Tipperary 5-25 Offaly 1-20
Seamus Callanan and Lar Corbett hit 4-12 between them in Portlaoise this evening as Tipperary walloped Offaly to book their place in the All-Ireland SHC quarter-finals.
As expected, Tipp ran riot at O’Moore Park to extend their involvement in championship 2014 on an evening when the race for the Liam MacCarthy Cup was blown wide open.
Callanan was to the fore again, adding 2-10 to the 3-8 he collected against Galway last weekend.
In two games, the Drom & Inch hotshot has posted 5-18 but he walked down the tunnel in some distress in stoppage time.
Callanan was injured while shooting home his second goal – with Offaly corner back Niall Wynne picking up a yellow card.
Tipperary boss Eamon O’Shea will hope that there is no serious damage to Callanan, who has picked up the attacking baton over the last week.
But there was a welcome two-goal haul, too, from 2010 Hurler of the Year Lar Corbett, who appears to have rediscovered something approaching his best form.
Corbett shot two majestic points late on against Galway and was back among the goals this evening.
Corbett and Callanan will grab the attacking headlines but the man of the match award went to combative centre forward Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher, who scored 1-1 and turned provider for Callanan’s first half goal.
It was all too easy for Tipperary as they continued their winning streak over Offaly in championship hurling.
Tipp had won all four previous meetings between the counties from 2002-2010 and had little trouble extending that run last night.
At half-time, Tipp were 4-9 to 0-11 clear, having opened the game in devastating fashion.
Callanan set up Corbett for a third minute goal before Maher scorched through for Tipp’s second major a minute later.
Corbett and Callanan added further Tipperary goals before half-time as Brian Carroll, scorer of 0-13, battled in vain for Offaly.
The second half was merely about keeping the scoreboard ticking over from a Tipperary perspective – with just one goal added to the scoresheet.
Colin Egan batted home an Offaly goal early in the second half but it was academic as the game drifted towards an inevitable conclusion.
TIPPERARY: D Gleeson; P Stapleton, Padraic Maher, M Cahill; B Maher, J Barry, C Barrett; K Bergin (0-4), J Woodlock (0-1); G Ryan, Patrick Maher (1-1), J O’Dwyer (0-1); N McGrath (0-1), S Callanan (2-10, 0-7f), L Corbett (2-2).
Subs: D Maher (0-2) for Ryan (temp 7-12), D Maher for Ryan (h.t.), T Stapleton (0-1) for Barrett (47), E Kelly (0-1) for O’Dwyer (59), S McGrath for Woodlock (60), J Forde (0-1) for Patrick Maher (66).
OFFALY: J Dempsey; N Wynne, R Hanniffy, C McDonald; K Brady, E Nolan, C Parlon (0-1); C Mahon, S Ryan (0-1); S Dooley (0-1), D Kenny, C Egan (1-0); B Carroll (0-13, 10f), D Currams (0-1), J Bergin (0-3, 1f, 65).
Subs: S Cleary for Kenny (31), K Connolly for Brady (h.t.), P Geraghty for Cleary (62), T Geraghty for Connolly (69).
Referee: A Kelly (Galway).