By Jackie Cahill at Semple Stadium
Tipperary 6-26 Dublin 1-19
Tipperary look to have ended Ger Cunningham’s reign as Dublin senior hurling team manager.
The merciless Premier County battered the Sky Blues by 22 points in this evening’s All-Ireland SHC round 2 qualifier – as Seamus Callanan collected 3-11.
Booking their place in the quarter-finals, Tipp were far too good for the awful Sky Blues, despite never hitting the high notes.
David Treacy hit 11 points for visiting Dublin and yet he was subbed off late on.
But it was Tipp who ran riot in humid conditions to move to within touching distance of the last four.
While they remain in the championship race, Michael Ryan’s charges will provide massive opposition to any of the other would-be contenders.
There are still aspects of their play to work on but up front, they have bona-fide match-winners in Callanan, John McGrath and John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer.
Defensively they looked suspect, particularly in the first half, but were still 4-11 to 1-10 clear at the break and out of sight.
By half-time, Callanan and McGrath had a brace of goals each, as Tipp turned the screw.
They were 1-4 to 0-2 clear early on, Callanan netting in the eighth minute as he terrorized Eoghan O’Donnell from the start, but Dublin rallied to level at 1-4 each.
Darren Gleeson, recalled between the sticks for Tipperary in place of injured Daragh Mooney, might feel he could have done better with Cian O’Sullivan’s 15th minute goal but the Dublin forward earned his reward following an incisive run.
Tipp’s response was emphatic as they rattled in three goals before the break.
Much of it was Dublin’s own terrible defending as McGrath profited in the 19th minute when Pádraic Maher’s long ball wasn’t cleared.
Maher was allowed time and space to arrow brilliant deliveries inside all day – and Tipp’s inside men made hay.
Callanan, taken off against Westmeath, turned over Shane Barrett with a thunderous hit in the 22nd minute and his pass to McGrath was sublime.
The young All-Star still had plenty to do but McGrath lifted his ground-stroke deftly over the head of Conor Dooley and into the net.
Dooley’s restarts were poor at times but he still made some good saves for a Dublin side that missed a couple of other decent goal chances in the first half.
Dublin were architects of their own downfall before half-time when a puck-out was picked off, Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher found Callanan and he found the net from a tight angle, with another ground effort.
To ram home their superiority, Tipp began the second half with 1-7 without reply, Mikey Breen netting 19 seconds after the restart.
Tipp’s sixth goal arrived in the final minute – as Callanan completed his hat-trick.
O’Dwyer could have gone himself but squared to Callanan, who made no mistake after missing a treble chance in the first half.
Scorers for Tipperary – S Callanan 3-11 (0-7f), J McGrath 2-2, M Breen 1-0, J Forde & John O’Dwyer 0-4 each, S O’Brien 0-2, Pádraic Maher, B Maher & D McCormack 0-1 each.
Scorers for Dublin – D Treacy 0-11 (8f), C O’Sullivan 1-1, L Rushe & R O’Dwyer 0-2 each, C Crummey, D O’Callaghan & R McBride 0-1 each.
Tipperary – D Gleeson; D Maher, T Hamill, J Barry; Joe O’Dwyer, R Maher, Pádraic Maher; B Maher, M Breen; J Forde, Patrick Maher, D McCormack; John O’Dwyer, S Callanan, J McGrath.
Subs – S Kennedy for R Maher (45), N McGrath for B Maher (49), S O’Brien for D McCormack (49), M Cahill for D Maher (56), T Fox for Pádraic Maher (66).
Dublin – C Cooley; C O’Callaghan, E O’Donnell, F Ó Riain Broin; S Barrett, C Crummey, S Moran; B Quinn, N McMorrow; D Treacy, L Rushe, E Dillon; C O’Sullivan, R O’Dwyer, D Burke.
Subs – J Madden for Barrett (24), F Whitely for McMorrow (h.t.), D O’Callaghan for Burke (h.t.), T Connolly for Moran (50), R McBride for Treacy (58).
Ref – A Kelly (Galway)