By Daragh Ó Conchúir
GALWAY manager Mark Dunne revealed that it was a healthy respect of the dangers Tipperary offered that saw his charges impose themselves in such deadly fashion early on, settling this Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Championship Quarter-Final at Semple Stadium by scoring the first 10 points.
The westerners will play Cork in the Semi-Final at the Gaelic Grounds on August 19th and it is a challenge they will be looking forward to after this clinical display.
At their best, Galway possess many threats and Tipp were unable to deal with most of them. To give Brian Boyle’s crew due credit, they recovered well to trail by just seven at the interval, 0-12 to 0-5, but Ailish O’Reilly’s goal early in the second half finished the game as a contest.
“We came down here to get the win” said player of the match Tara Kenny on RTÉ2. “Our only focus was this match. We’ll keep the head down for the next few weeks and go for it.
“We did lose focus there for a few minutes but at half time we regrouped and put the head down again.”
Getting out of the blocks was crucial according to Dunne.
“We got a good start and that stood to us throughout the game. We knew if we let Tipperary get a foothold in the game we’d be in trouble. It was probably easier than we thought it would be in the end but it was good that we pressed on and didn’t take the foot off the pedal too much.
“I’d say the fact we let it slip the last 10 minutes of the first half, let it slip maybe 10 or 15 per cent… so that kept us on our toes in the second half.
“We’re no longer favourites (in the semi-final) and that’s very fair I suppose. It’s where we want to be. We definitely didn’t take this game for granted. We know there’s bigger tests ahead but this should stand to us and hopefully it will, we’ll move on and improve again the next day.”
The McGrath sisters Siobhán, Orlaith and Niamh were all prominent in those early exchanges, while Maria Cooney and the balletic Niamh Kilkenny were also too hot to handle.
Ciardha Maher and Orla O’Dwyer took the fight to Galway in the second quarter and when O’Dwyer pointed at the beginning of the second half, it was just a six-point game.
O’Reilly’s goal gave Tipp a mountain to climb however and with the wind at their backs, Galway put the game to bed as Ann Marie Starr, Niamh McGrath, Aoife Donohue and Kilkenny kept the scoreboard ticking over.
SCORERS FOR GALWAY: A O’Reilly 1-7(0-6fs, 0-1 45); N Kilkenny 0-4; N McGrath 0-3; M Cooney, S McGrath 0-2 each; O’McGrath, A M Starr, A Donohue, C Finnerty 0-1 each
SCORERS FOR TIPPERARY: C Devane 0-3(2fs), Ciardha Maher 0-2, O O’Dwyer 0-2, M Teehan 0-1, Megan Ryan 0-1, R Howard
GALWAY: Sarah Healy, S Dervan, R Black, T Kenny, H Cooney, R Hennelly, L Ryan, O McGrath, A M Starr, N McGrath, M Cooney, N Kilkenny, A Donohue, A O’Reilly, S McGrath. Subs: N Hanniffy for Cooney (51), C McGrath for Black (55), Shauna Healy for Kenny (56), C Finnerty for Donohue (58), N Coen for S McGrath 58)
TIPPERARY: O McEniry, C Walsh, G Grace, J A Bourke, A McGrath, Caoimhe Maher, C Quirke, E Fryday, Megan Ryan, O O’Dwyer, C Devane, N Walsh, Mary Ryan, R Howard, Ciardha Maher. Subs: M Teehan for McGrath temp (23, McGrath for Fryday 33), T Ryan for Caoimhe Maher (37), E Loughman for Bourke (37), M Campion for Walsh (53)
REFEREE: O Elliott (Antrim)