Hurlers blown out of championship by Tipperary

The Galway hurlers led Tipperary in the All-Ireland qualifier last Saturday in Semple Stadium by 4-12 to 1-15 after 52 minutes.

However, Tipp then took over, ripping into Galway and outscoring Anthony Cunningham's men by 2-10 to 0-1 in the final quarter.

It was a decisive turnaround and a nine-point defeat was a disappointing way for Galway's season to end.

They can be no arguments about the victory. In their moment of crisis, it was a stunning response from Eamon O' Shea's men and they can go from strength to strength in the next few games after such a huge confidence  boost.

It is different for Galway.  It is the county's earliest exit from the championship since 1969.

Based on last Saturday night and the Kilkenny replay defeat, the bottom line is that this current Galway team is just not good enough to compete with the top four or five sides in the country at the moment.

That was proven in 2013 following comprehensive defeats to Dublin and Clare in the championship, and it was reiterated over the past two weekends. It is not a criticism, only a reality that cannot be denied.

As regards the game itself, 4-13 was a solid score to get, and Jonathan Glynn caused a lot of problems for the Tipp full-back line, scoring two goals and setting up one. However Galway had problems in their defence.

The fact that Seamus Callanan hit 3-1 from play from full-forward, allied to John O' Dwyer's 0-6 from play from corner forward and Noel McGrath hitting 0-5 from a roving role, highlights the difficulties the Tipp forward line posed for the Galway rearguard, especially when they were getting good quality ball in from out the field.

The final winning margin of nine points is flattering to Tipperary and does not give much credit to Galway's gallant effort for a large part of the tie.

The game was in the balance until deep in the second half and the sides were level for the sixth and final time nine minutes from the end.

However, it would be naive to think Tipp did not fully merit their victory. When the chips were down, and the game was there to be won, it was Tipp who really turned up the revs and left Galway trailing in their wake.

Galway looked tired near the end and Tipp found it easy to score in the final few minutes.

Galway manager Anthony Cunningham, while dejected after the defeat, highlighted some positives from the championship run.

"Five or six new players have been blooded and I can't fault any of our guys. They gave everything and just ran out of steam.

"It is very hard to take. It was a tremendous game and you wouldn't have seen that finish when we went ahead. Tipperary got some very good scores and deserved their win. They finished the stronger team."

Galway: C Callanan, F Moore, R Burke, D Collins, J Coen, Daithi Burke, I Tannian, A Smith, P Brehony (0-1 ), David Burke (1-0 ), J Canning, cpt (0-5 ), C Mannion (0-2 ), J Flynn (1-0 ),  C Cooney (0-4 ), J Glynn (2-0 ), Subs: J Cooney for Brehony (ht ), D Glennon (0-1 ) for David Burke (ht ), A Harte for Smith (46 ), N Burke for Tannian (58 ), D Hayes for Mannion (68 ).

Tipperary: D Gleeson; P Stapleton, Padraic Maher, M Cahill; B Maher, J Barry, C Barrett; R Maher, J Woodlock (0-1 ); G Ryan, Patrick Maher (0-1 ), N McGrath (0-5 ),; J O’Dwyer (0-6 ), S Callanan (3-08 ), L Corbett (0-2 ).Subs: K Bergin (0-1 ) for R Maher (35 ), S McGrath (0-1 ) for G Ryan (69 ), J O’Brien for Corbett (70+2 ).


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