Tipperary keep the flag flying for 1A in last four
Offaly start and finish well, but are torn apart in between by the power and quality of Tipp
Tipperary’s Seamus Callanan scored 2-11 against Offaly on Sunday. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Tipperary 4-28 Offaly 3-13
Tipperary recorded a predictably comprehensive win over Offaly in Tullamore on Sunday, to reach the semi-finals of the Division One hurling league.
Eighteen points separated the sides in a game where Tipperary’s superiority was never really tested, and they are the only team from 1A to progress to the last four.
Offaly competed well in the opening 10 minutes but this was as good as it got for them. The sides were level on three occasions with Shane Dooley’s free-taking and an Aidan Treacy point making it 0-4 each.
However, once Tipperary opened up the All-Ireland champions scored 1-5 without reply, with the goal coming from Séamus Callanan.
They continued to dominate for the rest of the first half, and they led by 1-14 to 0-7 at the break.
And they would have been further ahead but for a few bad wides.
With Callanan in fantastic form, Tipp really went for the jugular at the start of the second half. The points flew over from everywhere and they were 1-23 to 0-8 clear when their second goal arrived courtesy of substitute Paul Flynn in the 51st minute.
Offaly just couldn’t cope with the power and pace of the visitors and further goals from Steven O’Brien and Callanan put them 4-25 to 1-10 ahead inside the last 10 minutes.
Offaly finished strongly though, with Dooley bagging 2-2 in the last five minutes, but it proved far too little, too late.
TIPPERARY: D Gleeson; T Hamill, J Barry, A Fynn; S Kennedy, R Maher, P Maher; M Breen (0-3), J Forde; D McCormack (0-4), N O’Meara (0-5), N McGrath (0-1); J O’Dwyer (0-1), S Callanan (2-11, 7f and 1 ‘65’), J McGrath.
Subs - S O’Brien (1-1)for N McGrath (H/t), P Flynn (1-1) for J McGrath (42m), C Barrett for Hamill (45m), D Quinn for P Maher (51m), S Cahill (0-1) for O’Meara (63m).
OFFALY: J Dempsey; P Rigney, M Cleary, E Grogan; D King, D Shortt, S Gardiner; A Treacy (0-1), S Ryan (0-1); P Murphy (0-2), S Dooley (2-8, 6f), O Kelly (1-0); S Cleary, C Kiely (0-1), E Nolan.
Subs - P Camon for Kiely (28m), P Geraghty for Nolan (h/t), T Carroll for Murphy (50m), P Guinan for M Cleary (51m), L Langton for Gardiner (59m).
Referee: C Lyons (Cork).