Dublin V Tipperary

Dublin defeated Tipperary by 1-21 to 1-13 in the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Qualifier on Saturday in Croke Park.

Off-key Dublin find extra gear to limp past Premier


By DAMIAN LAWLOR for the Sunday Independent newspaper

Sunday July 11 2010

AN uneasy Dublin stuttered to a hard-fought and unimpressive win over Tipperary at a rain-soaked Croke Park last night. They could never quite put their opponents away and had Tipperary managed to hold on to possession a bit more in the first half they could have pulled off a shock. With 20 minutes of this second-round qualifier left, Dublin were clinging to a nervous three-point lead and the groans around Croke Park were audible.

But with time running out they pulled away as Tipp ran out of puff. The home team’s fitness, strength and an improved work rate in the closing stages helped them over the line and into the next round. It was the usual suspects who delivered for the Dubs; points from the Brogan brothers steered them away from danger while Eoghan O’Gara worked hard for the cause. There was little else for them to enthuse over. Their defence looked vulnerable for a long time, their midfield was out-fought for long periods and they continuously gave the ball away, much to the frustration of their supporters. It’s a long time since Dublin were in this position and they looked like they didn’t know how to handle it. A paltry crowd, unknown opposition and a team in rebuilding mode.

Only 22,107 deemed a Saturday afternoon qualifier at home to Tipperary worth turning up for — a poor show, considering their hurlers were in action just beforehand. Tipp were guilty of turning over the ball several times early on, allowing Dublin to race into a 0-3 – 0-1 lead. But it could have been worse; Kevin McManamon missed an open goal after just 40 seconds which would probably have killed the minnows off before the game had even started. Still, daunting as the task ahead of them was, Tipp stuck at it. They only had three previous qualifier wins under their belt, and had just a 30 per cent success rate with the back door. But this game meant something; it was the 90th anniversary of Bloody Sunday when Tipp man Michael Hogan was shot dead. And it was their first championship meeting with Dublin since 1922. And with Barry Grogan, Conor Sweeney and Hugh Coghlan working hard, this young side acquitted themselves well.

They slowly established a foothold around the Dublin half-back line as the first half progressed. Grogan gave Rory O’Carroll plenty to think about on the edge of the square and after 20 minutes they trailed by just three points. Even though Dublin goaled soon after, after great work from O’Gara to set up Michael McAuley, the home side looked nervous and devoid of confidence. They brought goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton out to kick a ’45 early on and proceeded to shoot eight first-half wides. They led by seven points at one stage, but Tipp responded quickly to their goal with a slick George Hannigan pass to Barry Brogan who turned Cluxton and goaled. Barry Brogan added two more points, Philly Austin and Conor Sweeney hit one each and they only trailed 1-9 to 1-7 at the break.

The Dubs made two changes, bringing on Eamon Fenell and Conal Keaney, and they upped their game considerably in the second half, shooting eight points in quick succession. As they emptied their bench, Dublin’s overall experience stood to them. It may not have been the most impressive of shows, but they are safely in the hat for today’s draw. That’s all that counts.

Scorers — Dublin: B Brogan 0-7 (3f), M McAuley 1-1, A Brogan 0-4, C Keaney 0-3 (3f), R McConnell 0-2, S Cluxton 0-1 (1 ’45), E Fennell, E O’Gara, K McManamon 0-1 each. Tipperary: B Grogan 1-5 (5f), P Austin (1f), C Sweeney 0-3 each, S Hahessy, B Coen 0-1 each.

Dublin: S Cluxton; M Fitzsimons, Rory O’Carroll, P McMahon; K Nolan, G Brennan, D Henry; M MacAuley, R McConnell; N Corkery, A Brogan, P Flynn; B Brogan, E O’Gara, K McManamon. Subs: E Fennell for P Flynn (h-t), C Keaney for K McManamon (43), B Cullen for N Corkery (55), P Casey for K Nolan (68)

Tipperary: P Fitzgerald; P Codd, R Costigan, A Morrissey; C McGrath, B Jones, B Fox; G Hannigan, N Curran; S Hahessy, H Coghlan, P Acheson; P Austin, B Grogan, C Sweeney. Subs: B Coen for S Hahessy (29), B Mulvilhill for B Jones (46), K Mulryan for P Acheson (56), A Rockett for H Coghlan (64), E Kearney for P Codd (70).

Referee: P McEnaney (Monaghan)