Tipperary topple Galway to reach All-Ireland semi-final

All Ireland Senior Football Quarter-Final

Tipperary 3-13 Galway 1-10

Tipperary are through to their first All-Ireland SFC semi-final since 1935 after a magnificent 3-13 to 1-10 victory over Galway at Croke Park. The Premier County blew the Connacht champions away with a powerful attacking display with the full-forward duo of Michael Quinlivan and Conor Sweeney wreaking havoc.

Quinlivan’s goal settled Tipperary after a shaky opening quarter and sparked a scoring burst of 1-6 without reply, but Damien Comer’s goal in first-half injury-time cut the Munster side’s lead to three points.

However, Tipp picked up where they left off in the second period as Peter Acheson and George Hannigan dominated around midfield. They created a plethora of goal chances and two of those were finished by Sweeney in the space of six minutes to put the game beyond Galway.

It is Tipperary’s first championship win over the Tribesmen since 1904 and they can now look forward to a last-four date with the winners of Saturday’s quarter-final between Tyrone and Mayo.

Quinlivan was outstanding on the edge of the square but it was only at the midway point of the first half that it began to yield scores. By that stage Galway led 0-4 to 0-1 and it should have been more substantial, Danny Cummins blazing a shot over the bar after beating Brian Fox.

Having already forced a point-blank save from Galway goalkeeper Bernard Power, Quinlivan drew Tipp level with 16 minutes gone. Power did well to parry Hannigan’s shot but Quinlivan palmed in the rebound and he converted a free one minute later to give Tipperary a lead they would never relent.

That sparked a purple patch for the Liam Kearns’ side as they scored an unanswered 1-06. Goal chances continued at both ends, Gary O’Donnell losing control at the vital moment for goal and Power closing the gap to deny Philip Austin.

As Galway’s kick-outs malfunctioned, Tipperary hit three points in as many minutes, Quinlivan combining with well with Sweeney to take his tally to 1-03, but the Connacht champions did land a late sucker punch in the first minute of injury time.

Captain Paul Conroy rose highest to win a kick-out and charged forward. He fed centre-forward Comer, who rattled the back of the net to leave Galway trailing 1-08 to 1-05 at the interval.

Shane Walsh reduced the defect to two with the first point of the second half but Galway remained porous in defence and Quinlivan should have done better when Austin and Sweeney combined to play him in on goal, the full-forward shooting straight at Power.

Tipperary finally scored their second goal with 40 minutes played when Sweeney fired a low shot across Power and into the corner of the net. Austin missed an identical chance moments later but a third goal did arrive with 46 minutes on the clock when Jimmy Feehan fired a high ball on top of the square. Sweeney beat Power in the air to make it a double-scores game, 3-11 to 1-07.

Conor Sweeny celebrates one of his two goals.
Conor Sweeny celebrates one of his two goals.

 Galway manager Kevin Walsh rang the changes in an attempt to drag his side back into contention but the scores had dried up. Three pointed frees from Shane Walsh was their total for the opening 25 minutes of the second half.Meanwhile, Robbie Kiely curled over a beauty with the outside of his boot and Acheson got on the scoresheet with 55 minutes played when his goal-bound effort deflected over the bar.

That would be Tipperary’s final score but their defence, inspired by superb sweeper Fox, kept the Galway attack at bay.

Comer stung the fingers of Tipp goalkeeper Evan Comerford, while substitute Adrian Varley and captain Conroy were black-carded in the closing stages, as Galway’s wait for a first All-Ireland quarter-final win since 2001 was extended by another year at least.

Tipperary: E Comerford; C O’Shaughnessy, A Campbell, C McDonald; B Maher, R Kiely (0-1), J Feehan; P Acheson (0-1), G Hannigan; J Keane, K O’Halloran (0-4, 1f, 1 ’45), B Fox (0-1); P Austin, M Quinlivan (1-4, 1f), C Sweeney (2-2).

Subs: A Moloney for Keane (64), S Leahy for Maher (68), M Dunne for Hannigan (70), M Hanley for Quinlivan (70).

Galway: B Power; E Kerin, D Kyne, D Wynne; L Silke, G O’Donnell, G Bradshaw; P Conroy (0-1), T Flynn; G Sice (1-0), D Comer, J Heaney; E Brannigan (0-1), S Walsh (0-4, 4f), D Cummins (0-3).

Subs: A Varley for Sice (47), P Varley (0-1) for Heaney (49), E Tierney for Brannigan (52), P Sweeney for A Varley (60, black card), P Cooke for Walsh, E Hoare for Conroy (68, black card).

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