Allianz HL QF: Dublin surprise Tipperary
Allianz Hurling League Quarter-Final
DUBLIN 1-21 TIPPERARY 0-23
By John Fallon at Semple Stadium
Dublin advanced to the semi-finals of the competition after a hard-earned success in Thurles.
Mattie Kenny’s men will now face All-Ireland champions Limerick in the semi-finals next weekend when they will hope to reach the decider for the first time since that win over Kilkenny eight years ago.
Dublin never trailed in this well contested quarter-final in front of a crowd of 3,503 and came good when it mattered most in a tight finish.
Dublin led by 1-10 to 0-9 having played with the breeze in the opening half but Tipperary guilty of some wayward shooting, hitting nine wides to three for Dublin and by the end of the contest that read 18-6
Dublin made the better start and were good value for their 1-4 to 0-2 lead after 10 minutes.
The goal came from Fergal Whitely when he whipped it home from close range after a shot from Oisin O’Rourke was smothered by the home defence.
Jake Morris and John McGrath got the early scores for Tipperary after O’Rourke landed two early frees for Dublin and he landed a fine effort from play after full-back Eoghan O’Donnell delivered a long range score.
But Dublin did not push on from that bright start, with points from Chris Crummy and Sean Moran being cancelled by Jason Forde and Noel McGrath.
Jake Malone made it 1-7 to 0-4 to Dublin after 24 minutes before Tipperary finally got their radar sorted with Niall O’Meara, Forde and Seamus Callanan scoring good points.
Eamon Dillon and Rian McBride hit good efforts for Dublin but Morris responded for Breen.
Moran, one of three Dublin backs to score in the opening half, converted a free from 90 metres but Tipperary midfielder Michael Breen had the final say of the half with a fine point to leave four between at the interval.
It took Tipperary just four minutes to wipe out the Dublin advantage as Forde hit two frees and Morris and Noel McGrath the target to level the sides at 0-13 to 1-10.
Moran and Dillon hit back with points for Dublin but Forde cancelled these at the other end with a brace of frees.
One of the highlights of the evening was the return to action for Tipperary by Brendan Maher for the first time since suffering a cruciate injury last summer and both sets of supporters gave him a he reception.
But it was Dublin who seized the initiative with Cian Boland shooting two good points and another free from O’Rourke put them 1-15 to 0-15 in front going into the final quarter.
The introduction of Mark Kehoe added sharpness to the Tipperary attack and a couple of points from one of the heroes of their All-Ireland U-21 title last year got them back in contention before Forde levelled the match eight minutes from time.
Moran’s fourth point of the game edged Dublin back in front and Dillon and Paul Ryan also found the range but Tipp kept in touch through Callanan and Noel McGrath.
Ryan landed another fine effort but Dublin finished with 14 men when Danny Sutcliffe picked up a second yellow card and while a late Brendan Maher point ensured a nervous finish, they held on for a deserved success to set up a semi-final date with All-Ireland champions Limerick.
Scorers for Dublin: Oisin O’Rourke 0-5 (4fs), Sean Moran 0-5 (3fs, 1 ’65), Fergal Whitely 1-0, Eamon Dillon 0-3, Cian Boland 0-2, Paul Ryan 0-2, Eoghan O’Donnell 0-1, Rian McBridge 0-1, Jake Malone 0-1, Chris Crummy 0-1.
Scorers for Tipperary: Jason Forde 0-7 (6fs), Noel McGrath 0-3, Jake Morris 0-3, Michael Breen 0-2 (1f), Seamus Callanan 0-2 (1f), Mark Kehoe 0-2, John McGrath 0-1, Ronan Maher 0-1, Brendan Maher 0-1 (0-1f), Niall O’Meara 0-1.
DUBLIN: Alan Nolan; Paddy Smyth, Eoghan O’Donnell, Dáire Gray; Chris Crummy, Seán Moran, Darragh O’Connell; Ryan McBride, Seán Treacy; Danny Sutcliffe, Caolan Conway, Jake Malone; Fergal Whitely, Oisín O’Rourke, Eamonn Dillon.
Subs: Cian Boland for Malone (29), Malone for Treacy (36), John Hetherton for Conway (36), Paul Ryan for Whitely (56), Ronan Hayes for Malone (61), David Treacy for O’Rourke (69).
TIPPERARY: Paul Maher; Joe O’Dwyer, James Barry, Cathal Barrett; Ronan Maher, Robert Byrne, Padraic Maher; Noel McGrath, Michael Breen; Jake Morris, Niall O’Meara, Jason Forde; John O’Dwyer, Séamus Callanan, John McGrath.
Subs: Patrick Maher for John McGrath (34), Brendan Maher for Byrne (47), Mark Kehoe for John O’Dwyer (57), Alan Flynn for Breen (61).
REFEREE: P Murphy (Carlow).