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GAA: MAROONED; Galway.........2-20 Tipperary.........2-18 Tipp all washed up.. but the Tribe have title ambitions.

Byline: Michael Scully

PROMISE fulfilled, talent delivered on. Galway served up the comeback of the Guinness All-Ireland hurling Championship to date, to book their place in the last four, as Tipp fell in spectacular fashion at Croke Park.

With 15 minutes remaining there was only going to be one winner but then, over the course of seven fascinating minutes, Galway put their earlier profligacy aside and dismantled the Tipperary back-line.

Conor Hayes has come in for plenty of criticism this year, not least for the absence of the Cloonan brothers from his side. But this morning the Galway manager stands vindicated and the Tribesmen have a semi-final with Kilkenny to look forward to.

They were caught cold by the Cats last summer, but with four Championship games under their belts,they will approach the encounter with confidence.

For a long time it looked as if it was a case of the same old script for the men from the west. 10 first-half wides told the story as Galway wilted with the posts in their sights and Tipp methodically built a handsome score.

Tide

No-one told the players though. No-one told Ger Farragher, who finished with 0-9 to his name, including seven frees - many from long-range. He only missed one.

No-one told Richie Murray, who burst into life in the closing quarter or David Forde and Damien Hayes, who grabbed Galway's all-important goals. And no-one told the Galway back-line, who began to hurl as if their lives depended on it.

Still, the Tipp players and manager Ken Hogan will wonder how it got away. Eoin Kelly was his usual self, tagging on a metronomic 1-9 to their score, Tommy Dunne also plundered a first-half goal and Micheal Webster wreaked havoc for almost an hour at full-forward.

But for all that they couldn't resist the maroon tide in a rousing finale.

Afterwards, the Tipp camp didn't even raise an objection to the fact that Ger 'Redser' O'Grady's successful point in the 66th minute was called as a wide.

The second-half brought back memories of thrilling clashes between these counties in the Eighties and early Nineties. All the first-half did, however, was re- enforce the doubts that existed about Galway.

Paul Kelly quickly established dominance in the middle of the field and he picked off a couple of long-range points in the opening 10 minutes to put his side ahead Galway though were forced to try their luck out the field. Tipp did almost score a goal too, with Paul Kelly's clearance collected by target-man Webster. Webster was fouled and Eoin Kelly shot for goal, but corner-back Damien Joyce made a great stop on the line.

In the beginning Galway did stay in touch. Fergal Healy and Farragher brought them level - and then Farragher put them ahead for the first time since Alan Kerins' opening score of the game.

But it only served to galvanise Tipp, who responded with a goal on 17 minutes. Centre-back Eamonn Corcoran delivered a long ball downfield and Webster knocked down to Tom Dunne, who then fired past keeper Liam Donoghue.

Scores by Niall Healy and Farragher reduced Tipp's lead to a point, but the defeated Munster finalists were awarded a penalty when Webster was taken down by Ollie Canning in front of goal.

And although half-back Derick Hardiman got his stick to it on the goal-line, Eoin Kelly's shot was powerful enough.

By half-time Tipp were 2-9 to 0-10 ahead, and Webster could have grabbed a third goal before the interval. Galway needed to pick things up at the re-start and, after Eoin Kelly extended Tipp's lead, the westerners got a goal. Fed by Hayes, David Forde fired in a rocket that Brendan Cummins will be disappointed he didn't stop.

Yet Tipp still maintained a goal lead and when O'Grady came on for them, he converted a point that was followed by efforts by Webster and Eoin Kelly. Six points adrift, Galway were in trouble.

But Murray exploded into action from there, as did the rest of the Tribesmen. Hayes fired past Cummins and Kerins and Murray added points to bring the sides level. Fittingly, Farragher put Galway ahead.

Diarmaid Fitzgerald brought Tipp level but there was no stopping Galway now. Murray again and then Farragher gave them the impetus to go on and win the game. Now for the Cats.

GALWAY: Donoghue; Joyce, Kavanagh (0-1), Canning; Hardiman, Regan, Collins (Coen 45 mins); F Healy (0-2), Tierney (0-2); Kerins (0-2), Forde (1-0), N Healy ((0-1, K Hayes 61 mins); Farragher (0-9), Murray (0-3), D Hayes (1-0).

TIPPERARY: Cummins; Moloney, Maher (O'Mahoney ht), Curran; Fanning, Corcoran, Fitzgerald (0-1); Enright (Carroll 62 mins), P Kelly (0-4); C Morrissey (P Morrissey 64 mins), Devane (O'Grady 64 mins (0-1)), B Dunne (0-2); E Kelly (1-09), Webster (0-1), T Dunne (1-0). Referee: A MacSuibhne (Dublin).

CAPTION(S):

HAPPY DAYS: Galway' keeper Liam Donoghue celebrates a score in the All-Ireland quarter-final against Tipp; HOT SPOT: Tipperary''s All-Star forward Eoin Kelly blasts home from the penalty spot against Galway; GETTING HIS HURL OVER: Galway''s Damien Hayes is steadily pursued by Tipperary's Benny Dunne
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 1, 2005
Words:849
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