Ryan goal sets Tipperary on way to convincing victory


GAELIC GAMES/Tipperary 1-20 Offaly 0-10:ALL-IRELAND champions Tipperary picked up their second set of points in this year’s National League campaign with a deserved victory over a disappointing Offaly side in Nenagh yesterday.

Tipperary manager Declan Ryan handed Loughmore-Castleiney’s Eddie Connolly his debut with Benny Dunne and Eoin Kelly returning to action while Offaly made five changes from last week’s outing against Dublin with David Franks, David Kenny, Daniel Currams, Odhran Kealy and Michael Kealy all handed starting berths.

Tipp started brightly with points from Benny Dunne and Pa Bourke but they were dealt an early blow when captain Eoin Kelly was forced off with a fingernail injury after just five minutes.

Playing with the aid of a slight breeze, Offaly kept within touching distance thanks to efforts from Brian Carroll and Joe Bergin but Tipperary maintained a lead until a cracking Brendan Maher point coupled with a well-taken Gearóid Ryan goal fired them six clear in the 23rd minute.

Offaly replied with Michael Cordial and Brian Carroll firing over before Brendan Maher again bisected the uprights. Cordial was on target deep into injury time to ensure his side trailed by just four at the break, 0-8 to 1-9.

Tipp made three changes at the break with Lar Corbett making a return to competitive action, while John Coughlan and James Woodlock also took the field. Their dominance in the middle of the field continued in the second half as Maher and Ryan provided the platform for numerous Tipperary attacks, while Dunne and Shane Bourke proved lively in attack.

Offaly’s inability to breakdown a resolute Tipperary rearguard allowed the men in blue and gold to tack on points with ease throughout the second half with Shane Bourke, Pa Bourke Brendan Maher, Benny Dunne, Gearóid Ryan and John O’Keefe all raising a white flag while Offaly managed to add just two points to their interval tally.

In the end it was a resounding 13-point victory for Declan Ryan’s charges.

TIPPERARY: B Cummins; E Connolly, P Curran, M Cahill; P Stapleton, D Young, J O’Keefe (0-1); G Ryan (1-1), B Maher (0-4); B Dunne (0-4), N McGrath, P Maher; P Kelly, P Bourke (0-7, 0-3 frees), E Kelly. Subs: S Bourke (0-3) for E Kelly (5 mins); J Coughlan for Connolly (half-time); J Woodlock for Young (half-time); L Corbett for P Kelly (half-time); S Carey for McGrath (63 mins).

OFFALY: J Dempsey; S Egan, D Kenny, D Franks; M Verney, R Hanniffy, D Morkan; C Mahon, D Hayden; C Egan (0-1), J Bergin (0-2), M Cordial (0-2); O Kealey, D Currams (0-1), B Carroll (0-4, frees). Subs: J Mulrooney for Kealey (29 mins); C Parlon for Egan (51 mins); K Connolly for Cordial (67 mins); S Kelly for Mahon (68 mins); S Wynne for Hayden (71 mins).

Referee: J McGrath (Westmeath).