Second-half performance earns Tipp win over Offaly

Tipperary 1-12 Offaly 0-10

Tipperary 1-12 Offaly 0-10

Tipperary claimed a first senior football championship victory since 2010 at Semple Stadium this evening.

Peter Creedon’s charges defeated Offaly by five points in Thurles in this All-Ireland SFC round 1 qualifier.

The hosts produced a cracking second-half display – outscoring the visitors by 0-7 to 0-4 after half-time.

Tipp led by 1-5 to 0-6 at the break with Peter Acheson bagging the 17th minute goal for the Premier County.

Alan Maloney’s long ball in towards the Offaly goalmouth was flicked on by Michael Quinlivan for Acheson – who pounced from close range at the Town End.

Quinlivan was a constant thorn in Offaly’s side and the 2011 All-Ireland minor medallist finished the game with four points – including three from play.

Five of Tipp’s six starting forwards scored from play tonight and not even the pre-match introduction of marquee forward Niall McNamee could inspire Offaly, for whom Ken Casey kicked five points.

Tipperary held a two-point lead at half-time but it could have been more as Quinlivan saw his injury-time penalty saved by Offaly goalkeeper Alan Mulhall.

Referee Conor Lane booked Mulhall for bringing down Quinlivan but the Walsh Island shotstopper atoned with a smart save before Alan Maloney pointed from the rebound.

Tipp led by four points twice in the first half but Offaly cut the gap back to a single point with a run of three unanswered scores – the last of those a wonderful effort from McNamee, one of three late changes for the visitors.

But this was an evening when Tom Coffey’s Offaly struggled woefully in attack, with Casey the notable exception.

Tipp’s win was just their fourth from 13 qualifier outings – a run stretching back to 2001.

TIPPERARY: P Fitzgerald; A Morrissey, P Codd, C McDonald; B Fox, R Kiely, A Campbell; G Hannigan, H Coghlan; P Austin (0-2), P Acheson (1-0), D Leahy; A Maloney (0-3), M Quinlivan (0-4, 1f), R Ryan (0-2).

Subs: B Mulvihill (0-1) for Coghlan (43), S Scully for Leahy (62), L Egan for Hannigan (66), B O’Brien for Quinlivan (67), P Whelan for Maloney (68).

OFFALY: A Mulhall; S Sullivan, J Moloney, S Pender; B Darby, M Brazil, E Rigney; R Brady, A McNamee; N Dunne (0-3, 2f), K Casey (0-5, 1f), R Dalton; A Sullivan, P Cunningham, N McNamee (0-2).

Subs: N Smith for A McNamee (h.t.), D Hanlon for Brazil (51), G Guilfoyle for Rigney (51), D Currams for Cunningham (64), D Kelly for Dunne (68).

Referee: C Lane (Cork).

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