All-Ireland SHC: Tipp through to decider

August 14, 2016

Galway's Andrew Smith with Noel McGrath of Tipperary

Two goals in the space of 90 seconds helped Tipperary defeat Galway by 2-19 to 2-18 in an entertaining All-Ireland SHC semi-final at Croke Park this afternoon.

Galway looked set to be heading back for their second consecutive All-Ireland final, but Tipp struck for goals by substitute John 'Bubbles' O'Dwyer and John McGrath in the 60th and 62nd minute to help them over the line.

It was an enthralling encounter that could have went either way, but Tipp held their composure to seal a final berth.

This match had a lot to live up to after last night's fare, but the opening half certainly didn't disappoint as we had some outstanding scores, hits and skill.

Galway were dealt a blow on the stroke of half time as Joe Canning was forced off with a hamstring injury.

Inside the first minute, Galway took the lead when Canning sent over a good point from play, but that was soon cancelled out by a Noel McGrath point at the other end.

It was a frantic start to the match as both sides battled courageously for every ball and Michael Breen who has had a massive year for the Premier County fired over a point from midfield.

From the puck out, Galway won possession and the ball was worked to Conor Whelan who popped over his first of the day.

Tipp were well on top in midfield, but slowly David Burke and Johnny Coen grew into the game. It was the latter that did very well to set up Conor Cooney whose surging run through the middle was matched with a devastating shot past Darren Gleeson to make it 1-02 0-02 after six minutes.

Tipp hit the next two points as Callanan opened his account from a free before Breen hit his second minor of the match. Galway went two points clear again as Conor Cooney fired over from play.

A fine effort from Brendan Maher left the score 1-03 to 0-05 after ten minutes as Tipp began to dominate.

Following Maher's point, they scored the next four points as Callanan (2 frees), Noel McGrath and John McGrath all found the target as the Munster side went two points clear, 0-09 to 1-03 by the 14th minute.

Galway realised they were in a game and as Burke and Coen dominated more and more, they went on a scoring spree with Canning hitting three unanswered points (two frees and a '65), then David Burke scored a huge effort from the middle of the field, Joseph Cooney added another point before a Canning free made it 1-09 to 0-9 by the 29th minute.

Tipp had gone 16 minutes without a score as Galway dominated, but a Callanan free stopped the rot. The Tribesmen were almost in for a second goal as a ball played across the goal was gathered by the unmarked Conor Cooney and just as he was about to pull the trigger, Paidi Maher who earlier had hit Canning with a thundering shoulder that saw the Galway forward need treatment off the field, got a great hook in on Cooney.

Callanan (free) and Jason Flynn exchanged points to bring the half to a close, but this was the end of Canning's participation as he pulled his hamstring.

Two Callanan frees inside two minutes of the restart had Tipperary on level terms as Tipp started the second half really well.

A second point for Flynn edged Galway back in front, but Breen's third score of the game restored parity by the 39th minute.

A Callanan '65 was cancelled out by a Conor Cooney free and then Joseph Cooney intercepted a Seamus Kennedy pass and drove through before slotting the ball in the net, 2-12 to 0-15.

Callanan (free), Noel McGrath and Ronan Maher all pointed to draw the sides level again 2-12 to 0-18.

Cooney was on target with another free to see Galway get their noses in front again and Conor Whelan stretched their lead soon after.

A huge point by Paidi Maher left the scores 2-14 to 0-19, but Conor Cooney fired over a free to make it a two-point game after 59 minutes.

Then Tipp stepped up with their two goals, first John McGrath found Bubbles who still had a lot of work to do, but he squeezed the ball under Colm Callanan.

From the puck out Cooney pointed from play, before Tipp were back up the field and the ball was in the net after Callanan flicked the ball to John McGrath and the youngster fired to the net, to leave the score 2-19 to 2-16.

Galway hit the last two points through a Cooney free and substitute Shane Moloney, but time was not on their side.

Tipperary - D Gleeson; C Barrett, J Barry, M Cahill; S Kennedy, R Maher (0-1), Pádraic Maher (0-1); B Maher (0-1), M Breen (0-3); D McCormack, Patrick Maher, N McGrath (0-3); J McGrath (1-1), S Callanan (0-9), N O'Meara. Subs - J O'Dwyer (1-0) for O'Meara, J Forde for N McGrath, S Curran for Breen, T Hamill for Kennedy.

Galway - C Callanan; A Harte, Daithí Burke, J Hanbury; A Tuohy, P Mannion, G McInerney; David Burke (0-1), J Coen; C Mannion, J Cooney (1-1), J Canning (0-5); J Flynn (0-2), C Whelan (0-2), C Cooney (1-6). Subs - A Smith for Tuohy, C Donnellan for Canning, S Moloney (0-1) for Whelan, N Burke for C Mannion, D Collins for Hart.

Ref - B Kelly (Westmeath)

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