Tipperary 3-25 Galway 4-13
Tipperary came from the dead to slay Galway in a quite remarkable All-Ireland senior hurling championship qualifier at Semple Stadium this evening.
The Premier County outscored their opponents by 2-10 to 0-1 down the home straight to turn a six-point deficit into a nine-point win.
Tipp’s turnaround secured a first championship victory for O’Shea as Tipp boss – and this was the first time that Tipp had won a championship game of any description since the 2012 Munster final.
With 51 minutes on the watch, the hosts trailed by 1-15 to 4-12 in front of 18,467 spectators in Thurles.
But after John O’Dwyer lit the fuse with a 52nd minute point, Seamus Callanan ran riot in the closing stages.
Callanan scored two crucial goals – in the 53rd and 70th minutes – as the Drom & Inch clubman finished with a massive tally of 3-8.
O’Dwyer, known as ‘Bubbles’ ended up with six points from play and there was a five-point haul from Noel McGrath, who was superb in the second half.
The switching of James Barry and Padraic Maher was also a crucial move for Tipperary.
Galway full-forward Johnny Glynn has wreaked havoc on Maher and scored two second half goals to put the Westerners in the driving seat.
But Barry dropped from centre back, where he had started, to curtail the massive figure of Glynn.
Barry had lined out in the number six position from the throw-in after Conor O’Mahony was ruled out with a back injury.
In the reshuffle, Paddy Stapleton came into the team at right corner back, with Cathal Barrett moving to the left wing.
To accommodate Barrett’s move, captain Brendan Maher swapped flanks, lining out at right half back from the start.
At half-time, the sides were level in a game of huge significance.
Galway arrived on the back of a Leinster SHC semi-final replay defeat to Kilkenny a week ago.
And Tipp received a barrage of local criticism after losing to Limerick in the Munster semi final on June 1.
Make no mistake, O’Shea, coach to the 2010 All-Ireland winning team, was under pressure but he had vowed during the week that his players would do themselves justice.
And that they did with a stunning final flurry to snatch a win that could yet kickstart a run to Croke Park in September.
But it was Galway who got off to a dream start when Jason Flynn took a pass from that man Glynn to net in the fourth minute.
Tipp responded in kind through Callanan with less than 13 minutes on the watch and the sides were level at 1-7 and 1-8 apiece approaching half-time.
Another long Iarla Tannian delivery led to Galway’s second goal, as was the case with the first, as David Burke flicked to the net in the 31st minute.
Tipp were 2-8 to 1-9 down at that point but after O’Dwyer and Padraig Brehony traded scores, a brace of Callanan points, including a free, tied the scores a 1-12 to 2-9 at half-time.
Glynn, who had provided five assists by the 33rd minute, was a man possessed in the second half, netting in the 39th minute and again six minutes later to put Galway in the driving seat.
But Tipp were not done yet and that late revival will be talked about for a long time to come, with Galway boss Anthony Cunningham potentially facing the exit door after three years in charge.
TIPPERARY: D Gleeson; P Stapleton, Padraic Maher, M Cahill; B Maher, J Barry, C Barrett; R Maher, J Woodlock (0-1); G Ryan, Patrick Maher (0-1), N McGrath (0-5); J O’Dwyer (0-6), S Callanan (3-8, 0-7f), L Corbett (0-2).
Subs: K Bergin (0-1) for R Maher (h.t.), S McGrath (0-1) for G Ryan (69), J O’Brien for Corbett (70+2).
GALWAY: C Callanan; F Moore, R Burke, D Collins; I Tannian, Daithi Burke, J Coen; A Smith, P Brehony (0-1); David Burke (1-0), J Canning (0-5, 1sl), C Mannion (0-2); J Flynn (1-0), C Cooney (0-4f), J Glynn (2-0).
Subs: J Cooney for Brehony (h.t.), D Glennon (0-1) for David Burke (h.t), A Harte for Smith (46), N Burke for Tannian (58), D Hayes for Mannion (68).
Referee: C Lyons (Cork).