Tipperary are through to an All-Ireland Senior Hurling Final meeting with champions Kilkenny on September 4th. As it was 12 months ago, just a single point separated Tipperary and Galway at Croke Park, but this time the Premier County came out the right side of the result.
Galway suffered two desperate blows approaching half-time when Joe Canning and Adrian Tuohy were injured – and both players did not reappear for the second half.
The were nursing a two-point lead heading into the second half and battled gamely against the odds, having lost a pair of important players.
But the introduction of John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer proved crucial for Tipperary and after scoring a goal nine minutes from home, John McGrath raised a second green flag for the winners two minutes later.
That two-goal blast in the space of three minutes would prove decisive and Tipperary held firm down the home stretch.
Seamus Callanan, who scored 3-9 last year, hit nine points this time - all from placed balls - to finish as his side’s leading scorer.
Conor Cooney was scorer-in-chief for Galway, collecting 1-6 on the day including a first half goal.
But this was Tipperary’s day as they avenged last year’s loss to the Tribesmen, while also setting up a sixth final clash with Kilkenny since 2009 (including the 2014 replay between the sides).
At the break, Galway led by two points, 1-10 to 0-11, but there was a feeling that the game had not truly caught fire by then.
Galway struck for the only goal of the half in the seventh minute and it was a cracking effort.
Niall O’Meara was turned over running towards his own goal and when Johnny Coen picked out Conor Cooney, the St. Thomas’s man cracked a 20m drive past Darren Gleeson, who was rooted to the spot.
Galway were two points clear – 1-03 to 0-04 – before Tipperary hit five points on the trot to take control.
But back came Galway with six points in a row themselves – with Tipperary scoreless from the 15th to 32nd minutes.
Galway were almost in for a second goal approaching the break, with Conor Cooney threatening again, but Pádraic Maher got back to execute a brilliant hook.
It was set up for a rip-roaring second half and they were level five times before Tipperary managed to hold out.
Final score Tipperary 2-19 Galway 2-18
Tipperary: D Gleeson; C Barrett, J Barry, M Cahill; S Kennedy, R Maher (0-1), Pádraic Maher (0-1); B Maher (0-1), M Breen (0-3); D McCormack, Patrick Maher, N McGrath (0-3); J McGrath (1-1), S Callanan (0-9, 8f, 1 65), N O’Meara.
Subs: J O’Dwyer (1-00) for O’Meara (45), J Forde for N McGrath (57), S Curran for Breen (68), T Hamill for Kennedy (70+2).
Galway: C Callanan; A Harte, Daithí Burke, J Hanbury; A Tuohy, P Mannion, G McInerney; David Burke (0-1), J Coen; C Mannion, J Cooney (1-1), J Canning (0-5, 3f, 1 65); J Flynn (0-2), C Whelan (0-2), C Cooney (1-6, 0-4f).
Subs: A Smith for Tuohy (h.t.), C Donnellan for Canning (h.t.), S Moloney (0-1) for Whelan (66), N Burke for C Mannion (66), D Collins for Harte (68).
Referee: B Kelly (Westmeath)
Bian Molloy's great performance for the Tribesmen in the Bord Gais Energy All-Ireland Under 21 Semi-Final against Dublin earns him the GAA.ie Hurler of the Week Award. Brian received 2911 votes, Patrick Curran (Waterford) 2317 with Galway's Dan Nevin third with 1495 votes.
Brian Molloy of Galway is presented with the Bord Gáis Energy Man-of-the-Match award by Keira Magrane, age 7, from Naul, Co. Dublin, who won the honour to present the award through the Bord Gáis Energy Rewards club, following the Bord Gáis Energy Hurling Under 21 Championship Semi-Final.
GAA “Little things can improve your game” with Galway's Gary Sice
Galway's Desmond Conneely is presentd with the man of the match award by Pat O'Doherty, Chief Executive of ESB after the Electric Ireland Football All-Ireland Minor Championship Semi-Final game between Donegal and Galway at Croke Park. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile
GAA Great Plays: Desmond Conneely (Galway Minors)
Draw will now take place on Wednesday 31st August - your support for Galway Football and Hurling will be very much appreciated. Tickets available from Clubs and county Officials. The Golf car will be at Joyce's Supermarket, Athenry this Friday with tickets also on sale.