Seamus Callanan spared Tipperary’s blushes with a deadly second-half hat-trick of goals in last night’s Waterford Crystal Cup preliminary round fixture against Mary Immaculate College.
With the sides deadlocked at 1-14 apiece entering the final 10 minutes, Callanan struck for three goals in as many minutes to set up a quarter-final clash with Clare, a repeat of the last three finals.
Callanan’s blistering treble dug Tipp out of a hole on a blusterly, squally evening in Thurles as the holders got off to a winning start.
Newcomer David Butler also impressed with four points from corner forward, while fellow debutant Sean Maher hit 1-1, including an early second-half goal. However, Tipp panellist Niall O’Meara quickly replied with a superb goal to restore Mary I’s advantage, as the visitors had led by 0-11 to 0-10 at half-time.
But not even a personal haul of 0-10, including eight frees, from Limerick’s David Reidy was enough to spring an upset as Tipp finally clicked through the gears to get over the line.
But, for long periods, this was a real struggle for an experimental Tipperary side, as manager Eamon O’Shea handed starts to newcomers Joe O’Dwyer, Stephen Maher, Liam Treacy, Maher and Butler. O’Shea will hope for a much improved show against Clare but this one was all about blowing off the cobwebs.
Scorers for Tipperary: S Callanan 3-7 (0-4f, 0-1 65), D Butler 0-4, S Maher 1-1, Pádraic Maher, K Bergin (f), D Maher & C Kenny 0-1 each.
Scorers for Mary Immaculate College: D Reidy 0-10 (8f), N O’Meara 1-1, D O’Donovan & T Gallagher (1 sl), 0-2 each, C Sheahan 0-1.
TIPPERARY: D Egan; J O’Dwyer, P Curran, Stephen Maher; S McGrath, C O’Mahony, Pádraic Maher; K Bergin, G Ryan; D Maher, L Treacy, Patrick Maher; Sean Maher, S Callanan, D Butler.
Subs: J Woodlock for Stephen Maher (41), C Kenny for Butler (51), C Ryan for D Maher (63), Butler for Sean Maher (68), D Guinan for Callanan (68).
MARY IMMACULATE COLLEGE: M Browne (Cork); R English (Limerick), A Ryan (Tipperary), C Fennessy (Clare); L Corry (Clare), S Kennedy (Tipperary), C Barry (Cork); D O’Donovan (Limerick), D Reidy (Limerick); N O’Meara (Tipperary), D Hannon (Limerick), J Hannon (Limerick); T Gallagher (Tipperary), D Corry (Clare), C Sheahan (Waterford).
Subs: S Taylor (Clare) for Sheahan (43), P Herlihy (Cork) for J Hannon (43), E Quirke (Clare) for Fennessy (50), T Lynch (Clare) for Gallagher (53), K Cleary (Limerick) for O’Donovan (68).