Tipperary v Offaly
Offaly started this match very brightly and for most of the first half it looked like Tipperary might have been California dreamin’ too early. But going a man down early seemed to spark the Premier county men and they’re off to San Francisco with cup in hand after raising their game near the heights shown all year.
Stephen Brown struck the sliotar cleanly, and Offaly struck first with a stylish early score. They jumped out to a 0-03 to 0-01 lead on the back of points from Stephen Hallissy and another free from Brown. Tipp’s Patrick Moriarty, one of several men on both sides playing their second match of the day, sent over a fine score from near the sideline.
Tipp’s Paul Morris picked up his second yellow card before halftime for a love tap on an Offaly knee. Stephen Brown didn’t let the resulting free go to waste, but Tipp came to life after Morris was shown red. They moved into the lead on the back of points from Russell Quirke, Sean Stafford, and Kieran Lowry, and Tipp led 0-14 to 0-08 at halftime.
Offaly’s Cathal Cusack was handed a red card shortly after the restart. Brown made the most of Offaly’s man advantage with two more frees, but the advantage disappeared after Alan Bergin was sent off. Both sides finished with eleven players.
Tipp increased their lead with a Cronan Dempsey point, the center back putting his name on the score sheet after steeling his side all day. Stephen Brown kept Offaly in touching distance with a beautiful free, and Chris McMahon buried a goal to cut Tipp’s lead to just two points.
Tipp needed a score and got two from their center forward, Jimmy Maher, who powered the ball over the line to send the green flag waving. Tipp were made to sweat in the final minutes, but raised the cup with a 1-20 to 1-15 victory.
Offaly: G. Sherlock, B. Dempsey, C. Cusack, J. Murray, J. Rigney, T. Rigney, A. McRedmond, S. Brown, A. Cleary, C. McMahon, S. Hallissy, A. Bergin, M. Blake
Tipperary: S. Delaney, S. McGarr, C. Madden, P. Moriarty, C. Dempsey, P. Morris, S. Kennedy, K. Lowry, D. Nyland, J. Maher, F. O’Carroll, S. Stafford, R. Quirke,
By Mark Dunphy