Yesterday in sunny Salthill, they came again and did almost exactly the same thing, albeit on this occasion allowing Galway come a little closer.
From the beginning, the signs were bad for a large home support, which was boosted by the win of their club champions, St Thomas’ in the All-Ireland final of the previous afternoon.
Cyril Donnellan got Galway off the mark early with a point inside 20 seconds, but over the next eight minutes Tipperary rattled off 1-5 without reply, their goal coming after keeper Fergal Flannery was deceived by the looping trajectory of a long Brendan Maher sideline cut.
Galway replied with four consecutive points to come within a goal, but were rocked by a second Tipperary goal, when speedy corner-forward Shane Bourke finished, having struck a hat-trick in 2011.
Thus, with only 22 minutes gone, they trailed 2-10 to 0-6.
Though they were playing into a stiff breeze, it did not look good for Galway, but they managed something of a recovery before the break, a sizzling Joe Canning 20-metre free helping to cut the deficit at the break to a more manageable 2-13 to 1-9.
Little by little, the Tribesmen began to chip into the arrears in the second half, with Canning continuing to punish the many Tipperary fouls from placed balls, with flying Davy Glennon and sub Aidan Harte also contributing, so that by the 52nd minute, there was just a goal between the teams, Tipperary ahead 2-17 to 1-17.
Then came the decisive moment, a third Tipperary goal, youngster John O’Dwyer getting the final touch in a goal-mouth scramble and, from there, Tipperary were well in control. Their fourth major after Lar Corbett soloed through the heart of the defence came in the 68th minute, but it was already well and truly over.
Tipp were good, very sharp and defensively very alert, with all six looking the part, though centre-back Conor O’Mahony went off injured at the break.
Brendan Maher again had a fine game in midfield, before his 49th-minute injury, while James Woodlock was back to his best, with three fine points.
Up front, and not surprisingly given the final scoreline, Seamus Callanan did very well on the frees, but no-one shone brighter than O’Dwyer.
Not that manager Eamon O’Shea was about to get carried away.
“Some of these games you get a run on the opposition. I wouldn’t worry about the score, didn’t worry about the score three weeks in Cork [12-point loss], won’t worry too much about the score this week. What was most impressive was that Galway came back at us a few times, but we managed to weather the storm each time. It was very good from that point of view. It’s nice to be improving and I thought we improved a little bit today. What we hope is to get to be a good team and we’re not a good team yet.”
It does leave Tipperary looking a bit better than they did after that loss to Cork, however, but as for Galway? No disguising the fact that early season or not, league or not, following on last week’s loss to Clare, this was another setback for manager Anthony Cunningham and his team.
“I don’t know what it is, whether we’re over-training, but we looked very tired there. We scored 1-19 [1-20] but we leaked a lot at the back. We had chances for a couple of goals, but we would be disappointed with some of the defending.
“Some aspects of our game were not good enough; it’s something that we’re going to have to work at during the week. It’s very important for us to win next weekend against Cork, that’s now a very important game for us. We were wide open today for a couple of the goals and we were just second to every ball. I don’t know whether it’s over-training, too long a season or whether our touch is off, but we’ll sit down and discuss that with the players during the week.”
Scorers for Tipperary: J O’Dwyer 1-6, S Callanan 0-7 (4fs, 2 65s), S Bourke 1-2, L Corbett 1-1, J Woodlock 0-3, B Maher 1-0 (s/l), C O’Mahony, S McGrath, J Forde 0-1 each.
Scorers for Galway: J Canning 1-10 (1-7fs), D Hayes, N Healy, A Harte, D Glennon 0-2 each, I Tannian, C Donnellan, 0-1 each.
Subs for Tipperary: D Maher for O’Mahony (35), N McGrath for B Maher (48, inj), J Forde for Bourke (65), P Bourke for Callanan (68).
Subs for Galway: A Harte for Donoghue (23), B Flaherty for Cooney (35, inj), N Burke for Donnellan (35), A Callanan for Burke (52).
Referee: B Gavin (Offaly).