Cavan 0-18 Tipperary 2-15
Tipperary flicked the switch at half-time and threw everything into attack, and the rewards were rich and bountiful as they came from six points behind to beat Cavan in a Round 2B Qualifier at Kingspan Breffni.
Defensively, they looked nervous, uncertain and sometimes naïve, but once they moved to a more natural offensive strategy, the smiles returned to Premier faces and they played with a free-spirited joy.
Soon they had made it a 12 points swing, turning a six points deficit into a six points lead, and won somewhat comfortably by three in the end to go into Monday’s draw for round 3.
Second-half goals from Conor Sweeney and Robbie Kiely rewarded the spirit of adventure and positivity embraced by Liam Kearns’s side as they ran fearlessly at the Ulster men.
Tipperary started strongly with a couple of early scores from Sweeney and Jack Kennedy, but it was soon evident that their attacking strategy was one-dimensional.
Sweeney was isolated up front, and struggling to make inroads against a couple of markers, while their transition from defence lacked pace and urgency.
Cavan were soon in the ascendancy, bringing width to their game and stretching their opponents with pace along the flanks.
Gearoid McKiernan, impressive newcomer caoimhin O’Reilly and Niall McDermott all found the target as the Breffni men found their confidence.
Martin Reilly gave them the lead for the first time in the 14th minute, and after Robbie Kiely had pulled back a Tipp point, Cavan struck five on the spin, two of them from midfielder Tomas Corr, to go six clear at 0-10 to 0-4.
Sweeney was keeping Tipp in it with frees, and they trailed by 0-12 to 0-6 at the break after Caoimhin O’Reilly had slotted over his second score.
Tipp pushed everything into attack on the restart and Jack Kennedy and Kevin O’Halloran, along with Sweeney, got the scoreboard ticking.
Cian Mackey burst through from deep to win the free that McDermott knocked over, but nothing could revive a flagging Breffni side.
Tipperary’s evolving attacking threat was further strengthened by the introduction of All-Star Michael Quinlivan on 47 minutes, while Philip Austin’s power was another positive factor as Kearns dipped into his talented squad of substitutes.
O’Halloran’s 50 metre free cut the deficit to two point s the game slipped into its final quarter, and the Premier men were a team transformed.
They showed no fear as the committed men forward without inhibition, and Austin made a vital intervention, bringing them leve before winning the penalty that Sweeney sweetly stroked home in the 56th minute.
Austin and Sweeney were involved again in the move that ended with Kiely smashing home their second goal in the 62nd minute, and Quinlivan’s point had them six clear.
Cavan did pull back points thrugh Seanie Johnston, Thomas Galligan and Padraig Faulkner, but their season was beyond rescue, and Tipp marched on to the third round, with another exciting summer calling.
Cavan: R Galligan; P Faulkner (0-1), K Clarke, J McLoughlin; J McEnroe, N Murray, C Moynagh (0-1); G McKiernan (0-3, 1f), T Corr (0-2); C Mackey (0-1), M Reilly (0-2), C Brady; C O’Reilly (0-2), L Buchanan, D McVeety (0-1).
Subs: N McDermott (0-2, 2f) for Brady (12), R Connolly for Buchanana (h-t), T Galligan (0-1) for Corr (47), J Dillon for McDermott (56), S Johnston (0-2, 1f) for O’Reilly (59), N Clerkin for McVeety (BC 60)
Tipperary: C Kenrick; C O’Shaughnessy, A Campbell, E Moloney; B Maher, R Kiely (1-1), J Feehan; L Casey, G Hannigan; J Keane, K O’Halloran (0-2, 1f), B Fox (0-1); J Kennedy (0-3, 2f), C Sweeney (1-5, 1-0 pen, 5f), L Boland.
Subs: D Foley (0-1) for Boland (0-2), P Austin (0-01) for O’Shaughnessy (h-t), M Quinlivan (0-1) for Hannigan (47), L McGrath for O’Halloran (67), K Bergin for Maher (73)
Referee: F Kelly (Longford)