But to be honest, it was only those who don’t follow this amazing side closely that hotly tipped Donegal as time and again Tipperary have, not merely upset, but absolutely bulldozed the apple cart out of their way.
And make no mistake about it, today’s win was thoroughly deserved. Michael O’Reilly, deputising for the injured Evan Comerford in goal, played like a veteran and made a stunning first-half penalty save that gave the Premier men great heart heading in for the half-time break. The men in front of him played the second half in such a miserly manner, limiting Donegal to just three points, that even Scrooge himself would have winced in embarrassment. Liam Casey exploded into the game in the frantic final minutes scoring 1-1 to ensure victory while Steven O’Brien gave one of his finest ever performances in the blue and gold. The work rate of the forwards was a joy to behold as time and again they forced Donegal into rushed clearances and coughing up possession while taking their chances when they arose.
Tipperary entered the game missing a large number of regulars and today’s performances by their replacements will give Liam Kearns the kind of headache all managers dream about when it comes to selecting his starting fifteen come the championship. The returning players now know that they’ll have to work extremely hard upon their return to force their way back into the team.
Donegal, playing with a strong wind at their backs, were worth their three-point lead at the interval as they led 0-10 to 1-3. The Premier got off to the ideal start as Jack Kennedy found Steven O’Brien who powered his way through the centre to blast home a goal after only two minutes.
However, Donegal did not panic and found themselves level after Oisin Gallen, Ciaran Thompson and Michael Langan all pointed before Niall O’Donnell put the visitors ahead.
Langan and Thompson then exchanged points with captain Conor Sweeney and the evergreen Philip Austin to leave the sides level 1-3 to 0-6. Donegal opened the lead to 0-9 to 1-4 approaching half-time when John Meagher appeared to be harshly blown up for a penalty. Jamie Brennan stepped up and could not find a way past the brilliant Michael O’Reilly who dived right making a terrific save. This moment certainly lifted the Tipperary players and the shouts of encouragement from the players in blue and gold echoed around the stadium.
Donegal did add another point to leave it 0-10 to 1-4 at the break.
The second half started slowly as Donegal held possession and tried to run at the Tipperary backs who were defending the Killinan End however time and again they were turned away by a defence determined not to cede ground. It took fifteen minutes for the second period’s opening scored when Langan pointed a Donegal free.
Tipperary were awarded a free minutes later on the 45 which Liam McGrath took. His effort dropped short and Shaun Patton in the Donegal goal called his ball but one of the backs clearly did not hear it and ended up deflecting it past the helpless net minder.
The sides exchanged two points each through Liam Boland and Brian Fox for Tipp and Gallen and Thompson for Donegal.
Liam McGrath intercepted a Donegal clearance and set up Liam Casey for Tipperary’s third goal of the game before three quick-fire points from Casey, Sweeney and O’Brien ensured that Tipperary would be celebrating their first win of 2019.
Next up for Tipperary is a trip to Ulster in two weeks-time as Armagh will provide the opposition in the Athletics Grounds.
Tipperary: Michael O’Reilly; Alan Campbell, John Meagher, Emmett Moloney; Kevin Fahey, Dáire Brennan, Jimmy Feehan; Steven O’Brien (1-01), Jack Kennedy; Philip Austin (0-02), Liam Casey (1-01), Brian Fox (0-02); Kevin O’Halloran, Conor Sweeney (0-02, 0-01f), Liam McGrath (1-00, 1-00f).
Substitutes: Liam Boland (0-01) for O’Halloran (51), Colm O’Shaughnessy for Feehan (58), Conal Kennedy for Jack Kennedy (66), Dan O’Meara for Austin (74), Paddy Codd for Fahey (75).
Donegal: Shaun Patton; Eoghan Bán Gallagher, Brendan McCole, Tony McCleneghan; Stephen McMenamin, Caolan Ward, Ryan McHugh; Hugh McFadden, Jason McGee; Ciaran Thompson (0-04, 0-02, 0-01sl), Caolan McGonagle, Michael Langan (0-03, 0-01f); Niall O’Donnell (0-01), Jamie Brennan (0-02), Oisín Gallen (0-03, 0-01f).
Substitutes: Leo McLoone for McGee (45), Martin McElhinney for Gallen (65), Paul Brennan for McMenamin (69).
Referee: Brendan Cawley (Kildare).
Today’s win for our footballers has attracted huge goodwill across the Premier county but unfortunately goodwill won’t help the players become the best they can be. We need you to play your part by joining the Friends of Tipperary Football.
You can do that by joining the Friends online here or by contacting any of our co-ordinators.
South Tipperary: JJ Crowley 087 679 7553 or Barry O’Brien 086 253 1054
Mid Tipperary: Trish Gavin 087 615 0552
West Tipperary: Kevin Barron 087 223 1353
North Tipperary: Kevin McLoughlin 086 192 4726 or Joe Hannigan 087 256 6157
Congratulations to all players who represented their divisions recently and a special thank you to all the parents and guardians who drove the boys to trials and training and to all the mentors who volunteered their time to coach the boys.
Mick Frawley Under-15 Cup Final
South Tipperary 2-8 Mid Tipperary 2-9
Mick Frawley Under-15 Shield final
North Tipperary 1-5 West Tipperary 2-5
Dom Brown Under-14 Cup Final
South Tipperary 4-7 North Tipperary 0-0
Dom Brown Under-14 Shield Final
Mid Tipperary 1-1 West Tipperary 1-2
Hard luck to the Tipperary LGFA side who were defeated by Dublin today in Ardfinnan 6-9 to 2-8. It was always going to be difficult for the team going up against the All-Ireland champions however they gave a great account of themselves against one of the greatest ever LGFA teams.
We also congratulate Aisling McCarthy who made her debut last night for the Western Bulldogs scoring a goal in the process showing the Cahir superstar is as much at home playing Australian Rules as she is with Gaelic football.
— WesternBulldogs AFLW (@BulldogsW) February 9, 2019
It was great to get a big win at home in semple stadium today against a top team like Donegal👍 @TippfootballGAA I was very proud of all the lads and it sets us up nicely for two weeks time with a trip to Armagh and we have been there once or twice before😉….. @TippFMSport pic.twitter.com/hDkHRIFBPr
— Kevin Hanly (@kevinhanly32) February 10, 2019
— Robbie Kiely (@robbiek6) February 10, 2019
— Brian Lacey (@Lacey_Brian) February 10, 2019
— Gerry Sutton (@gezzball) February 10, 2019
posted by Friends of Tipperary FootballFriends of Tipperary Football on Fri Feb 08, 2019
Super win for @TippfootballGAA v @officialdonegal at Semple. Great to be present to see such great heart in this bunch of players. Augers well for 2019. Congrats to all involved. #TIPPvDON #AllianzLeagues #dualcounty
— Vic Direen (@tippgoon) February 10, 2019
Tomorrow, Saturday 9th sees the finals of the inter-divisional football finals.
Under-14 Dom Brown Shield
Mid Tipp v West Tipp 10:30am
Under-14 Dom Brown Cup
South Tipp v North Tipp 11:00am
Both games in Dundrum
Under-15 Mick Frawley Shield
12.45 North Tipp v West Tipp 12:45pm
Under-15 Mick Frawley Cup
South Tipp v Mid Tipp 13:45pm
Both games in Sean Treacy Park
Tipperary: L Fitzpatrick; E Buckley, M Curley, E Cronin; B Condon, S Lambert (capt.), C Maher; A.R. Kennedy, E Fitzpatrick; N Lonergan, A Moloney, R Daly; L Dillon, C Condon, S Everard.
Dublin: C Trant (capt.); M Byrne, N Collins, E McDonagh; S Fagan, O Carey, L Magee; S McGrath, J Dunne; A Kane, S Woods, C Rowe; N Owens, L Davey, S Killeen.
Of course the side will have to do without the services of Aisling McCarthy who appears set to make her AFLW debut for the Western Bulldogs on Saturday evening against Geelong after manager Paul Groves confirmed “we’re going to put our Irish touch on the competition this weekend, with Aisling McCarthy, who’s going to debut”.
Everyone here in Tipperary sends our very best wishes to Aisling and we know the Cahir native is going to show the ladies down under just what she’s made of.
posted by Friends of Tipperary FootballFriends of Tipperary Football on Sun Feb 03, 2019
A member of Semple Stadium staff getting the pitch lined ahead of this weekends action on the Field of Legends. pic.twitter.com/JSLetqd7N8
— Tipperary GAA (@TipperaryGAA) February 7, 2019
And it was a point Tipperary badly needed as a second loss in the space of a week would have meant the Premier would be staring down the barrel of relegation after only two matches.
Tipperary looked set for a dramatic win when Brian Fox fisted the ball passed Thomas Treacy in the Fermanagh goal in stoppage time to put the home side two points in the clear however the drama wasn’t over yet as Fermanagh won a penalty following a foot block which Seán Quigley cooly slotted home before McGrath’s levelling free.
In a first half that will not live long in the memory Tipperary started brightly when the ball, from a Brian Fox effort from 30 yards, somehow eluded the Fermanagh net minder and thought twice, before deciding to cross the line for a fortuitous Tipperary goal after only six minutes.
Ryan Jones and Seán Quigley kicked two points for the Erne Men while Kevin Fahey picked off one of his own to leave the sides at 1-1 to o-2 at half time in front of 677 spectators.
The second half wasn’t much better as Fermanagh continued to drop deep into their own territory playing an ultra defensive brand of football that did little to enthuse the spectators.
Philip Austin and Seán Quigley exchanged points before Liam Casey extended Tipperary’s lead after a great interception and run from Jimmy Feehan. Ultan Kelm set Conall Jones up for Fermanagh’s first goal which drew the sides level at 1-3 each before a Sweeney point put Tipperary in front again.
Quigley and Ciaran Corrigan both pointed to edge Fermanagh in front before all the injury-time drama which left the levels level 2-5 each when referee Rory Hickey signalled full time.
Fermanagh's entire team are in this shot pic.twitter.com/hLkjsMaD4N
— Shane Brophy (@BrophShane) February 3, 2019
Tipperary: Evan Comerford; Alan Campbell, John Meagher, Emmett Moloney; Kevin Fahey (0-01), Daire Brennan, Jimmy Feehan; Steven O’Brien, Liam Casey (0-01); Liam Boland, Liam McGrath (0-01, 0-01f),Brian Fox (2-00); Philip Austin (0-01), Conor Sweeney (0-01, 0-01f), Jack Kennedy.
Substitutes: Conal Kennedy for Moloney (36), Kevin O’Halloran for Boland (51), Dan O’Meara for Austin (58), Michael O’Reilly for Comerford (69), Paddy Codd for Feehan (72).
Fermanagh: Thomas Treacy; Jonny Cassidy, Tiarnan Daly, Lee Cullen; Kane Connor, Declan McCusker, James McMahon; Eoin Donnelly, Ryan Jones (0-01); Shane McGullion, Conall Jones (1-00), Aidan Breen; Daniel Teague, Sean Quigley (1-03, 1-00 pen, 0-02f), Ciaran Corrigan (0-01).
Substitutes: Paul McCusker for McGullion (31), Ryan Lyons for Daly (36), Garvan Jones for Teague (40), Ultan Kelm for McCusker (53), Daragh McGurn for McMahon (57).
Referee: Rory Hickey (Clare).
In other news our thanks goes to the volunteers from the Friends of Tipperary Football who sold membership prior to the match today in Semple Stadium. If you would like to join you can do so by contacting any committee member or alternatively you can join online by clicking the Join tab at the top of this page.
Hard luck to the Tipperary LGFA side who were beaten by Mayo in the opening round of the Lidl National Football League today in Mayo by 2-11 to 0-12. If you would like to read a full match report please click here.
posted by Friends of Tipperary FootballFriends of Tipperary Football on Fri Feb 01, 2019
Cometh the hour, cometh the Fox!! Two goals from Brian, one in either half, in a game with serious drama near the end. A Fermanagh penno meant Liam McGrath had to hold his nerve and kick a last gasp equalising pt..vital point for @TippfootballGAA in Thurles #GAA #AllianzLeagues
— Stephen Gleeson (@StephenGleeson_) February 3, 2019
Round 2 Allianz Football League v Fermanagh this Sunday at 2pm in Semple Stadium. Offer on Pre-Purchase ends at midnight tomorrow. Tickets available in participating Centra & Supervalu stores nationwide. Adult Pre-purchase – €15; Adult Match Day – €20; U16s – Free pic.twitter.com/xauxMceCW5
— Tipperary GAA (@TipperaryGAA) February 1, 2019
Meanwhile senior hurling manager Liam Sheedy has revealed the team to play Limerick tomorrow evening in the second round of the league and following last week’s stunning win over Clare, Tipperary will be determined to continue their good form against the All-Ireland champions. There is one change from last week’s matchwith James Barry replacing Cathal Barrett.
Congratulations go to all involved with Inane Rovers who receive a Nenagh Guardian Sports Award for their exploits on the Gaelic football fields in 2018. Inane Rovers captured all four North Tipperary “A” titles from under-12 up to minor. Inane Rovers, based in Roscrea, are the only exclusively Gaelic football club in the division and will celebrate their 70th anniversary next year.
Best wishes to the Tipperary LGFA side who open their Lidl National Football League campaign against Mayo in Swinford Amenity Park on Sunday at 2pm. While the team were disappointed to lose their senior championship status last summer they’ll be anxious to prove that they are more than at home in division one in the league.
In other news we congratulate Loreto Clonmel who have retained the Munster PPS senior A title following a convincing 1-8 to 0-4 win over John the Baptist, Hospital in the replayed final in Bansha today. The girls now look forward to an All-Ireland semi-final against the Ulster champions. This has capped off a great week for schools’ LGFA in the county after Cashel Community School beat Colaiste na Sceilge on a scoreline of 5-07 to 4-08 in the B final last week.
Huge Congratulations to our Senior Ladies Footballers who won the Senior B Munster Final today against Colaiste na Sceilge on a scoreline of 5-07 to 4-08. It really was a tremendous game of football. Congrats to coaches @ricardoryan10 and Ms. Gilmore @MunsterLGFA @TippLadiesFB pic.twitter.com/e9VEUtXjP4
— Cashel Community School (@cashel_cs) January 29, 2019
posted by Friends of Tipperary FootballFriends of Tipperary Football on Sun Jan 27, 2019
The number of Gaelic football players transitioning to the @aflwomens competition is expected to skyrocket as the competition expands. 🇮🇪
— ESPN Australia & NZ (@ESPNAusNZ) February 1, 2019
Before throw-in it was revealed that Liam Kearns would be handing competitive debuts to both Dan O’Meara (Kiladangan) and Dáire Brennan (Kilsheelan-Kilcash) and the two will be happy with their first outing in a Tipperary senior jersey.
An early Meath point was cancelled out by a Liam McGrath free before the Leinster side rattled off four of their own to go 0-5 to 0-1 in front by the 21st minute and at this stage things appeared ominous as it looked like it was going to be a bleak afternoon for the Premier despite the brilliant January sunshine on a bitterly cold day.
Liam Boland burst forward from the left to hand pass the ball over the bar but Meath quickly responded with a point of their own. Tipperary needed a boost and it arrived curtesy of a Conor Sweeney penalty after Dan O’Meara was tripped inside the large parallelogram. The Ballyporeen man, in his first outing as captain, coolly slotted home to reduce the margin to the minimum. Unfortunately, Meath quickly pointed but the goal provided Liam Kearns’ charges with a timely jolt heading into the half-time break.
Brian Fox marauded forward to score a delightful point upon the resumption but it was Meath who started the second period in brighter form and scored three points on the trot before Conor Sweeney pointed a free as Philip Austin replaced Dan O’Meara.
The captain’s score had the desired effect as points from McGrath (1) and Sweeney (2) leveled the counties on 1-7 to 0-10 with eleven minutes of normal time remaining. It appeared as if we were in for a ding dong finish but a Liam McGrath effort was sadly to be the last time Tipperary troubled the scoreboard operator. Meath finished strong kicking four points to record a 0-15 to 1-8 deserved win.
Next week Fermanagh make the long trip south as they will play Tipperary in the second round in Semple Stadium.
MEATH SCORES: Mickey Newman 0-7 (0-6f), Thomas O’Reilly 0-2, Graham Reilly 0-1, Cillian O’Sullivan 0-1 (0-1f), Shane McEntee 0-1, Ben Brennan 0-1, Bryan Menton 0-1, Jams McEntee 0-1.
TIPPERARY SCORES: Conor Sweeney 1-3 (1-0 pen, 0-3f), Liam McGrath 0-3 (0-2f), Liam Boland 0-1, Brian Fox 0-1.
1. Andrew Colgan
4. Ronan Ryan
2. Seamus Lavin
3. Conor McGill
5. James McEntee
6. Donal Keogan
7. Niall Kane
8. Bryan Menton
19. James McEntee
10. Ethan Devine
11. Ben Brennan
12. Mickey Burke
13. Darragh Campion
14. Michael Newman
15. Thomas O’Reilly
SUBSTITUTES: 17. Cillian O’Sullivan for Burke (h/t), 22. Sean Tobin for Devine (48), 20. Graham Reilly for Campion (55), 25. Bryan McMahon for Brennan (58), 21. Eoin Lynch for O’Reilly (74).
1. Evan Comerford
2. Alan Campbell
3. John Meagher
4. Emmett Moloney
12. Brian Fox
20. Daire Brennan
7. Jimmy Feehan
8. Steven O’Brien
9. Liam Casey
5. Kevin Fahey
11. Liam McGrath
10. Liam Boland
19. Dan O’Meara
14. Conor Sweeney
15. Jack Kennedy
SUBSTITUTES: 13. Philip Austin for O’Meara (46), 17. Josh Keane for Boland (55), 6. Colm O’Shaughnessy for Feehan (64), 18. Kevin O’Halloran for Kennedy (70)
Referee: Niall Cullen (Fermanagh).posted by Friends of Tipperary FootballFriends of Tipperary Football on Fri Jan 25, 2019
For details of tickets for Sunday’s match please click on the Tweet below
Our Senior footballers commence their Allianz Football League campaign v Meath this Sunday, 27th January in Páirc Tailteann, Navan. Buy tickets before match day, get 25% off adult tickets https://t.co/rOamdHVinb or from Centra & SuperValu stores #AllianzLeagues #BeThereAllTheWay pic.twitter.com/0pjgahxwvS
— Tipperary GAA (@TipperaryGAA) January 22, 2019
Meanwhile hurling boss, Liam Sheedy, has revealed his side to face Clare tomorrow in Semple Stadium in the opening round of the hurling league
The Friends of Tipperary Football are looking for one hundred new friends by the start of Sunday’s match against Meath and so far we have had a fantastic response from Tipp supporters up and down the county.
If you would like to be part of the one hundred you can join on http://www.friendsoftipperaryfootball.com/join or simply click the Join tab at the top of the page.
It will depart Cahir at 9:45am, Cashel at 10am, Horse & Jockey at 10:15am, Thurles at 10:30am and Portlaoise at 11:10am.
To reserve your seat contact 086 833 4553 ASAP as there are only a few remaining places.
This weekend sees the Tipperary County Board unveil their brand new jersey which will be worn by the county teams in 2019. Retro jerseys are in vogue at the moment in GAA circles and the county board have gone with an old-fashioned design with similarities to the jerseys worn in the late ’80s by Tipperary. This new jersey is going to be a must have by all Premier supporters and will be available in most sport shops across the county in the coming weeks.
New Tipperary GAA jersey unveiled https://t.co/GUxCGvKjni
— Tipperary GAA (@TipperaryGAA) January 25, 2019