Tipperary battle into All-Ireland final after outstanding contest with Galway

Tipperary 2-19 Galway 2-18

Second-half goals from John O’Dwyer and John McGrath edged Tipperary into next month’s All-Ireland hurling final against Kilkenny, writes Eoghan Cormican.

The Munster champions trailed by 2-15 to 0-19 when sub John O’Dwyer struck for their first goal on 60 minutes.

Conor Cooney quickly levelled the tie, but Tipperary were celebrating a second green flag on 63 minutes as Callanan put through young John McGrath and he buried the sliothar past Colm Callanan from close range.

Tipperary didn’t score for the remainder of the contest and while Conor Cooney (free) and Shane Maloney did bring it back to a one-point ball game, Galway were unable to engineer an equalising opportunity.

Michéal Donoghue's side enjoyed a 1-10 to 0-11 advantage at the break having successfully countered Tipperary’s burst midway through the first period, yielding as it did five unanswered points.

The Premier men’s purple patch between the 10th and 15th minute was in direct response to Conor Cooney’s well taken goal, which had moved the Westerners into a 1-3 to 0-4 lead.

Cooney’s strike stemmed from a Noel McGrath missed attempt at the other end, the Tipperary forward’s strike cannoning off the Galway crossbar.

Points subsequently from Brendan Maher, Callanan (two frees), John and Noel McGrath sent Tipperary 0-9 to 1-3 clear. They would fail to add to their tally, however, in the ensuing 17 minutes, during which Galway struck six on the bounce.

Two Callanan frees ended Tipperary’s drought, but a Jason Flynn score in the first-half injury-time afforded Galway a two-point cushion at the interval. The minute and a half of stoppages would prove cruel to Galway as both Adrian Tuohy (arm) and Joe Canning (hamstring) were lost to injury.

Canning's presence was missed in the second period as Tipperary upped the ante and increased the pressed on the Galway rearguard. But for eight second-half wides and a superb Callanan save to deny John McGrath, this mightn’t have been as tense as it was at the finish.

Either way, Tipperary will take it.

Scorers for Tipperary: S Callanan (0-9, 0-8 frees, 0-1 ’65); J McGrath (1-1); M Breen, N McGrath (0-3 each); J O’Dwyer (1-0); R Maher, B Maher, P Maher (0-1 each).

Scorers for Galway: C Cooney (1-6, 0-4 frees); J Cooney (1-1); J Canning (0-5, 0-3 frees, 0-1 ’65); C Whelan, J Flynn (0-2 each); David Burke, S Maloney (0-1 each).

Tipperary: D Gleeson; C Barrett, J Barry, M Cahill; S Kennedy, R Maher, Padraic Maher; B Maher, M Breen; D McCormack, Patrick Maher, N McGrath; J McGrath, S Callanan, N O’Meara.

Subs: T Hamill for Pádraic Maher (23-26, blood); J O’Dwyer for N O’Meara (45); J Forde for Noel McGrath (56); S Curran for Breen (67); T Hamill for Kennedy (71).

Galway: C Callanan; A Harte, Daithí Burke, J Hanbury; A Tuohy, P Mannion, G McInerney; J Coen, David Burke; C Mannion, J Cooney, J Canning; J Flynn, C Whelan, C Cooney.

Subs: A Smith for Canning (23-26, blood); A Smith for Tuohy (HT, inj); C Donnellan for Canning (HT, inj); S Maloney for Whelan, N Burke for C Mannion (both 65); D Collins for Harte (67).

Referee: B Kelly (Westmeath).

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