/ GAA

Tipperary 0-10 Antrim 0-08

Updated: Saturday, 21 Jul 2012 21:44 | Comments

Antrim's Kevin O'Boyle stops the ball from crossing the line Tipperary's Philip Austin is tackled by Kevin O'Boyle A lone spectator looks on from the stands during the game
Antrim's Kevin O'Boyle stops the ball from crossing the line Tipperary's Philip Austin is tackled by Kevin O'Boyle A lone spectator looks on from the stands during the game

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Tipperary are just 70 minutes away from an historic All-Ireland quarter-final appearance after defeating Antrim by two points in round 3 of qualifiers in Thurles, 0-10 to 0-08. 

Alan Maloney kicked six points for the hosts as Tipp registered a third Championship win in the same season for the first time since 1998.

The sides were level three times in the second half before Peter Creedon’s men found that extra gear to set up a round 4 clash with the beaten Ulster finalists next weekend.

At half-time, Tipp led by 0-06 to 0-04 but the Premier County registered eleven wides in the second half.

Peter Creedon’s charges had scalped Offaly and Wexford in previous rounds, before ending Antrim’s season in Thurles.

The visitors were riding high on confidence themsleves after shocking Galway in the previous round but Tipp held on for a gritty win.

2,563 punters paid into Semple Stadium and while the scoring was low, they were well-entertained nonetheless.

In typical Ulster style, Antrim were content to drop men behind the ball when Tipp were in possession.

But the hosts got off to a flier and were 0-04 to 0-00 clear before Antrim registered their first score in the 18th minute.

Another 14 minutes would elapse before the Ulstermen scored again and they needed a brace of James Loughrey scores to remain in contention at half-time, trailing by 0-04 to 0-06.

Tipp could have been further ahead at the break but captain Philip Austin dragged a shot agonisingly wide in stoppage time with a goal for the taking.

Antrim didn’t help their cause with seven first-half wides – but Tipp were even more profligate in the second period, registering 11 wides.

But they did enough to get the job done – despite being pegged back by Antrim when Tomas McCann and Kevin Brady notched early second half points.

The sides were level twice more but Mulvihill edged Tipp in front with five minutes remaining.

And after 2011 All-Ireland minor medallist Michael Quinlivan was fouled, Maloney tapped over his sixth point of a productive afternoon from the resultant free.

There was still time for late drama as the Saffrons came in search of a winning goal.

Michael McCann dragged a shot agonisingly wide and Tipp held on for a gripping win.

Meanwhile, Antrim boss Liam Bradley insisted afterwards that it was not the time to speculate on his position.

Tipperary: P Fitzgerald; A Morrissey, P Codd, C McDonald; B Fox, R Kiely, A Campbell; G Hannigan (0-01), H Coghlan; R Ryan, A Maloney (0-06, 3f), D Leahy (0-01); M Quinlivan (0-01f), P Acheson, P Austin.

Subs: B Mulvihill (0-01) for Ryan (h.t.), C Sweeney for Austin (64).

Antrim: C Kerr; J Crozier, K O’Boyle, R Johnson; T Scullion, M Sweeney, A Healey; S McDonagh (0-01), M McCann (0-01); J Loughrey (0-02), K Brady (0-01), C Murray; K Niblock, M Johnson, T McCann (0-02, 1 45).

Subs: M Armstrong for Johnson (h.t.), M Magill (0-01) for Niblock (55), R Murray for C Murray (60), O Gallagher for T McCann (69).

Referee: E Kinsella (Laois)

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