All Ireland SFC R1: Down advance
All-Ireland SFC Round 1 Qualifier
DOWN 1-13 TIPPERARY 1-10
By Dan Bannon at Pairc Esler
Down rebounded back from their exhausting extra time exit from the Ulster Championship at the hands of Armagh to dump Tipperary out of the qualifiers in Pairc Esler.
Ultimately, Down picked up their first Qualifier victory since 2014 as Tipperary were no match for Paddy Tally’s men in the final quarter.
Donal O’Hare was on hand to finish a Down opening at the third time of asking on the 59th minute to inspire the home side.
After a shaky start Conor Sweeney finally opened Tipperary’s account with a free after nine minutes.
Once they connected with their foot passes in particular the Munster men eventually opened up the Down rearguard. Philip Austin profited with a fine goal after a clever line of running.
Down corner back Darren O’Hagan bombed up the field to land an inspirational effort. The Clonduff clubman's tussle with Michael Quinlavin was well contested throughout.
The sides were level on two occasions towards the end of the half with Rory Burns and Jack Kennedy trading 45’s.
However, Philip Austin would have the final say on the half with a well taken point from a similar arching run as his goal before Sweeney added another free to his tally. Tipperary led by 1-5 to 0-5 at half-time.
Harrison and Havern linked up well and each landed points but Sweeney kept the Tipp scoreboard ticking with a free that was brought forward, their second of the half.
Then Donal O’Hare opened his account with a powerful shot along the deck, opportunistic finish from the Down talisman after two goal mouth scrambles.
Replacement Cory Quinn secured the comeback victory with three points from off the bench down the home stretch in what was a defining introduction.
Following the game Liam Kearns announced he was stepping down as Tipperary manager, ending his four year term over the Premier County.
Scorers for Down: Pat Havern and Cory Quinn 0-3 each, Donal O’Hare 1-0, Connaire Harrison 0-2, Jerome Johnstone, Rory Burns (45),Barry O’Hagan, Paul Devlin and Darren O’Hagan 0-1 each
Scorers for Tipperary: Conor Sweeney 0-4 (4fs), Philip Austin 1-1, Liam McGrath 0-2, Michael Quinlavin, Jack Kennedy (45) and Liam Casey 0-1 each
DOWN: Rory Burns; Brendan McArdle, Darren O’Hagan, Gerard Collins; Ryan McAleenan, Kevin McKernan, Daniel Guinness; Johnny Flynn, Conor Poland; Conor Francis, Pat Havern, James Guinness; Jerome Johnston Donal O’Hare, Connaire Harrison.
Subs: Paul Devlin for C Poland (25), Owen McCabe for D Guinness (h-t), Pierce Laverty for J Guinness (37) Cory Quinn for J Johnstone (37), Barry O’Hagan for Havern (57), Conor Maginn for D O’Hare (70).
TIPPERARY: Evan Comerford; Alan Campbell, John Meagher, Shane O’Connell; Daire Brennan, Robbie Kiely, Emmet Moloney; Steven O’Brien, Jack Kennedy; Josh Keane, Philip Austin, Brian Fox; Conor Sweeney, Michael Quinlavin, Liam McGrath.
Subs: Bill Maher for L McGrath (56), Liam Casey for J kennedy (58), Kevin Fahey for E Moloney (62), Liam Boland for P Austin (65), Paul Maher for J Keane (69).
REFEREE: Fergal Kelly (Longford).