Crucial victory over Dublin sees Tipp avoid relegation

Tipperary 1-19 Dublin 0-19

Crucial victory over Dublin sees Tipp avoid relegation

Tipperary 1-19 Dublin 0-19

Tipperary avoided relegation from Division 1A of the Allianz Hurling League in Thurles this afternoon.

And a three-point victory over Dublin sent the Premier County through to a quarter-final against Munster rivals Cork next weekend.

Tipp needed to beat Dublin by at least three points and rely on results elsewhere to claim a top four finish.

And their three-point success condemned Dublin to a relegation playoff against Waterford, where defeat will see the losers drop to Division 1B.

It was a tense afternoon at Semple Stadium but Tipp did just about enough to revive their season.

Three successive defeats had heaped the pressure on Tipp boss Eamon O’Shea but this victory could transform his side’s season.

Tipp were six points down in the first half, 0-3 to 0-9, but rallied to trail by just a point at half-time, 0-9 to 0-10.

With the breeze at their backs in the second half, Tipp set about gaining the minimum three-point victory required.

Patrick Bonner Maher finally got past a previously unbeatable Gary Maguire for the only goal of the game in the 47th minute and while the sides were level twice after that, Tipp finished well to collect maximum points.

In front of 4768 spectators, Seamus Callanan finished with 0-11 for Tipperary, with Dublin’s Alan McCrabbe hitting 0-10.

Callanan’s excellent League form continued but captain Brendan Maher was also exceptional for Tipperary at centre back.

Dublin went for goal from a 20m free with 13 minutes remaining as they chased an elusive goal and another glorious opportunity went begging deep in stoppage time.

When a point would have seen Tipp and Dublin’s League positions reversed, Niall McMorrow dropped an effort short when unmarked on the 45m line.

Had Tipp lost out in the race for a top four finish, they would have felt aggrieved as Jason Forde appeared to have a legitimate point waved wide early in the second half, when his sideline cut curled inside the uprights.

The first half saw Dublin play their best hurling as McCrabbe pulled the strings for the visitors.

His two opening points of the game had the Sky Blues in front and with 13 minutes on the watch, they led by 0-5 to 0-2.

McCrabbe fed Tipp native Ryan O'Dwyer for another Dublin point before Michael Cahill, who later went off injured, surged forward for a crucial Tipp score.

Dublin cruised into a six-point advantage but recognising the severity of the situation in which they now found themselves, Tipp upped a gear in the second quarter of the game.

And with the gap reduced to just a point by the break, the wind-assisted hosts were well placed to launch a fierce second half assault on Dublin.

It came, eventually, but not until after Dublin opened up a 0-13 to 0-09 lead, with McCrabbe (free), All Star Danny Sutcliffe and O'Dwyer all on target.

The goal, however, was a crucial score for Tipp as Maher finished at the second attempt after Maguire had pulled off a superb double save to deny Callanan and the eventual goalscorer.

DUBLIN: G Maguire; N Corcoran, P Kelly, C O’Callaghan; M Carton (0-2), L Rushe, S Durkin; J Boland (0-1f), J McCaffrey, R O’Dwyer (0-3), A McCrabbe (0-10, 8f), C Keaney; D O’Callaghan, D Sutcliffe (0-3), C Cronin.

Subs: M Schutte for Cronin (45), N McMorrow for C O’Callaghan (56), P Ryan for D O’Callaghan (62).

TIPPERARY: D Egan; P Stapleton, C O’Mahony, C Barrett; M Cahill (0-1), B Maher, C O’Brien; K Bergin (0-1), S McGrath; J O’Dwyer (0-2), N McGrath (0-3), P Murphy; J Forde, S Callanan (0-11, 8f), P Maher (1-0).

Subs: D Maher for Murphy (h.t.), J Barry for Cahill (inj, 38), E Kelly for P Maher (inj, 52), R Maher (0-1) for S McGrath (62), M Heffernan for Forde (69).

Referee: B Gavin (Offaly).

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