Tipperary 3-25 Galway 4-13
What a phenomenal finish by Tipperary, what a last quarter turnaround, inspired by magnificent full-forward Seamus Callanan.
With just under 20 minutes to go, full-forward Jonny Glynn fielded and finished his second goal of the half over the hapless Padraic Maher to leave Galway in command of what had been a fluctuating contest by six points (4-12 to 1-15).
Was Seamus Callanan concerned? Not a bit of it.
“I didn’t even look at the scoreboard. We play every ball as it comes, keep doing your bit for the team and hopefully the result will look after itself then.”
The comeback started badly, a tame one-handed shot on a breaking ball by Seamus skipped to the wrong side of the post and many in the Tipp-dominated crowd of 18,469 despaired. The golden opportunity was lost. That, however, was but a blip.
At the back Tipp made a significant switch, with Padraic Maher swapping places with young centre-back James Barry. It was a double success, James tying up Jonny inside, Padraic galvanising, as only he can do, the Tipp outer line.
Up front though, the forwards on fire. A fine combination John O’Dwyer point, a Callanan goal (after his first effort had been saved by his namesake, Galway keeper Colm Callanan), a Callanan pointed free (Seamus hit seven and missed none), a mighty Noel McGrath point (hit five), then the loudest cheer of all from a rising Tipperary support, Lar Corbett with a stroke of beauty from wide left.
And just like that, in seven minutes Tipperary had turned a six-point deficit into a one-point lead (2-19 to 4-12).
“It’s very important when you get a roll going like that, that you capitalise on it,” said Seamus.
“Today was just a lucky day for us when everything seemed to go over.” Right yeah, luck.
Galway did come back to tie it. A Joe Canning point (brilliant first half and finished with five), but Tipperary were only in mid-stride and still on that roll. Another Corbett pointed special, a Callanan free, an even bigger Noel McGrath score (this one from just outside his own 45), sub Kieran Bergin firing one over from wide left (impressive impact), then a second Callanan goal, his third of the game — an intercept and the break towards goal, power in the shot on the run, precision in the placement past Colm; this game was over.
Oh, there was still time for three more Tipperary points but that was simply garnishing.
The Seamie Show, that’s what this was, 3-9 his final tally, 3-1 from play.
“It’s my job to score when all the boys do the hard work outside,” he says, brushing aside all praise.
“It doesn’t work out every day but we kept trying, a few breaks came my way but the next day they will come someone else’s way and that’s how we look at it. We all try to do our best in our own patch and if we all work hard together the results will come.”
Surely though Seamus, all modesty aside, you must have felt when ye were six points down that ye were dead and buried, season over? Your goal early in the first half had given Tipp a foothold but courtesy of goals from Jason Flynn and David Burke, Galway had come back to tie it by the break (1-12 to 2-9), then stormed into that big lead in the third quarter.
“We’re a team that works fierce hard in training. Things didn’t work out for us against Limerick [Munster semi-final loss] and we came in for a lot of criticism. There was no need for a lot of it and I would hope everyone will get behind us now and we all drive on together from here.”
Ah, Limerick. Others may not be giving them due merit for the team they now are; not Seamus Callanan.
“They are well deserved Munster champions and are going to be a strong team again this year. They showed great heart and got their win. This is the route we’re going now and we’ll take every game as it comes and drive on, hopefully.”
In the 53rd minute, with Tipperary trailing by five and in real trouble (4-12 to 1-16), Seamus Callanan broke through determined to goal, and did, after his first effort was saved. That was it, game turned on its head.
Talk of the town
The Tipperary comeback, what else, to go with Clare’s near demise in Ennis. This very much puts Tipp back in the mix now again.
Did that just happen?
Six points behind with only 20 minutes to go, Galway with the momentum, did Tipperary really score 2-10 to just one point for Galway?
Best on show
Galway had their contenders but we’re sticking with Tipperary, and the claims of a couple of defenders apart, of Noel McGrath in midfield/attack, Seamus Callanan was simply heroic.
Tipperary, no question. Kieran Bergin a canny half-time sub, but the switch (and aren’t they all enforced anyway?) of Padraic Maher and James Barry was pivotal.
The man in black
One or two minor quibbles apart, Colm Lyons (Cork) had an excellent game overall.
Round two of the qualifiers on Saturday next for Tipperary, end of season for gallant Galway.
Scorers for Tipperary: S Callanan (3-8, 7fs), J O’Dwyer (0-6), N McGrath (0-5), L Corbett (0-2), J Woodlock, Patrick Maher, K Bergin, S McGrath (0-1 each).
Scorers for Galway: J Glynn (2-0), J Canning (0-5, 1 s/l), C Cooney (0-4fs), J Flynn, D Burke (1-0 each), C Mannion (0-2), P Brehony, D Glennon (0-1 each).
TIPPERARY: D Gleeson; P Stapleton, Padraic Maher, M Cahill; B Maher, J Barry, C Barrett; R Maher, J Woodlock; G Ryan, Patrick Maher, N McGrath; J O’Dwyer, S Callanan, L Corbett.
Subs for Tipperary: K Bergin for R Maher (35), S McGrath for Ryan 68), J O’Brien for Corbett (70+2).
GALWAY: C Callanan; F Moore, R Burke, D Collins; I Tannian, Daithí Burke, J Coen; A Smith, P Brehony; David Burke, J Canning (c), C Mannion; J Glynn, C Cooney, J Flynn.
Subs for Galway: D Glennon for David Burke (35), J Cooney for Brehony (35), A Harte for Smith (45), N Burke for Tannian (inj. 57), D Hayes for Mannion (68).
Referee: C Lyons (Cork).
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