Tipperary 1-21 Derry 2-17

Tipperary qualified for their first All-Ireland SFC quarter-final with a 1-21 to 2-17 victory over Derry at Kingspan Breffni Park.

They will meet Galway next weekend at Croke Park as their reward for a courageous and thrilling display in Cavan.

Michael Quinlivan and Kevin O’Halloran eased Tipp four points clear but a Mark Lynch goal sparked the Oak Leaf revival and they led by 1-08 to 0-10 at the break.

O’Halloran fired in a 48th-minute goal and Quinlivan knocked over a string of frees before Derry grabbed a late goal from substitute Eoghan Brown to level the match.

Two superb Conor Sweeney points secured a memorable success for the Premier County.

There was drama even before the throw-in when Derry’s Gareth McKinless, arguably their most effective defender during a character-building qualifier run, picked up an injury during the warm-up and had to be replaced by Oisin Duffy.

After going behind to an early Niall Loughlin point, wind-assisted Tipperary seized control, with skipper Peter Achesson driving their challenge from the middle of the field.

Conor Sweeney and Michael Quinlivan both floated over delightful long-range scores, and Acheson and Philip Austin were also on target as they went 0-05 to 0-1 ahead.

But Derry crafted a goal chance with a flowing move which ended with Danny Heavron firing in a shot which was superbly tipped over the bar by Evan Comerford.

Enda Lynn narrowed the gap to two, but Kevin O’Halloran’s place-kicking expertise saw him convert a ’45 and a long-range free to restore the four-point advantage.

They also could have had a goal when Quinlivan’s punched effort was scrambled away by Thomas Mallon’s knees.

Derry injected intensity into their game, with Heavron running strongly at the Tipp defence and they outscored the Munster men by 1-06 to 0-03 in the second quarter.

Mark Lynch had just narrowed the gap to a point with his second free when he followed up with a 32nd- minute goal.

It was Heavron who took on backtracking defenders and when his shot was blocked, Lynch got in to smash the ball to the roof of the net.

Lynn eased them three ahead but just a point separated the sides at the break after O’Halloran and Quinlivan had hit the target.

Derry were 1-8 to 0-10 to the good at the interval but survived a scare in the opening moments of the second half when Conor Sweeney drifted in behind their defence to collect from Jimmy Feehin. However,  goalkeeper Mallon was on hand to pull off a terrific save.

Tipp, now playing into the wind, strung together points through O’Halloran, Sweeney and Josh Keane.

And in the 48th minute they went in front with a goal from O’Halloran, who rippled the net after picking up a botched clearance from Mallon, who lost his footing as he made contact with the ball.

Derry, on the road for a third successive weekend, appeared to be tiring as Bill Maher opened up a five- point lead in the 16th minute, but the Oak Leafers found another gear and substitute Eoghan Brown finished a Ciaran McFaul cross to the net before Heavron levelled on 68 minutes.

But Tipperary were able to use the searing pace of Philip Austin, Sweeney and Bill Maher to stretch the Oak Leaf defence in a resounding finish.

They countered again and two brilliant late points from Sweeney sent their supporters into raptures as they progressed to face Galway. 

Tipperary: E Comerford, C O’Shaughnessy, A Campbell, C McDonald, B Maher (0-01), R Kelly, J Feehin, P Acheson (0-01), G Hannigan, J Keane (0-02), K O’Halloran (1-05, 0-4f), B Fox, P Austin (0-01), M Quinlivan (0-06, 4f), C Sweeney (0-05) 

Subs: A Moloney for Hannigan, S Leahy for Kiely, M Hanley for O’Shaughnessy 

Derry: T Mallon, O Duffy, C McKaigue, K McKaigue, C McFaul, B Rogers, C Mullan, C McAtamney, N Holly, D Heavron (0-04), N Loughlin (0-02), E Lynn (0-02), J Kielt (0-02, 1f), E McGuckin, M Lynch (1-04, 0-3f)

Subs: N Toner for Lynn, C Bradley (0-01)for Kielt, E Bradley (0-01) for Holly, L McGoldrick (0-01) for Duffy, E Brown (1-00) for McGuckin, N Forrester for Heavron

Referee: M Duffy (Sligo)