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Irish Independent
Irish Independent

Carlow shock Tipperary to claim Tailteann Cup victory

Carlow's Niall Hickey

Carlow caused a major shock in the Tailteann Cup when they outfought, out-played and out-scored the Munster champions of two years ago at Netwatch Cullen Park.

While scores were hard to come by in the opening quarter a decent enough sized crowd where treated to an open encounter. The home side edged proceedings but couldn’t make it count on the scoreboard.

They shot four wides and missed an open goal with Mikey Bambrick coming from deep. Trying to place the ball into the bottom corner he saw his effort slide just wide of the left-hand upright.

Instead Tipperary broke clear and when their initial shot was blocked, Martin Kehoe was on hand to shoot home from close range. A Darragh Foley free had Carlow off the mark on 10 minutes and they followed this up with a Eoghan Ruth point from distance.

Tipperary had their moments too with Conor Sweeney, Sean O’Connor (free) and Jack Kennedy all on the mark. In reply Ross Dunphy, who had come in for the injured Darragh O’Brien, added a point while Eoghan Ruth repeated his earlier effort when finding the Tipperary posts.

up to half-time a lax Carlow defence allowed Mark Russell through but the midfielder saw his shot come back off the right-hand post. Making good their escape Carlow, poured forward and when a long ball fell nicely for Niall Hickey he slid home from close range.

Just before the half-time whistle, Tipperary had a chance to extend their lead but missed a free to leave them 1-5 to 1-4 ahead at the break.

With the aid of the breeze in the second half it would have been expected the visitors would have come at the home side. All the more so when Sean O’Connell scored the first point of the second period to stretch the Tipperary lead out.

After that, Carlow took over completely. Ross Dunphy slipped over a point. Conor Doyle took an outrageous score from way out on the left but injured himself in the process.

Undaunted, the home side played without fear and showing a huge amount of resolve they completely overturned their rivals. Colm Hulton picked off a point and Conor Crowley punched over. Shane O’Connell replied for Tipperary and settled for a point when a goal was on.

Points from Jamie Clarke and Sean Bambrick filled Carlow with confidence but they had to endure an anxious six minutes extra time as Tipperary’s Liam McGrath scored two points from play. A Clarke effort pushed the Carlow lead out to three and even though Conor Sweeney converted a free, the Barrowsiders were not going to be denied.

Scorers – Carlow: N Hickey 1-0; E Ruth, R Dunphy, J Clarke, C Hulton 0-2 each; C Doyle, C Crowley, S Bambrick, D Foley (1f) 0-1 each. Tipperary: M Kehoe 1-0, C Sweeney 0-3 (1f); S O’Connor (2fs), L McGrath 0-2 each; J Kennedy, Shane O’Connell, Sean O’Connell 0-1 each.

Carlow: C Cunningham 7; L Roberts 7, M Bambrick 8, D Curran 7; S Clarke 8, S Bambrick 8, C Doyle 8; N Hickey 8, J Clarke 9; J Moore 7, E Ruth 8, D O’Brien; C Crowley 7, D Foley 8, C Hulton 8. Subs: Ross Dunphy 8 for O’Brien (7), S Buggy 6 for Doyle (47), C Lomax for Moore (67), J McCabe for S Bambrick (69)

Tipperary: M O Reilly 7; Shane O Connell 7, J Feehan 6, W Eviston 6; K Fahey 6, C O Shaughnessy 6, Sean O Connell 6; C Kennedy 7; M Russell 6; T Doyle 6, J Kennedy 7, M Kehoe 6; M O’Shea 6, C Sweeney 7, S O Connor 7. Subs: S Quirke 6 for Shane O’Connell (h/t), J Lonergan 6 for Russell (48), L McGrath 7 for Kehoe (48), J Harney 6 for O’Connell (50), S O’Brien for Doyle (61),

Referee: C Reilly (Meath).

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