Allianz FL D2: Impressive victory for Tipperary
Allianz Football League Division Two
TIPPERARY 2-15 MEATH 1-10
By John Fallon at Semple Stadium
Tipperary might have got caught by Roscommon in their last home game, but they closed out the victory in fine style in freezing conditions in Semple Stadium.
Liam Kearns’ men never trailed and were well worth their eight points win over a Meath side who rallied after the interval, but were unable to sustain it.
Both sides had gone into the match with a win, a draw and a loss, so there was a lot to play for in front of a crowd of 1,291. Tipperary were good value for their 1-8 to 0-5 interval lead after producing a big second quarter.
They opened up a 0-3 to 0-1 advantage after five minutes thanks to efforts from Josh Keane, Liam McGrath and Conor Sweeney with Graham Reilly getting Meath off the mark.
Meath got back on levels terms at 0-4 apiece at the end of the opening quarter with Padraig McKeever landing two frees and Sean Tobin also finding the range.
But Tipperary pulled away towards the break with some quality points and struck a huge blow just before the interval when Michael Quinlivan fielded a delivery from the left by Sweeney and he rifled the ball to the net.
Meath’s best spell came just after the restart. The Royals made a blistering start to the second-half with McKeever pointing a free and then James McEntee and Reilly quickly added points to cut the gap to 1-8 to 0-8 after 38 minutes.
However, the decisive moment came when Tipperary’s Bill Maher soloed in from the left before drilling the ball low to the net after 48 minutes.
Sweeney added a good free from the right directly afterwards and then one in front of the posts to lead by 2-10 to 0-8.
McKeever and Steven O’Brien swapped points before Sweeney landed one from play on his way to an impressive haul of 0-9.
Meath threatened a late revival when Bryan Menton got through for a goal seven minutes from time cut the gap to six points.
But Tipperary ensured there would be no repeat of Roscommon’s late rally and Sweeney eased the home nerves with a point from play as they eased their way to an impressive victory.
Scorers for Tipperary: Conor Sweeney 0-9 (6fs), Michael Quinlivan 1-1, Bill Maher 1-0, Liam Casey 0-1, Steven O’Brien 0-1, Josh Keane 0-1, Liam McGrath 0-1, Sean Carey 0-1.
Scorers for Meath: Padraig McKeever 0-4 (4fs), Bryan Menton 1-0, James McEntee 0-2, Graham Reilly 0-2, Sean Tobin 0-1, Thomas O’Reilly 0-1.
TIPPERARY: Evan Comerford; Alan Campbell, Shane O’Connell, Kevin Fahey; John Meagher, Robbie Kiely, Jimmy Feehan; Liam Casey, Steven O’Brien; Brian Fox, Josh Keane, Liam McGrath; Conor Sweeney, Bill Maher, Michael Quinlivan.
Subs: Paddy Codd for O’Connell (36), Liam Boland for Fahey (61), George Hannigan for O’Brien (66), Sean Carey for McGrath (70).
MEATH: Andrew Colgan; Seamus Lavin, Conor McGill, Donal Keegan; Daniel O’Neill, Mickey Burke, Shane McEntee; Bryan Menton, Harry Rooney; James McEntee, Graham Reilly, Eamon Wallace; Sean Tobin, Padraig McKeever, Cillian O’Sullivan.
Subs: Brian Power for O’Neill (29), Bryan McMahon for Tobin (34), Donal Lenihan for O’Sullivan (52), Adam Flanagan for Rooney (57), Thomas O’Reilly for McKeever (57), Brian Conlon for S McEntee (68).
REFEREE: Niall Cullen (Fermanagh).