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Sunday 17 December 2017

O'Shea not entirely satisfied despite Tipp victory

DUBLIN are this morning facing into the daunting prospect of a trip to Thurles on July 26 to take on in-form Tipperary in the All-Ireland SHC quarter-final.

As yet, no venue has been confirmed for the double-header, although it is almost certain that Semple Stadium will host the first Championship meeting between the sides since the 2011 All-Ireland semi-final.

The Premier County made sure of their spot with a commanding 5-25 to 1-20 win over Offaly in O'Moore Park last Saturday, although manager Eamonn O'Shea wasn't entirely happy with what he saw.

"I think one of the things we can't keep doing is having to claw back leads.

"We've got to keep the momentum in our games and match the intensity of our opponents.

HARSH

Indeed, the 17-point winning margin was somewhat harsh on the Faithful County after they trailed by only four points as late as the 50th minute.

But O'Shea's Tipperary sprung back into life with the in-form Seamus Callanan, who finished with 2-10, Lar Corbett and John O'Dwyer all getting fine scores before Callanan capped his superb display with an injury-time goal.

O'Shea acknowledged that Offaly gave them a lot of problems.

"Offaly presented a formidable challenge to us tonight even though we won by what we won by," he explained.

"It didn't reflect the effort Offaly put in. We got a good start and maybe relaxed a bit and they came back into it. Almost all the game they were able to get back in it. It was only at the end when we tacked in a goal and five or six points that there was really any daylight in it."

Despite the top-class performances from the likes of Callanan and Corbett, it was Patrick 'Bonner' Maher who walked away with the man of the match award after another tireless display. O'Shea was quick to praise the attacker, pointing out his importance for the Tipp cause: "He's a vital cog and has been for a number of years.

"He's our heartbeat really and he's everything you'd want in a hurler. He works hard and he unselfishly puts the ball in for his team-mates. He sees others before he sees himself and he's a marvellous man."

Meanwhile, Offaly boss Brian Whelahan is expected to remain at the helm despite another early exit.

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