Offaly 3-13 Tipperary 4-28
Seamus Callanan helped himself to 2-11 as Tipperary demolished Offaly by 4-28 to 3-13 in their Allianz Hurling League quarter-final in Tullamore.
The Premier County set up a semi-final showdown with Davy Fitzgerald’s Wexford, doing pretty much as they pleased at O’Connor Park.
Callanan had posted 1-06 by half-time as the visitors led by 1-14 to 0-07 at the break.
And the second half lead for Tipperary was as big as 25 points before two late Shane Dooley goals added some degree of respectability to the scoreboard from an Offaly perspective.
Tipp registered 13 wides but still had more than enough in hand to see the game out in front of 8,032 spectators.
Playing against the breeze in the opening half, Tipp had much of the spadework done by half-time, having established a ten-point advantage.
Callanan was Tipp’s leading scorer in the first half, his 1-06 including five pointed frees, while Niall O’Meara picked off three points from play and placed Callanan for the 17th minute goal.
Offaly had been competitive in the early stages and were level at 0-04 each before Tipp began to pull away.
Four points had the Premier County 0-08 to 0-04 in front before Callanan took a pass from O’Meara and drilled a low shot that reared up off the turf past James Dempsey.
When Noel McGrath added a point, Tipp had collected 1-05 without reply and they would not be caught.
The interval lead, ten points, was their biggest of the game to date and Tipp, with Dan McCormack producing another steady display, wouldn’t let up in the second half.
Completely dominant in the puck-out stakes, Tipp had all of the primary possession and space that they needed to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
And there was an added bonus when All-Star corner back Cathal Barrett returned from injury for his seasonal bow, while Alan Flynn was also handed a full League debut from the start at corner back.
Only a couple of brilliant second half saves from Dempsey – denying sub Steven O’Brien and Callanan – kept the score down, before the floodgates opened.
More goals did come from Tipperary, who led by 25 points at one stage in the second half.
Sub Paul Flynn, brother of Alan, netted in the 53rd minute before Oisín Kelly replied in kind for Offaly two minutes later.
Callanan placed for O’Brien ten minutes from time and the former dual minor showed that he’s lost none of his football skills by kicking to the net.
Callanan bagged his second goal with seven minutes left, O’Brien returning the favour, before Dooley netted twice in the closing minutes, taking advantage of some sloppy Tipperary defending on both occasions.
Tipperary: D Gleeson; T Hamill, J Barry, A Flynn; S Kennedy, R Maher, P Maher; M Breen (0-03), J Forde; D McCormack (0-04), N O’Meara (0-05), N McGrath (0-01); J McGrath, S Callanan (2-11, 0-07f, 0-01 65), J O’Dwyer (0-01).
Subs: S O’Brien (1-01) for N McGrath (h.t.), P Flynn (1-01) for J McGrath (43), C Barrett for Hamill (46), D Quinn for P Maher (52), S Cahill (0-01) for O’Meara (64).
Offaly: J Dempsey; P Rigney, M Cleary, E Grogan; D King, D Shortt, S Gardner; A Treacy (0-01), S Ryan (0-01); P Murphy (0-02), S Dooley (2-08, 0-06f), C Kiely (0-01); E Nolan, S Cleary, O Kelly (1-00).
Subs: P Camon for Kiely (29), T Carroll for Murphy (51), P Guinan for M Cleary (52), L Langton for Gardner (60).
Referee: C Lyons (Cork)