Tipp manager Liam Kearns was happy with the result and the maturity his side showed in the second-half but knows it was far from a perfect display despite them outscoring Offaly 1-9 to 0-2 in the closing 30 minutes.
“They were told what they needed to do in the second- half. We talked it out. We didn’t plan for the 1-2 from Offaly in the first couple of minutes. That is what I liked about them, there was no panic and everyone kept their heads. That was the most important thing for me. They showed maturity.”
Both sides got on the score sheet by the sixth minute but the game really came to life on 14 minutes when a Nigel Dunne attempted effort for a point dropped short, was fumbled by Evan Comerford and deflected into the empty net off Shane O’Connell.
Offaly led 1-2 to 0-3 then minutes later Offaly’s Michael Brazil and Tipp’s George Hannigan were shown straight reds for their part in a melee as tempers flared.
Peter Cunningham kicked Offaly into a two-point lead but Tipp centre back Robbie Kiely hit back as his powerful shot was deflected to the net to put Tipp into a 1-5 to 1-4 lead after 28 minutes. Offaly had the better of the remainder of the half with Shane Nally’s point the pick of the scores as they led 1-7 to 1-5 at the break.
Offaly came out firing in the second-half and hit 1-2 in the space of two minutes, the goal coming from Joseph O’Connor to put them 2-9 to 1-6 up. With Offaly doubling up on Tipp danger man Conor Sweeney, Tipp were mainly confined to frees but Sweeney did manage one point from play on 52 minutes to cut the gap to two. Then a moment of brilliance from Michael Quinlivan, who meandered through the Offaly defence and let fly to the top corner to give Tipp a 2-10 to 2-9 lead and cap off a sequence of 1-4 without reply.
From there, Tipp saw the win out calmly to leave Offaly still rooted to the bottom.
R Kiely (1-1); C Sweeney (0-4, 1 free); M Quinlivan (1-0); K O’Halloran (0-3 frees); J Feehan, L Casey, J Kennedy, J Keane (free), K Fahey, S O’Connell and L Boland (0-1 each).
J O’Connor and S O’Connell (OG) (1-0 each); N Dunne (1 free), B Allen (2 frees) (0-3 each); S Nally (0-2); G Guilfoyle, P Cunningham and S Doyle (0-1 each).
E Comerford; A Campbell, P Codd, S O’Connell; B Maher, R Kiely, J Feehan; L Casey, G Hannigan; J Keane, K O’Halloran, B Fox; C Sweeney, M Quinlivan, L Boland.
K Fahey (for J Feehan 5–14m), J Kennedy (for L Boland H/T), K Fahey (for B Maher 56m), W Connors (for S O’Connell 65m), L McGrath (for L Casey 66m)
A Mulhall; B Darby, J Lalor, S Pender; J O’Connor, P Cunningham, N Darby; E Carroll, D Hanlon; S Nally, G Guilfoyle, M Brazil; B Allen, N Dunne, S Doyle.
J Walsh (for S Doyle 45m). J Gethings (for D Hanlon 59m), A Mahon (for J O’Connor 60m), R McNamee (for B Allen 65m), D Hogan (for S Nally BC 70m), W Mulhall (for N Dunne 70m)
John Hickey (Carlow).