Tipperary come from a long way back to stun Cavan

Premier County were six points down at half-time at Breffni Park

Conor Sweeney scored a penalty as Tipperart fought back to beat Cavan at Kingspan Breffni Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Conor Sweeney scored a penalty as Tipperart fought back to beat Cavan at Kingspan Breffni Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

 

Cavan 0-18 Tipperary 2-15

Tipperary outscored a fitful Cavan side by 1-7 to 0-1 in the opening 21 minutes of the second half en route to winning a thrilling All-Ireland SFC Round 2B Qualifier at Kingspan Breffni Park on Saturday.

In front of 6,054 sun-splashed spectators, the Premier County produced some champagne football in the second half to leave long-time leaders Cavan punch drunk at the death.

Cavan played against a stiffening breeze in the first half but eased their way into the lead (0-4 to 0-3) for the first time in the 14th minute when Martin Reilly split the posts.

The hosts kept their hands on the tiller with impressive debutant Caoimhín O’Reilly just one of eight Cavan players to get on the scoresheet in the first half.

In contrast, Tipp lacked invention and the necessary finishing power and were overly reliant on the free-taking expertise of Conor Sweeney to keep them in touch.

In energy-sapping conditions, Cavan led by 0-9 to 0-4 before the butt of the post saved them in the 23rd minute after Robbie Kiely’s forceful run set alarm bells ringing in the home defence.

Tipp were spring-heeled as they sought to eat into Cavan’s 0-12 to 0-6 interval lead and a Sweeney free inside 38 seconds set the scene for a hugely contrasting second half.

Niall McDermott’s free on 46 minutes marked Cavan’s opening score of the second half and left Tipp trailing by 0-10 to 0-13.

Bolstered by the introduction of All-Star Michael Quinlivan,Tipp proceeded to dominate the middle third of the field and the scores duly flowed.

Sweeney’s superb penalty conversion after sub Philip Austin was fouled handed the Munstermen the lead (1-13 to 0-13) on 56 minutes and left Cavan desperately seeking a match-saving goal of their own.

However, it was Tipp who finished on the front foot with a point from sub Diarmaid Foley putting the seal on his county’s first SFC victory over Cavan in 82 years.

CAVAN: R Galligan; P Faulkner (0-1), K Brady, J McLoughlin; J McEnroe, N Murray, C Moynagh (0-1); L Buchanan, T Corr (0-2); C Mackey (0-1), M Reilly (0-2), C Brady; C O’Reilly (0-2), G McKiernan (0-3, one free), D McVeety (0-1).

Sub: N McDermott (0-2, both frees) for C Brady (inj, 12 mins); R Connolly for L Buchanan (h/t); T Galligan (0-1) for T Corr (48 mins); J Dillon for N McDermott (56 mins); S Johnston (0-2, one free) for C O’Reilly (inj, 60 mins); N Clerkin for D McVeety (b/c, 64 mins).

TIPPERARY: C Kenrick; C O’Shaughnessy, A Campbell, E Moloney; B Maher, R Kiely (1-1), J Feehan; L Casey, G Hannigan; J Keane, L Boland, B Fox (0-1); Conor Sweeney (1-5, 1-0 pen, five frees), Kevin O’Halloran (0-2, one free), Jack Kennedy (0-3, two frees).

Sub: D Foley (0-1) for L Boland (23 mins); P Austin (0-1) for C O’Shaughnessy (h/t); M Quinlivan (0-1) for G Hannigan (49 mins); L McGrath for K O’Halloran (69 mins); K Bergin for B Maher (73 mins).

Referee: Fergal Kelly (Longford)

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