It was a game which never really came to life here at Semple Stadium, Thurles, this afternoon, as Tipperary calmly eased their way past Dublin with a 2-23 (29 pts) to 0-16 (16 pts) final score-line, in the All-Ireland 2014 Senior Hurling Championship Quarter-Final.
Earlier this afternoon and from the very same venue, disappointed Wexford hurling fans had limping home after being totally decimated by Limerick, in front of an attendance of some 43,000 plus.
The following, rather one-sided and sometimes sloppy Tipp / Dub encounter, saw Tipperary’s John O’Dwyer rifle home two goals in the second-half, thus setting themselves up for an All-Ireland semi-final showdown with old and respected rivals Cork, set for August 17th next.
Dublin, working into a stiff breeze, managed only to take the lead once during this match; when Danny Sutcliffe landed the first point after less than a minute from start. This was answered by Lar Corbett, with two points from opposite wings. Within the first 15 minutes Dublin would reduce their deficit to come within one point of Tipp; (Tipp 0-05 – Dublin 0-04), but this would be as close as they would come for the duration of the match.
Seamus Callanan, yet again, produced another unblemished and gifted display from placed balls and with points also coming from Bonner Maher, John O’Dwyer, Noel McGrath and Gearoid Ryan the Tipperary scoreboard was displaying a seven point lead at half-time.
Tipperary, now against the breeze, continued to lengthen this divide following the restart with both Ryan and Callanan grabbing the first scores of the second-half, leaving Eamon O’Shea’s men with nine points to the good.
Dublin did get a chance to reduce Tipperary’s rapidly rising margin, through a penalty following Barrett’s fouling of Dotsie O’Callaghan, however Brendan Maher was on hand to deny the intended goal, leaving the Dub’s Conal Keaney to gain a mere point from the rebound and Tipperary six points in the clear after 50 minutes.
From then on Dublin’s efforts were facing a stiff climb and Tipperary’s John O’Dwyer would now wrap it up with his first goal, aided greatly by the combined passing of Woodlock and Callanan. O’Dywer’s second goal would come just 16 minutes from full-time from a rebound following a save by Dublin goalkeeper Alan Nolan.
Tipperary march on.
Tipperary Team: D. Gleeson, P. Stapleton, P. Maher, C. Barrett, B. Maher, J. Barry, S. McGrath, K. Bergin, J. Woodlock, G. Ryan, P. Maher, J. O’Dwyer, N. McGrath, S. Callanan and L. Corbett.
Subs: D. Maher for P. Maher, D. Maher for N. McGrath, J. Forde for G. Ryan. E. Kelly for L. Corbett, S. Bourke for P. Maher and T. Stapleton for J. Woodlock.
Tipperary Scorers: Seamus Callanan 0-12, John O’Dwyer 2-1 (7 pts), Gearoid Ryan 0-3, Lar Corbett 0-2, Shane Bourke, James Woodlock, Shane McGrath and Noel McGrath 0-1 apiece.
Referee: B. Gavin (Offaly).