GAA: Galway book quarter-final against Kerry after seeing off Tipperary
By Pat McLoughlin
Last Updated: 26/07/14 9:18pm
A Shane Walsh-inspired Galway booked a football quarter-final date against Munster champions Kerry after holding off Tipperary 4-17 to 4-12 at O'Connor Park in Tullamore.
Half-forward Walsh was in imperious form before and after the Tribesmen blitzed their opponents with four goals in seven crazy minutes either side of half-time to give the Premier County a mountain to climb.
Fontáin Ó Curraoin's first for Galway, after 32 minutes, gave Alan Mulholland's side vital daylight at a crucial time and Tom Flynn (35+2), Danny Cummins' (36) and Michael Lundy (37) effectively settled the outcome in the westerners' favour.
Both teams started nervously with a series of wides, before beginning to exchange several points in quick succession – the sides level three times in the opening 15 minutes. Galway’s full forward line of Paul Conroy, Michael Martin and Cummins hit their first three scores, levelled out by two from Peter Acheson and Conor Sweeney’s free.
Tipp then opened a two-point gap with some typically bold scores from Steven O’Brien at midfield, and rising star Colin O’Riordan. But again, Galway levelled up by the half hour mark, before hitting Tipp with two goals inside the last five minutes of the half, in both cases taking advantage of a turnover in possession that would cost Tipp dearly.
Midfielder Ó Curraoin's struck first, charging at the Tipp goal after a neat exchange of passes from Martin and Conroy brought the ball out of opposition territory; then, fellow midfielder Flynn struck their second, Conroy involved again, with Martin providing the final pass on this occasion.
It left Tipp stunned at the break, trailing 2-7 to 0-7 and, when Galway started the second half with two goals in two minutes, the first from Cummins, promptly followed by Lundy the Premier men were staring at a big defeat. Walsh immediately added a point from play, and with that Galway were effectively out of sight – 4-8 to 0-7.
Tipp at least got the goals back, one by one, Brian Fox bursting through from the right side of goal, and brilliantly finishing on 47 minutes for the first, but by then Galway had both feet in the quarter-final, and the hope and promise of giving Kerry a good contest.
Not even the three further goals, from Sweeney, O'Riordan and Brian Mulvihill, could salvage Tipperary, and yet their pride remains intact after what was an impressive and enormously promising summer with the big ball.
Galway: S Walsh 0-5 (3f) D Lundy 1-1 D Cummins 1-1 D O'Curraoin 1-0 T Flynn 1-0 M Martin 0-3 P Conroy 0-3 S Armstrong 0-2 P Varley 0-1 D Comer 0-1
Tipperary: C Sweeney 1-4 (1pen, 4f) C O'Riordan 1-2 B Fox 1-0 B Mulvihill 1-0 P Acheson 0-2 S O'Brien 0-1 G Hannigan 0-1 M Quinlivan 0-1 B Grogan 0-1