All-Ireland SHC Qualifier: Tipperary crush Dublin
All-Ireland SHC Round 2 Qualifier
TIPPERARY 6-26 DUBLIN 1-19
By John Harrington at Semple Stadium.
Reigning All-Ireland Champions Tipperary won’t be giving up their crown without a fight.
The Premier County obliterated Dublin in a one-sided Round 2 All-Ireland SHC Qualifier in Semple Stadium on an evening when their star-men returned to formidable form.
Seamus Callanan finished with 3-11 to his name, 3-4 of which was scored from play; John McGrath hit 2-2; and John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer and Jason Forde scored four points apiece.
Dublin simply couldn’t cope in the face of such firepower, and were riddled with bullet-holes by the time the final whistle blew.
It could have been even worse – goalkeeper Conor Dooley made three brave saves from Callanan, O’Dwyer, and Dan McCormack that prevented the final scoring from being even more embarrassing.
Right from the start of the match, Dublin’s defending came with a health warning.
They elected to go man for man against the Tipperary forwards and were leaving a huge amount of space between their half-back and full-back lines.
And when the opposition full-forward line comprises of Seamus Callanan, John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer, and John McGrath, that’s a just asking for trouble.
Callanan had struggled to hit his usual heights so far this year for Tipperary coming into the match, but he couldn’t have asked for a more conducive environment to play himself into form.
His first goal came after eight minutes when he collected a Michael Breen delivery, bore down on goal, and finished low and hard to the bottom left-hand corner.
That put Tipperary five points ahead, but Dublin’s response was impressive as they hit the next two points and then drew level when Cian O’Sullivan torched Donagh Maher for pace and then fired the ball past Darren Gleeson for a brilliant goal.
By now the Tipperary management team were growing more and more animated on the sideline, but they needn’t have worried, this was just a temporary set-back.
Tipp got back on track when John McGrath got on the end of a long Paudie Maher delivery and bundled the ball to the back of the net from close range.
He followed that up with a point after being set up thanks to some typically Trojan work from Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher who’s work-rate was immense throughout the match.
McGrath then scored his second and Tipp’s third goal when Seamus Callanan did brilliantly to rob Shane Barrett of possession before picking out the Loughmore-Castliney man with a delicious lofted pass.
McGrath showed great poise to lob the ball first-time over the advancing Conor Dooley for a goal that pushed Tipp six points clear.
Tipp’s fourth goal came shortly before half-time, and it was another cracking finish.
The tireless Bonner Maher picked out Callanan with a pass, and though the angle seemed prohibitive, he somehow hit the back of the net with a first-time pull on the ground.
Dublin rallied before the break with a couple of frees from David Treacy, but still trailed at half-time by 4-11 to 1-10.
Things went from bad to worse for Ger Cunningham’s at the start of the second-half when Michael Breen ran half the length of the pitch before driving a scoring shot to the roof of the net.
Tipperary then reeled off unanswered seven points in a row to leave no-one in any doubt whatsoever that this contest was done and dusted.
The rest of the match was a procession with substitute Steven O’Brien producing a nice cameo performance and Jason Forde going from strength to strength on the wing.
It was fitting that Seamus Callanan should have the last say though, and he fired home Tipp’s sixth goal in injury-time after being set up by a selfless piece of play from John O’Dwyer.
The confidence that Tipperary seemed to lose in the aftermath of their heavy League Final defeat to Galway looks like it has returned.
That should be a major worry for every other team left in this Championship.
Scorers for Tipperary: Seamus Callanan 3-11 (7f), John McGrath 2-2, John O’Dwyer 0-4, Jason Forde 0-4, Michael Breen 1-0, Steven O’Brien 0-2, Dan McCormack 0-1, Padraic Maher 0-1, Brendan Maher 0-1.
Scorers for Dublin: David Treacy 0-11 (8f), Cian O’Sullivan 1-1, Ryan O’Dwyer 0-2, Liam Rushe 0-2, David O’Callaghan 0-1, Chris Crummey 0-1, Rian McBride 0-1.
*TIPPERARY: *Darren Gleeson; Donagh Maher, Tomás Hamill, James Barry; Joe O’Dwyer, Ronan Maher, Pádraic Maher; Brendan Maher, Michael Breen; Brendan Maher, Michael Breen; Jason Forde, Patrick Maher, Dan McCormack; John O’Dwyer, Séamus Callanan, John McGrath.
Subs: Seamus Kennedy for Ronan Maher, 45; Steven O’Brien for Dan McCormack, 49; Noel McGrath for Brendan Maher, 49; Michael Cahill for Donagh Maher, 55; Tom Fox for Pádraic Maher, 66.
DUBLIN: Conor Dooley; Cian O’Callaghan, Eoghan O’Donnell, Fionn Ó Riain Broin; Seán Moran, Chris Crummey, Shane Barrett; Ben Quinn, Niall McMorrow; Donal Burke, Liam Rushe, Cian O’Sullivan; Eamon Dillon, Ryan O’Dwyer, David Treacy.
Subs: James Madden for Shane Barrett, 24; Fergal Whitely for Niall McMorrow, ht; David O’Callaghan for Donal Burke, ht; Tomás Connolly for Sean Moran, 68; Rian McBride for David Treacy, 57.
Ref: Alan Kelly (Galway)