Agony for CIT as Hanrahan strikes late for Tipperary

Tipperary 2-8 CIT 0-13

Their team defending a comfortable three-point lead, the CIT bench and officials were nevertheless outraged: "Where the hell did he get two extra minutes?" they wondered aloud.

Thankfully for Tipperary, however, the referee did play those two additional minutes, in full, plus two more because of a late injury to CIT full-forward Roy Leahy. And it was in that fourth final and fateful minute, after an earlier Benny Hickey point, that the home team scored the goal that saw them through to the next round, against the winners of tonight's Cork/Tralee IT clash.

But oh, how CIT must be kicking themselves this morning. Even Tipp manager Seamus McCarthy (a Corkman, incidentally) felt sorry for them.

"You have to," he said, "and we have to be delighted with the win.

"We don't often win competitive matches, but his must be our fourth or fifth in a row now, going back to the Tommy Murphy Cup win last year."

This should have been a defeat for Tipp. Dramatic and all as was that late goal - a dangerous lob by Stephen Murphy fisted to the CIT net by the towering Eamonn 'Tiny' Hanrahan - had CIT capitalised on their dominance for the greater part of this game it would have made no difference to the result.

Fitter, faster, slicker, CIT looked by far the better team, a fact admitted by the pragmatic McCarthy.

"For long periods there we looked beaten, and well beaten, almost played into submission for a lot of it.

"But it just goes to show, one long ball, a timely fist. We were using that early long ball in the first half also.

"It worked well for us, finding Declan (Browne), we looked dangerous, in control. Then we started the short passing - running into cul-de-sacs - we reverted to type."

Funny, that last statement, because it's exactly what CIT manager Tony Leahy might have said. Several times in the first half, after a shaky start, CIT tried to short-pass their way to the Tipperary net, when several easy points were there for the taking.

Four points was all they managed in that opening half, five wides, and half a dozen poor options taken, which could have had them out of sight by the break. They trailed 1-3 to 0-4 as Tipp were more efficient on limited chances.

Then again, Tipp did have Declan Browne at full-forward, and the two-time All-star gave the students a lesson in the art of scoring. His goal in the third minute, after a defence-splitting long ball from Kevin Quinlan, leaving the unfortunate Stephen Donoghue dummied almost out of his boots, was vintage Browne.

CIT opened the second half with a hat-trick of points putting them in front for the first time.

Tipp regained that lead thanks to Browne, but in the final quarter it was nearly all CIT. Their three-point lead should have been enough. That it wasn't, was almost entirely their own fault. McCarthy summed it up: "Look, for us a win is a win, it means another match."

Scorers: Tipperary: D Browne 1-3 (0-2 frees); E Hanrahan 1-0; D O'Brien 0-2; H Coughlan, R Costigan, B Hickey, 0-1 each). CIT: D Goulding 0-6 (0-2 frees); D O'Connor 0-3 (0-2 frees); R Leahy, A Morgan, J White, D Breen, 0-1 each.

TIPPERARY: P Fitzgerald; M Phelan (capt.), N Kelly, A Morrissey; P Morrissey, C Maher, R Costigan; E Hanrahan, K Quinlan; A Fitzgerald, B Hickey, H Coughlan; S Murphy, D Browne, D O'Brien. Subs: N Fitzgerald (Coughlan 43); P King (Murphy 53).

CIT: B Kealy; R Carey, S Donoghue, P Deane; E O'Connor, A Foley, B Twomey; P O'Brien, J White; C Calnan, A Morgan, D O'Connor; D Goulding, R Leahy, P O'Flynn. Subs: P Sheehan (E O'Connor 48); D Breen (Calnan 48); P Nealon (Foley 53); J Murphy (White 57); B Dennehy (Leahy inj 60+2).

Referee: M Meade (Limerick).

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