Hogan hails heroes as Tippkeep final hopes on track

Galway 0-17 Tipperary 3-16

The win keeps Tipperary’s chances of a place in this year’s final very much alive.

“We were written off by everyone, including our own supporters, coming down here today,” said Hogan. “I never lost faith in the players. We have tremendous lads who want to play and win for Tipperary and today they showed what they are capable of.

“We worked extremely hard for each other and that is the hallmark of this team. We may have no real stars but they are all together and that is vital in any team. Sure we had a lot of wides, particularly in the second half which cost us at least half a dozen more points, but this is a learning curve for us.”

“It will give us tremendous confidence for next week’s game against Kilkenny. We’ve taken it a game at a time and we’ll focus in on next Sunday’s game in the coming days and we’ll be ready for it.”

If this Galway team are to make any progress they must find some players with brawn - a team can have all the dandiest hurlers in the world but it must also have a couple of big men, and Galway don’t, particularly in attack.

While there was a bucketful of scores in the game, that was down to dreadful marking by both sets of defenders, something you won’t get in a championship encounter. Goals win matches is the old adage and Tipperary scored a hat-trick against what can only be regarded as a tissue-like Galway defence.

Little wonder manager Conor Hayes kept his players in the dressingroom long after the final whistle. He’ll also be concerned by the failure of his forwards to test Tipp keeper Brendan Cummins, who had one of his easiest days between the posts.

That he didn’t have a shot of any consequence to save was down to his defence, in which full-back Philip Maher and centre-back Eamonn Corcoran were particularly impressive.

Tipp needed to win this game to stay in the title race and couldn’t have asked for a better start. Making light of difficult underfoot conditions, after 45 seconds Mark O’Leary goaled when Galway keeper Liam O’Donoghue could only parry Colin Morrissey’s initial effort.

Points by John Devane and Eoin Kelly quickly followed and Galway found themselves five points down after just five minutes while playing with the wind and the persistent drizzle.

It took Galway 11 minutes to open their account and with Damien Hayes lively at right-corner forward, O’Leary’s goal stood between the teams at 1-6 to 0-6 after 25 minutes.

After Tipp switched their corner-backs Hayes got little change off Paul Curran and the danger was averted, but at the other end Tipperary’s forwards were able to penetrate the Galway defence with ease.

In two minutes, Ger Webster grabbed a Tipp goal after Declan Fanning set him up and Mark O’Leary kicked home another, and Galway looked to be in for a drubbing.

Unable to make any impression on the Tipp defence, Galway had to be content with picking off their points. They added four without reply which left Tipperary 3-7 to 0-11 in front at the break. Galway clearly got a rollicking at the break and came out with all guns blazing. In the space of seven minutes they had the deficit down to two points after five points on the trot, two of them by improving midfielder Richie Murray.

Clearly unhappy with his forwards, Galway manager Conor Hayes took off Ger Farragher and Kevin Broderick, both of whom had failed to score from play, but it mattered little as indiscipline in defence gave Eoin Kelly the chance to add to his first half tally and at the three-quarter stage the visitors led 3-10 to 0-15.

If Galway were to have any chance of winning they needed a goal, but that never looked likely as Philip Maher, Diarmuid Fitzgerald and Eamon Corcoran closed off all avenues to Brendan Cummins. Tipperary finished with six unanswered points including a Kelly brace from a sideline cut, making him the only Tipp player to accomplish the feat this season.

Scorers: Tipperary: E. Kelly 0-10 (0-9 frees); M. O’Leary 2-0; G. Webster 1-0; J. Devane 0-2; B. Dunne, P. O’Brien, T. Dunne, F. Devanney 0-1 each. Galway: G. Farragher 0-5 (frees); R. Murray 0-4; D. Collins, E. Cloonan (0-1 free) 0-2 each; K. Hayes, D. Forde, D. Hayes, D. O’Donoghue 0-1 each.

GALWAY: L. Donoghue; D. Joyce, L. Hodgins, C. Coen; S. Hardiman, T. Og Regan, O. Canning; S. Collins, R. Murray; E. Cloonan, D. Forde, K. Hayes; D. Hayes, G. Farragher, K. Broderick. Subs: D. Tierney for Hardiman; David Hayes for Broderick; D. O’Donoghue for Farragher; S. Kavanagh for Joyce.

TIPPERARY: B. Cummins; P. Curran, P. Maher, H. Moloney; D. Fanning, E. Corcoran, D. Fitzgerald; C. Morrissey, P. Morrissey; M. O’Leary, J. Devane, B. Dunne; E. Kelly, M. Webster, P. O’Brien.Subs: T. Dunne for P. Morrissey; D. Egan for Webster; F. Devanney for O’Brien.

Referee: D. Murphy (Wexford).

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