Tipperary untroubled en route to semis


Tipperary 2-16 Offaly 2-11

Tipperary will play Kilkenny in next month's All-Ireland semi-final after a facile victory over a disappointing Offaly side at Croke Park this afternoon.

The Munster side dominated the game from the throw-in, playing a faster, more direct game that ruffled and upset Offaly's game plan.

Both sides matched each other score for score in the opening 20 minutes but Tipperary stretched away when Brian O'Meara kicked the opening goal of the game past Brian Mullins half an hour in.

That score put Tipperary five points ahead and they stretched that lead again to take to the break on a scoreline of 1-8 to 0-5.

John Carroll, a thorn in the Offaly defence throughout, then killed off the contest two minutes after the restart with a goal of the highest quality.

Mark O'Leary was selfless in lobbing a deft pass to Carroll 20 yards out and he swiveled and unleashed a rocket of a shot - that Mullins had no hope of getting his stick to - high into the net. Tipperary now led by 10 points.

Offaly cobbled together a couple of scores - Rory Hannify hitting a smart brace midway through the half - but Tipperary successfully kept their opponents at arms length as the forwards made best use of the excellent ball supplied by the half-back line.

The Leinster side made their own scoreline more respectable with two late goals. Captain Gary Hanniffy netted with two minutes to play while Neville Coughlan belted an unstoppable shot past Brendan Cummins in injury time.

Tipperary, despite just a five point winning margin, were in reality far superior to their rivals but will nevertheless be concerned with the way they switched off in the closing minutes to allow Offaly their consolation scores. Kilkenny will be an altogether different task in three weeks time.