Conal Kennedy, Tipperary, and Niall Donnelly, Wicklow, in Allianz Football League action at Semple Stadium.
Conal Kennedy, Tipperary, and Niall Donnelly, Wicklow, in Allianz Football League action at Semple Stadium.

Allianz FL D3 South: Tipperary prove too strong for Wicklow

Allianz Football League Division Three South


By Shane Brophy at Semple Stadium

Tipperary were forced to dig deep to secure their first victory in division three with this three point victory over Wicklow at Semple Stadium.

Goals in either half from Conor Sweeney and debutant Philip Ryan were the crucial scores as Tipperary finished with 13 men following the sending off of Emmet Moloney for two bookable offences, while Jimmy Feehan was black-carded deep injury time after the referee had adjudged he deliberately fouled Kevin Quinn in a goal-scoring position, leading to a penalty which was converted by Seanie Furlong, but it proved too late for the Leinster-men.

Wicklow went into an early lead through Seanie Furlong but lost JP Hurley to a sin-bin after just seven minutes. Tipp made early use of the numerical advantage with Sean O’Connor (2), Conor Sweeney and Steven O’Brien on target to open up a three point lead.

Wicklow’s high tempo yielded chances with Conor Byrne denied by Michael O’Reilly. However, they would kick the next five points from the lively Andy Maher, Eoin Darcy (2), Podge O’Toole and Niall Donnelly to take a two-point lead after 27 minutes.

Tipperary were struggling but their All-Star forward Conor Sweeney conjured up a goal on 31 minutes, finishing a move involving Brian Fox and Colman Kennedy. A late free from goalkeeper Mark Jackson saw the sides go in level at half time, 1-4 to 0-7.

The sides remained deadlocked on 51 minutes when Tipperary scored their second goal after Nicky Devereux was caught in possession by Conor Sweeney and with Wicklow pushed up, Philip Ryan was left all alone to take a Sean O’Connor pass and side-steeping the keeper he goaled from close range.

Tipp played with greater fluidity thereafter with midfielder Steven O’Brien in fine form but they couldn’t shake off the Wicklow challenge, however, they did enough in the end to get the win to keep their promotion hopes alive.

Scorers for Tipperary: Conor Sweeney 1-3 (2fs); Sean O’Connor 0-5 (4 frees); Steven O’Brien 0-3; Philip Ryan 1-0; Conal Kennedy 0-1.

Scorers for Wicklow: Seanie Furlong 1-2 (1-0 pen, 2fs);E Darcy (2fs), M Jackson (3 frees) 0-3 each; Andy Maher, Niall Donnelly, Podge O’Toole, Mark Kenny 0-1 each.

TIPPERARY: Michael O’Reilly; Colm O’Shaughnessy, Jimmy Feehan, Alan Campbell; Emmet Moloney, Paudie Feehan, Brian Fox; Steven O’Brien, Conal Kennedy; Jason Lonergan, Colman Kennedy, Conor Bowe; Philip Ryan, Conor Sweeney, Sean O’Connor.

Subs: Jack Harney for O’Shaughnessy (28); Jack Kennedy for Lonergan (HT); Liam Boland for Colman Kennedy (43); Padraic Looram for Fox (43); Shane Foley for P Feehan (53); Riain Quigley for O’Connor (68); Tadhg Fitzgerald for Ryan (68).

WICKLOW: Mark Jackson; Oisin Manning, Nicky Devereux, Ross O’Brien; Andy Maher, Niall Donnelly, Dave Devereux; Podge O’Toole, JP Hurley; Mark Kenny, Dean Healy, Darragh Fitzgerald; Eoin Darcy, Seanie Furlong, Conor Byrne.

Subs: Arran Murphy for Maher (25 inj); Daniel Keane for Fitzgerald (46); Patrick O’Connor for Hurley (53); Christopher O’Brien for O’Toole (63); Jamie Snell for R O’Brien (63); Cathal McGee for Darcy (68); Eoin Murtagh for D Devereux (68).

REFEREE: Seamus Mulvihill (Kerry).