benefiting from a tight-marking defence and a more resourceful attack. Philip Austin used his speed to good effect at centre-forward and Barry Grogan’s accuracy from frees was vital. While Meath had a slight wind advantage, they made surprisingly little progress up front despite the fact that Nigel Crawford and Mark Ward saw plenty of the ball at midfield. Cian Ward was rarely involved at centre-forward and Joe Sheridan was even less effective at full-forward. After Cian Ward had given Meath the lead from a third-minute free, Barry Grogan had the hosts quickly level with a terrific score from a sideline ball and in another 15 minutes they were 0-4 to 0-1 in front. However, they were fortunate not to concede a goal in the ninth minute, when ‘keeper Paul Fitzgerald saved from Sheridan. At the break, they were in front by 0-7 to 0-4 and they were still leading by three points when the goal came, from a Grogan penalty. Interestingly, the referee first indicated a free out despite the fact that Peter Acheson seemed to be fouled after making a high catch, but he reversed his decision and pointed to the spot. Tipp added two more points and after that it was a case of holding out, with team captain Robbie Costigan at centre-back one of their stars on the day.
Scorers for Tipperary: B. Grogan 1-5 (1-4 frees, 0-1 sideline); P. Austin 0-2; C. Sweeney and C. Coen 0-1each.
Scorers for Meath: C. Ward 0-5 (0-2 frees, 0-1 sideline); S. O’Rourke 0-2; S. McAnarney, S. Bray and P. Byrne 0-1 each.
TIPPERARY: P. Fitzgerald; C. McDonald, N. Curran, P. Codd; C. Aylward, R. Costigan (capt.), C. McGrath; G. Hannigan, S. Grogan; P. Acheson, P. Austin, B. Mulvihill; C. Sweeney, B. Coen, B. Grogan.
Subs: S. Hahessy for Sweeney (ht); J. Cagney for Mulvihill (52); A. Rockett for S. Grogan (57); S. Carey for Austin (63); R. O’Dwyer for Coen (69).
MEATH: P. O’Rourke; E. Harrington, N. McKeigue, C. O’Connor; S. Kenny, M. Burke, A. Moyles; N. Crawford, M. Ward; S. McAnarney, C. Ward, J. Queeney; D. Bray, J. Sheridan, S. Bray.
Subs: O. Lewis for Sheridan (ht); Shane O’Rourke for Queeney (49); P. Byrne for McAnarney (55); N. Mooney for D. Bray (injured, 69).
Referee: Tom Walsh (Kerry)
Tipperary 1-09 Meath 0-10
From the RTE.ie web site
Barry Grogan to the fore as Tipperary see off the Royal challenge
Sunday, 14 March 2010 15:54
Tipperary registered their first win in the Allianz NFL Division 2 by overcoming Meath at Semple Stadium today. Tipp built a 0-07 to 0-04 half-time lead, with Barry Grogan and Philip Austin doing most of the damage. John Evans’ charges blazed an early trail and following a brace of points each from Grogan and Austin the hosts led by 0-05 to 0-01 after 21 minutes. Meath edged back thanks to scores from Shane McAnarney and Cian Ward, but wind-assisted Tipperary took control once more to lead by three points at the break.
Cian Ward and substitute Shane O’Rourke had points for the Royals as they rallied impressively but a Grogan penalty, following a foul on Peter Acheson, helped Tipp stay in command. That put them 1-08 to 0-07 up. Brian Coen nosed Tipperary five points in front, but Meath fought back well with scores from substitutes Peadar Byrne and O’Rourke, and Ward cut the deficit to two points a minute into injury-time. However, resilient Tipp held out to add a victory to their opening league point gained from a draw with Down last weekend.
Royal County give up football for Lent
by Fergal Lynch from the Meath Chronicle newspaper
Tipperary 1-9 Meath 0-10
The purgatory of lent continued at Thurles on Sunday where Meath’s apparent abstinence from football reached a new low following their NFL Div 2 defeat by Tipperary. After a dire performance against Westmeath and unconvincing displays against Armagh and Down, Meath’s Lenten sacrifice of NFL points continued unabated as Tipperary fully deserved their victory. The game hinged on a strange refereeing decision by Kerry official Tom Lynch when he awarded Meath a free out in the 55th minute, but then changed his mind and handed the hosts a penalty. Just why he awarded the spot kick is anyone’s guess. Peter Acheson appeared to over-carry the ball when surrounded by several Meath players and Lynch confirmed that by signalling for a free out. However, he then moved to the 13-metre line and spread his arms to signal a penalty, much to the chagrin of the Meath players. Barry Grogan brilliantly tucked the penalty beyond Paddy O’Rourke to give Tipperary a 1-8 to 0-7 advantage.
Despite the injustice of the penalty, Meath can have no complaints about the result. They were simply not good enough and once again displayed far too many inadequacies for a side that reached the All-Ireland SFC semi-final last year. Ever since Eamonn O’Brien took over as coach from Colm Coyle he has always praised his players’ heart, spirit and commitment, but those attributes were in very short supply at Semple Stadium. Seamus Kenny, Mickey Burke, Nigel Crawford, Paddy O’Rourke and Niall McKeigue in the second-half had decent outings, while substitutes Shane O’Rourke and Peadar Byrne had a positive influence towards the end.
However, Meath were rudderless. They appeared bereft of any decent game plan and when the long ball into Joe Sheridan in the first-half didn’t work the response was to replace him with the hard-working Ollie Lewis. Meath ended up with too many soldiers and not a general in sight willing to take control of the game and make the big decisions. Several decent attacking moves broke down because of poor decision-making. Wrong options were taken and eight wides were kicked. Eight efforts off target isn’t abnormally high, but many of the opportunities were very scorable and Meath never looked comfortable with only Cian Ward looking to take the big scores. There was no urgency about the play. Many passes were directed backwards and when Meath were on the attack, the moves frequently broke down because of poor passing or a lack of pace in attack.
That lack of pace up front made Tipperary’s task a lot easier. They were rarely stretched and coped quite comfortably with everything that was thrown at them. When Tipperary did launch attacks they were very productive with Grogan, Philip Austin and Brian Coen impressing against a Meath defence that still has problems at full-back and centre-back. Even when Meath were on the precipice of defeat, they didn’t show that traditional Royal power of recovery. One supporter remarked that when Meath of old were down by four points with six minutes remaining, they would end up winning by five. Not this time. Instead the Meath response to trailing in the final quarter was timid. There was a distinct lack of camaraderie on the field and there was never the sense that the visitors could launch a comeback.
It is becoming repetitive, but Meath are proving to be incapable of launching sustained passages of pressure. It took them 25 minutes to find their first score from play and while six of the nine scores came from play that return isn’t good enough against the likes of Tipperary. There is no doubting that Tipperary are an improving side having gained promotion in successive years, but they should be a team that Meath are capable of beating. Meath rarely looked set for victory despite a close-range free from Cian Ward giving them a third minute lead. Tipperary took over after that with a sublime sideline from Grogan opening their account. With a decent wind at their backs Tipperary pushed on with Austin (two) and frees from Grogan and Conor Sweeney boosting them to a 0-5 to 0-1 lead. All Meath could muster was a Sheridan shot that was well saved by Paul Fitzgerald.
After Anthony Moyles had carelessly surrendered possession Eoghan Harrington was harshly adjudged to have fouled Sweeney and Grogan duly put five points between the sides. Meath eventually found their scoring boots with Shane McAnarney pointing on the run before Cian Ward and Stephen Bray kicked great scores either side of a goal effort by the O’Mahonys man that hit Ciaran McDonald on the back. A careless foul by Burke on Grogan allowed Tipperary take a 0-7 to 0-4 interval lead, but Meath would still have fancied their chances with the wind in their favour for the second-half. Tipperary had a penalty appeal turned down immediately after the restart when Harrington looked to have fouled Austin. Meath countered with Cian Ward closing the deficit.
McAnarney fouled Grogan which restore Tipperary’s three-point cushion, but when Cian Ward and Shane O’Rourke pointed to narrow the gap to 0-7 to 0-8 at the end of the third-quarter Meath looked capable of kicking on. Instead they got a kick in the teeth with the poor penalty decision and never recovered. Grogan’s penalty was followed by a Coen point and although Meath closed the gap to two points through Byrne, O’Rourke and Ward, they never looked like getting in for the goal that would have kept their promotion hopes alive.
Tipperary – P Fitzgerald; C McDonald, N Curran, P Codd; C Aylward, R Costigan, C McGrath; G Hannigan, S Grogan; P Acheson, P Austin (0-2), B Mulvihill; C Sweeney (0-1, free), B Coen (0-1), B Grogan (1-5, 1-0 penalty, four frees, one sideline). Subs – S Hahessy for Sweeney half-time, J Cagney for Mulvihill 51 mins, A Rockett for S Grogan 57m, S Carey for Austin 63m, B O’Dwyer for Coen 68m.
Meath – P O’Rourke; E Harrington, N McKeigue, C O’Connor; S Kenny, M Burke, A Moyles; N Crawford, M Ward; S McAnarney (0-1), C Ward (0-5, one free, one sideline), J Queeney; D Bray, J Sheridan, S Bray (0-1). Subs – O Lewis for Sheridan half-time, S O’Rourke (0-2) for Queeney 48 mins, P Byrne (0-1) for McAnarney 55m, N Mooney for D Bray 70m.
Referee – Tom Lynch (Kerry)
The Tipperary Senior Football team to play Meath in Sunday’s GAA Allianz Football National League in Thurles is:
1. Paul Fitzgerald (Fethard)
2. Ciaran McDonald (Aherlow)
3. Niall Curran (Mullinahone)
4. Paddy Codd (Killenaule)
5. Christopher Aylward (Clonmel Og)
6. Robbie Costigan (Cahir) Captain
7. Ciaran McGrath (Loughmore/Castleiney)
8. George Hannigan (Shannon Rovers)
9. Seamus Grogan (Aherlow)
10. Peter Acheson (Moyle Rovers)
11. Philip Austin (Borrisokane)
12. Brian Mulvihill (Moyle Rovers)
13. Conor Sweeney (Ballyporeen)
14. Stephen Hahessy (Carrick Swan)
15. Barry Grogan (Aherlow)