Awesome Ryan steers Premier into decider

TIPPERARY and Kilkenny meet in another All-Ireland decider after the Premier County came good in extra-time to book a place in the Vocational Schools SHC final.

Saturday’s re-fixed semi-final at Duggan Park in Ballinasloe looked to be heading Galway’s way as they led by nine points at the interval in regular time but Tipp rallied to level before pulling away in extra-time.

Galway led 1-12 to 0-6 at half-time thanks to a run of six consecutive points and a penalty after 30 minutes from Keelan Cullinane. But Tipperary recovered and the superb Eoin Ryan smashed a 21 metre free to the net six minutes after the restart and another with 11 minutes left to ignite the Premier challenge. Sub Stephen Cahalan goaled for Galway with seven minutes remaining for a five-point cushion. However, three points on the trot and Jamie Bergin’s scrambled goal for Tipp in injury time saw them take the lead for the first time before a point from Sean Sweeney in the dying moments forced extra-time. There was no doubting Tipp’s superiority in extra-time and the accuracy of Heffernan and O’Meara saw them through.

Scorers for Tipperary: E Ryan (2-6, 1-4fs); T Heffernan (0-5); J Bergin (1-2); N O’Meara (0-3); S Dooley; J Ryan (0-2) each.

Scorers for Galway: K Cullinane (1-3, 1-0pen); S Sweeney (0-4); D Burke (0-4, 21f); S Cahalan (1-0); P Flaherty (0-3); M Dooley; T Mitchell (0-1) each.

TIPPERARY: J Samson; C O’Riordan, C Bergin, A Conran; J Ryan, E Hogan, M Collier; S Dooley, B Touhy; T Heffernan, T Cleary, N O’Meara; J Bergin, E Ryan, J Ryan.

Subs: J Cleary for Touhy, (36); E Greene for Ryan, (76).

GALWAY: S Mannion: S Earls, D Bruen, C Morrisey; C Kennedy, M Horan, T Jakeman; S Sweeney, D Burke; C Larkin, P Flaherty, K Cullinane; M Dooley, K Killilea, A Hurney.

Subs: S Cahalan for Larkin, (49); T Mitchell for Hurney, (49); E Garvey for Dooley, (55); D Head for Horan, (70).

Referee: James McGrath (Westmeath).

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