SUBSTITUTE BRIAN Mulvihill came off the bench to shoot Tipperary’s winning point as they edged in a thrilling encounter at Semple Stadium yesterday.

The courage shown by an understrength Tipperary side was amply rewarded but hot favourites Laois were left to rue a litany of wasted chances. They shot 11 second-half wides and four in the first period, and duly paid the penalty.

With four of their team in the United States for the summer, including captain Ciarán McDonald, Tipperary were rank outsiders, but rose to the challenge, reversing an earlier defeat in the National Football League.

Aided by the fresh breeze in the opening half, Tipperary carried the game to their rivals. With Barry Grogan accurate from frees, they went 0-5 to 0-3 clear after 15 minutes.

Laois however, finished the half well. They levelled at 0-7 each by the break, and with the elements to favour them in the second half, looked well placed to advance to the next round.

Tipperary, however, resumed in more purposeful fashion. Stephen Hahessy hit the crossbar with a goal-bound effort inside the first minute. Peter Acheson pointed and in the 44th minute, Philip Austin blazed wide with a goal on.

Laois then began to dominate but poor finishing denied them scores. Though the sides were level four times in the second half, Laois never got in front.

Tipperary, with points from Mulvihill and Grogan were two clear with eight minutes to play but Laois rallied as wingbacks Pádraig McMahon and John O’Loughlin showed their forwards how it’s done with levelling points by the 69th minute.

Extra-time was a distinct possibility but in injury-time, Mulvihill finished off a slick Tipperary move with an excellent point to secure their place in the next round.

While Mulvihill was the toast with his match-winning point, George Hannigan was their outstanding performer, getting through enormous work.

TIPPERARY : M O’Donnell; P Codd, R Costigan, A Morrissey; C McGrath, H Coghlan, B Fox; B Jones, K Mulryan; G Hannigan 0-1, S Hahessy 0-1, P Acheson, 0-2; C Sweeney, B Grogan 0-7 (six frees), P Austin; Subs : B Mulvihill 0-2 for Sweeney; B Coen for Mulryan; N Curran for Acheson; J Cagney for Hahessy; A Rocket for Jones.

LAOIS : M Nolan; P O’Leary, M Timmons, D Booth; J O’Loughlin 0-1, C Healy, P McMahon 0-1; B Quigley, K Meaney; B Sheehan 0-1, N Donoher 0-1, P Clancy 0-2; MJ Tierney 0-1, D Kingston 0-3 (one free), R Munnelly 0-1; Subs : C Rogers 0-1 for Donoher; C Coss for Sheehan; P Cahillane for Munnelly; D Rooney for Quigley

Referee: M Collins (Cork)