Aidan Harte was Galway's hero as the Tribesmen came from behind in the closing stages to pull off an unlikely victory over All-Ireland champions Tipperary at the Gaelic Grounds.
Galway will now play Limerick in the All-Ireland semi-final next weekend, but they will look for a big improvement on this showing.
Tipperary, who had Cathal Barrett sent off midway through the second half for a second yellow card offence, were in charge at half-time with Seamus Callanan and Patrick Maher hitting goals either side of similar efforts from Cathal Mannion and Brian Concannon at the other end.
Aidan Harte blasts home a dramatic goal to put Galway in front for the first time in the second half with four minutes left - watch highlights on The Sunday Game at 9.30pm on Sunday #rtegaa pic.twitter.com/wIzg3MvvRS— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) November 21, 2020
The All-Ireland champions looked to be heading to an easy win when Jason Forde and Michael Breen hit the first two points of the second half to open out a six-point lead, but led by Cathal Mannion Galway closed the gap to two by the second water break.
And with Canning tagging on the frees for Galway, Harte crept in for the winning goal to send Galway into the last four in Shane O’Neill’s first season in charge
Both teams lined out with a spare player in front of the full-back line with David Burke handed the duty for Galway, while Padraic Maher swept for Tipperary.
And although Galway got off the mark inside the first minute when Joe Canning clipped over a free, it was at the other end that all the early action happened. Daithí Burke picked up Tipperary captain Seamus Callanan, but the defender struggled to keep the Drom-Inch man quiet in the first ten minutes.
Jason Forde hit Tipp's first point after four minutes, but a slip from Daithí Burke allowed Callanan to cut back on his right side and he hit the net for a 1-01 to 0-02 lead.
Wearing number eight, Noel McGrath also started in the full-forward line and he scored the first of four first-half points, before Callanan won a free off Daithí Burke to put his side four points clear.
Tipperary needed Brian Hogan to to pull off a great save to deny Brian Concannon after ten minutes, but Canning followed it up with a free, while Conor Cooney sent Cathal Mannon in for a brilliant goal to level the scores again. Points from Joseph Cooney and Canning out Galway 1-5 to 1-3 at the water break.
With Noel McGrath very dangerous Tipp continued to stay in touch, but Galway pulled three clear when Conor Whelan sent Concannon in for Galway’s second goal in the 21st minute. A couple of missed frees from Joe Canning meant Galway didn’t pull clear as they should have, and after Noel McGrath and Forde hit good points, Alan Flynn landed a leveller for the Munster side.
Two minutes from half-time Tipperary made the most of another slip in the Galway defence to strike their second goal, with Patrick 'Bonner’ Maher getting the finishing touch after two good Eanna Murphy saves, which gave them a 2-13 to 2-09 lead at half-time.
Galway manager Shane O’Neill made a couple of big calls at the break, withdrawing Johnny Coen and David Burke, but it was Tipperary that added to their lead with Forde and Michael Breen on target.
Galway warmly welcomed a great Cathal Mannion point and a couple of Canning frees – they second following a cynical pull back by Ronan Maher on Whelan – but Tipp had a strong reply through Dan McCormack.
Cathal Mannion continued to carry the Galway challenge with a great score on the turn hear halfway, but Callanan scored an even better one at the other end when he got out in front of Daithí Burke again to make it 2-17 to 2-13.
Following a yellow card at the end of the first half, Cathal Barrett picked up his second for a foul on Concannon 18 minutes from time, and from the free Canning cut Tipp’s lead to a point.
A Forde free was cancelled out by a sweet Canning sideline cut, and the Portumna man levelled the game again with a well struck free from the right seven minutes from time.
Willie Connors reclaimed the advantage for Tipperary, before Ronan Maher converted a free with his first shot at the posts all day.
But three minutes from time substitutes Flynn and Tuohey linked up and sent Harte in on goal and his bullet shot from distance found the net and proved to be the winner.
Galway: Eanna Murphy; Gearoid McInerney, Daithi Burke, Shane Cooney; Fintan Burke, Aidan Harte (1-00), Joseph Cooney (0-01); Padraig Mannion, Johnny Coen (0-01); Joe Canning (0-14, 0-12f, 1’sl), Cathal Mannion (1-03), David Burke; Conor Whelan (0-01), Conor Cooney (0-01), Brian Concannon (1-00).
Subs used: Jason Flynn (0-01) for David Burke (h-t), Adrian Tuohey for Coen (h-t), Sean Loftus (0-01) for F Burke (58), Evan Niland for C Cooney (58), Darren Morrissey for S Cooney (71).
Tipperary: Brian Hogan (0-01,0-01f); Ronan Maher (0-01, 0-01f), Brendan Maher, Cathal Barrett; Padraic Maher, Niall O’Meara (0-01), Barry Heffernan (0-01); Alan Flynn (0-02), Michael Breen (0-02); Dan McCormack (0-02), Jake Morris (0-01), Patrick Maher (1-00); Jason Forde (0-06, 0-05f), Séamus Callanan (1-02, 0-01f), Noel McGrath (0-04).
Subs used: Willie Connors (0-01) for Patrick Maher, John McGrath for Noel McGrath (53), Paddy Cadell for O’Meara (59), Paul Flynn for Forde (65), Mark Kehoe for McCormack (72).
Referee: Johnny Murphy (Limerick).