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Saturday 16 December 2017

Rejuvenated Tipp to make last six

AMAZING what a win can do. Had Tipp been beaten by Galway last weekend, that would Have made it six defeats from six big games (including the two League final losses to Kilkenny) during Eamonn O'Shea's reign.

And it's hard to see how he would have stayed on in such circumstances.

Now, there's a fair chance they could win the All-Ireland. Go figure. Seamus Callinan has found his best form. Lar Corbett, who was about to be subbed in Thurles last Saturday before scoring two points, is back in the team and Tipp's forward line is both more explosive and less predictable for his presence.

Pádraic Maher didn't do too much hurling at full-back against Galway but he won't meet another player with as soft a paw as Jonathan Glynn this year and he should click into the role of defensive leader now.

For Offaly, it's been a chastising season, one which should prompt deep reflection. Had they gone down in Ballycastle a couple of weeks back, 2013 would unquestionably have been classed as their worst year in verifiable memory.

Their late comeback means there is slighth hope for the immediate future.

Against Tipp, they'll meet a team with experience, explosive scoring power, motivation and renewed confidence. It might be all the Faithful can do just to make it respectable.

ODDS: Tipperary 1/50, Draw 28/1, Offaly 12/1

VERDICT: Tipperary

ALL-IRELAND SHC ROUND 2

TIPPERARY v OFFALY

(Portlaosie, Today, 7.0, Live SS3)

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