Galway 4-17 Tipperary 4-12
Galway struck for four goals in the space of seven minutes either side of half time to decide the outcome of this 4A qualifier and they will now play Munster champions Kerry at Croke Park tomorrow week.
Tipperary salvaged a lot pride as they reduced a 14-point deficit by nine but they had given themselves far too much to do.
They never played with the freedom that marked their performances against Cork, Longford and Laois though and the six wides they kicked in the opening 20 minutes, with the wind at their backs didn’t help.
They were still well in the game approaching half time however and a couple of points by Philip Acheson helped them into a two-point lead after 25 minutes.
Paul Conroy and Shane Walsh brought the teams level though with Walsh’s point one for the highlights reel.
The centre-forward instinctively killed Conroy’s mishit 45 brilliantly with his foot, managing with that touch to flick the ball into his hands. He made space to turn and chipped over for a wonderful score.
Two minutes later, Galway had their first goal, as Fiontán Ó Curraoin ran off Conroy’s shoulder to take a hand-pass and advanced unattended before striking a low shot beyond Paul Fitzgerald.
Michael Quinlivan and Walsh (free) exchanged points before Ó Curraoin’s midfield partner found the net in injury time to make it 2-7 to 0-7 at half time.
That wasn’t an insurmountable margin for Tipperary to overhaul but the task was much more difficult before the second minute of the latter period had elapsed.
Danny Cummins had a goal after 45 seconds and from the next attack, Michael Lundy finished well after an intricate exchange of passes.
The Tipperary defence was all at sea by this stage and they were clearly shellshocked as Galway threatened to run riot.
Walsh, Michael Martin and Paul Varley added points and at 4-11 to 0-9 with almost 25 minutes remaining, you feared for the Premier outfit.
Brian Fox scored a brilliant goal in the 47th minute and further majors from Brian Mulvihill, Colin O’Riordan and a Conor Sweeney penalty in the last seven minutes (including two of injury time) gave their supporters something to cheer about.
Galway had done enough by this stage though to progress to the quarter-finals.
GALWAY: S Walsh 0-5(3fs), M Lundy, D Cummins 1-1 each; M Martin, P Conroy 0-3 each; F Ó Curraoin, T Flynn 1-0 each; S Armstrong 0-2, P Varley, D Comer 0-1 each
TIPPERARY: C Sweeney 1-4 (1-0 pen, 0-4fs); C O’Riordan 1-2; B Fox, B Mulvihill 1-0 each; P Acheson 0-2; S O’Brien, G Hannigan, M Quinlivan, B Grogan 0-1 each
GALWAY: T Healy, D O’Neill, F Hanley, J Moore, G Bradshaw, G O’Donnell, P Varley, F Ó Corraoin, T Flynn, M Lundy, S Walsh, J Kavanagh, M Martin, P Conroy, D Cummins. Subs: D Burke for O’Donnell inj (34), S Armstrong for Cummins (50), A Varley for Martin (56), J O’Brien for Lundy (59), D Comer for Kavanagh (59), E Hoare for Walsh (70)
TIPPERARY: P Fitzgerald, J Coghlan, P Codd, C McDonald, C O’Riordan, R Kiely, G Mulhair, S O’Brien, G Hannigan, M Quinlivan, B Fox, P Acheson, C Sweeney, B Grogan, P Austin. Subs: I Fahey for Mulhair (31), C Kennedy for Quinlivan (40), A Campbell for Grogan (49), H Coghlan for O’Brien BC (55), B Mulvihill for Fahey (62), S Flynn for Austin (64)
REFEREE: B Cassidy (Derry).