Tipperary Go Down Fighting as Armagh Progress15 Jul 2017
In an exciting encounter in Semple Stadium today Armagh defeated Tipperary by two points but the Premier made them work all the way
Tipperary exited the championship today but did not go down without a fight as Liam Kearns men fought to the final whistle in an exciting encounter in Semple Stadium.
Jamie Clarke scored the crucial goal late in the game to open up a gap between the two sides that, try as they might, Tipperary just could not close despite some hectic attacking in the final moments that kept the Orchid County under severe pressure until Patrick Nielan’s final whistle ended this encounter.
Tipperary opted to play with the breeze in the opening half and led the visitors 0-10 to 0-8 at the break but will feel that the gap should have been more after a number of missed opportunities. Kevin O’ Halloran and Gregory McCabe exchanged points in the opening minutes before Liam Casey kicked a fine score.
Points followed from Niall Grimley (Armagh), Jack Kennedy and Conor Sweeney to open up a 0-4 to 0-2 lead for Tipperary. Grimley added a second point before controversy arose after Gavin McParland slotted the ball to the net for what appeared a legitimate goal but the referee called him back for a foul which Rory Grugan pointed.
Tipperary finished the half strongly as Josh Keane (2) and Liam Casey kicked three late points to leave it 0-10 to 0-8.
Upon the resumption Joe McElroy pointed for the visitors before Michael Quinlivan scored a brilliant goal after great work from Philip Austin, Robbie Kiely and Conor Sweeney. This should have inspired Tipperary to push on but disaster struck shortly after when Jack Kennedy, who was having a fine game, was harshly black-carded and his loss allowed Armagh to take charge.
The teams continued to exchange scores until the 61st minute when Armagh took the lead for the very first time through Jamie Clarke. Stefan Campbell pointed after Tipperary felt they should have had a scorable free at the other end on 65 minutes before Jamie Clarke scored the decisive goal. Tipperary fought hard to get the all important goal but just could not break down the Armagh backs.
This ends the year for Tipperary after a mixed season. Gaining promotion to division two was one of the priorities for this side and they achieved that, along with capturing the division three title, after a great win over Louth. From there on in lady luck deserted the team as injuries mounted to unbelievable proportions and despite all the missing personal they very nearly beat Cork in the Munster semi-final before the Rebels won the match with a late goal. Things appeared to have turned a corner last weekend as they beat Cavan in Kingspan Breffni Park but unfortunately today Armagh ended any hopes of repeating last years heroics.
On a final note the support today from the Tipperary fans has to be acknowledged. The Tipperary Football Board appealed for the fans to show up today and that they did. The roar that went up from the Old Stand as the team went in at half time was deafening and constantly the chant of “Tipp Tipp Tipp” could be heard around the grounds and this was something that was greatly appreciated by all the players.
Tipperary: C Kenrick; A Campbell, P Codd, E Moloney; B Maher, R Kiely, J Feehan; L Casey (0-02), G Hannigan; J Keane (0-04, 2f), K O’Halloran (0-02, 1f), B Fox (0-01); C Sweeney (0-03f), M Quinlivan (1-00), J Kennedy (0-02f).
Subs: P Austin (0-01) for Hannigan (h.t.), Hannigan for Kennedy (b/c 48), L Boland for Moloney (48), D Foley for O’Halloran (70+2), L McGrath for Boland (64).
Armagh: B Hughes; G McCabe (0-01), J Morgan, C Vernon; B Donaghy, P Hughes, A Forker (0-01); S Sheridan (0-01), N Grimley (0-08f, 5f, 1 45); C O’Hanlon, M Shields, R Grugan (0-02, 1f); G McParland (0-02), A Murnin, J Clarke (1-01).
Subs: J McElroy for McCabe (injured 28), S Campbell (0-01) for O’Hanlon (47), C McKeever for Clarke (70+3), E Rafferty for Murnin (70+8).
Referee: Patrick Neilan (Roscommon)