A LAR CORBETT-inspired Tipperary romped to an 11-point victory over All-Ireland finalists Galway at Pearse Stadium yesterday, leaving losing boss Anthony Cunningham baffled by his team's slump in form.
"I don't know what it is, whether we are over-training, but we looked very tired," admitted Cunningham after watching his tottering Tribesmen slump to a second consecutive NHL defeat, this time by 4-22 to 1-20.
The result leaves Galway bottom of the Division 1A pile, level with Kilkenny (whom they actually beat in round one) but with a much inferior scoring difference.
Defensive frailties were at the root of yesterday's defeat, starting with a gift-wrapped third minute goal from a well-struck Brendan Maher sideline which goalkeeper Fergal Flannery flapped at and missed. Shane Bourke fired home a second, only for Joe Canning to reply with a trademark 20m free howitzer, cutting the half-time margin to seven points.
A strong third quarter rally (propelled by Canning who finished with 1-10) gave Galway hope, but they were undone by a scrambled 53rd minute goal from John O'Dwyer, who tallied 1-6. In the closing stages Corbett, back to his best, scorched through an invisible defence for an impudently flicked goal.
A splendid 69th-minute goal from Joe Bergin kept Offaly's Division 1B promotion hopes alive and spared them an embarrassing Dr Cullen Park defeat against 14-man Carlow, who lost out by 1-12 to 1-10.