PAUL WINTERS’ LATE free ensured Dublin a second shot at winning the All-Ireland MHC title after the final went to a replay for the first time since 2004.
With Tipperary leading by a point in stoppage time, the St Brigid’s forward stepped up to fire over and level it up for the eighth time at Croke Park this afternoon.
Dublin dominated the first half and took a four-point lead during the opening exchanges. The scores came from Paul Winters, Eoghan O’Donnell, Cormac Costello and Conor McHugh before their opponents finally got off the mark from John McGrath’s free on eight minutes.
Pre-match favourites Tipp were then handed the chance to close the gap when Mark McCarthy was dragged down after Dublin made a hames of their short puck-out. McGrath stepped up to convert the penalty.
A second free from McGrath put the Premier County ahead briefly but that was short lived and a brilliant goal from man of the match Cormac Costello allowed Dublin to open up a half-time lead of three points.
Loughmore-Castleiney’s McGrath, who helped himself to 1-11 on the day, was first to point after the break. Then on 34 minutes, McCarthy collected Bill Maher’s terrific pass and shot past Cian MacGabhann for a second Tipperary goal.
With the game finely-balanced, Kevin Slattery was introduced for Tadgh Gallagher and Conor Lanigan came on for Mark McCarthy while Dublin brought on Chris Bennett, who replaced Caolan Conway.
Tipperary may feel aggrieved at the decision to award Dublin a free after centre-back Tomas Hamill was judged to have over-carried but Winters showed composure to score the vital point with seconds of injury time remaining.
That’s hurling,” Tipperary manager William Maher told TV3 afterwards. “We’re delighted to get another opportunity to win an All-Irleand.
“We were 2-1 outsiders before the game, which I couldn’t understand. We’ve got loads of work to do. It doesn’t matter when or where it is… we’ll be raring to go.
His counterpart Shay Boland was significantly more disappointed at the final whistle. “We’re really gutted not to have won it but it just didn’t happen,” he said. “We can’t change the result but we’ll have to do our best whenever the next game is. Look it, I’m not going to comment on it (the final free) but we seem to come out the wrong end of it.”
The replay will most likely be contested next Saturday with O’Moore Park in Portlaoise a possible venue. However, Semple Stadium is also an option as it could be part of a double-header with the Bord Gáis Energy All-Ireland U21 hurling final between Clare and Kilkenny.
TIPPERARY: John McGrath 1-11 (0-9f, 1-0 pen, 0-1 ’65), Mark McCarthy 1-0, Sean Maher 0-2.
DUBLIN: Cormac Costello 1-3, Paul Winters 0-6 (0-6f), Cian Boland, Conor McHugh 0-2 each, Sean McClelland, Eoghan O’Donnell, Donal Gormley 0-1 each.
TIPPERARY MH: Paul Maher (Moyne-Templetuohy); Ronan Maher (Thurles Sarsfields), Michael Breen (Ballina), Jack Peters (Kilruane McDonaghs); Tom Fox (Eire Og Annacarty), Tomas Hamill (Killea), Barry Heffernan (Eire Og Nenagh); Bill Maher (Kilsheelan-Kilcash), John McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney); Sean Maher (Clonoulty-Rossmore), Jack Shelly (Mullinahone), Tadhg Gallagher (Kildangan); Stephen Cahill (Thurles Sarsfields), Steven O’Brien (Ballina), Mark McCarthy (Toomevara). Subs: Sean Ryan for Jack Shelly, Conor Lanigan for Mark McCarthy (’60), Kevin Slattery for Tadhg Gallagher (’52).
DUBLIN MH: Cian MacGabhann (Kilmacud Crokes); Shane Barrett (Na Fianna), Cian O’Callaghan (Cuala), Eric Lowndes (St Peregrine’s); Eoghan O’Donnell (Whitehall Colmcille), Robert Murphy (Kilmacud Crokes), Sean McClelland (Lucan Sarsfields); Cormac Costello (Whitehall Colmcille), Colm Cronin (Cuala); Conor McHugh (Na Fianna), Donal Gormley (Ballinteer St John’s), Caolan Conway (Klmacud Crokes); Paul Winters (St Brigid’s), Cian Boland (St Oliver Plunkett’s Eoghan Ruadh), Oisin O’Rorke (Kilmacud Crokes). Subs: Chris Bennett for Caolan Conway (’52).