Tuesday 12 December 2017

Callanan puts shocked Galway to the sword

TIPPERARY were on their way out of this year's hurling championship at Semple Stadium on Saturday before something quite remarkable happened.

Two Johnny Glynn second half goals had Galway 4-12 to 1-15 clear and in the driving seat with less than 20 minutes remaining. What happened next was unforeseen and quite spectacular. Back came Tipperary to win the remainder of the game by 2-10 to 0-1.

Seamus Callanan added two goals to the one he pilfered in the first half for a hat-trick and Tipperary, murdered by their local critics after losing last month's Munster semi-final to Limerick, are back in business.

The sides were level at half-time but Tipperary's goal was breached on two occasions. Iarla Tannian was the instigator for both as the Ardrahan defender's long ball was fetched brilliantly by Glynn in the fourth minute, allowing Jason Flynn to profit from close range.

Four minutes before half-time, another Tannian delivery caused panic in the Tipp goalmouth and David Burke's hurl rose highest to flick the ball past Darren Gleeson.

But a brace of points from Tipperay goalscorer Callanan ensured parity at half-time, 1-12 to 2-9, in front of 18,467 spectators. Tipperary had been forced into a pre-match change with centre back Conor O'Mahony ruled out with a back problem. Paddy Stapleton came into the starting line-up, at right corner back, with James Barry slotting in at centre back.

Stapleton's introduction saw Cathal Barrett moved from the right corner to the left wing, as captain Brendan Maher switched flanks on the 40.

What followed was 70-plus minutes of sensational hurling, ending with Tipperary still standing and Galway digesting another early exit.

For the respective managers Anthony Cunningham and Eamon O'Shea, contrasting emotions. Cunningham possibly on the verge of an exit after three years in charge but O'Shea, finally, with a first championship win to savour.

Callanan, however, was keeping his feet on the ground after his scoring heroics.

The full forward 3-8 (3-1 from play) in a devastating display but preferred to highlight the work of his outfield colleagues in supplying him with quality possession.

"It is my job to score when all the boys do the hard work outside," he said.

"It doesn't work out every day but we kept trying, a few breaks came my way but the next day they will come someone else's way and we all try to do our best in our won patch and if we all work hard together the results will come."

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