By Mike Fitzpatrick
Tipperary 4-18, Offaly 1-8
Tipperary’s senior hurlers continued their fabulous form in disposing of this Offaly side at Gaelic Park on Sunday.
Not content with having inflicted a heavy defeat upon Clare a few weeks back, Tipp rifled in four goals in defeating Offaly by 19 points.
The rout started early on, with Paul Hogan, John Madden and Kevin Kennedy knocking in scores for Tipperary and by half time they led their opponents by 12 points.
Declan O’Meara hit two goals for Tipp toward the latter stages of the half, inflicting further damage, and despite a good performance by the ever-reliable Dave Reynolds and Kevin Dunne, Offaly found themselves in deep trouble throughout.
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Tipperary are certainly in with a shot for honors this season, and if they continue their season in this kind of form, the senior hurling championship could well find its way toward the lads from Tipp — if they can fight their way past Limerick and Kilkenny.
Tipp began this game as they intended to go on, with a considerable number of points coming from the trio of Hogan, Madden and Kennedy. Along with O’Meara’s two goals, the fab four made up all of their sides two goals and nine first-half points.
Offaly’s tally, however, fell far too short to really launch a considerable fightback. Red Hanlon with one, and Kevin Dunne hit two points for Offaly to complete their miserable tally of three first half points.
Tipperary are beginning to look something akin to a complete team. Not only did they have an impressive forward line, but with performers like Shane Ryan and Seamus Collison at the back, they are never likely to have any serious defensive problems. Their midfield pairing of John Madden and Mike Kennedy is up there with the best of them, and if Madden continues to score like he has been doing so far this season, Tipp should indeed go a long way.
The second half continued in much the same fashion, with Tipp hammering home more points from O’Meara, and another goal from Kevin Kennedy.
Reynolds hit a couple in for Offaly in a belated attempt to add some respectability to the score, and Kevin Dunne scored a further point and a well taken goal toward the end of the tie.
Offaly, though, were never really in the contest, Tipperary’s first-half goals demoralized them, and despite attempting to fight back, and stubbornly forcing their way through the Tipp backline, Offaly found the going tough.
Tipperary: Ian Duggan, Donal Cummins, Jim Lyons, Alan Slattery, Shane Ryan, Seamus Collison, John Madden (0-4), Mike Kennedy, Kevin Kennedy (1-7), Declan O’Meara (2-2), Dave Lonergan, Paul Hogan (1-3), Tony O’Brien. Subs: Keith Hennessy (0-1), John Slattery (0-1).
Offaly: Paddy Hogan, Sean Nolan, John Hyland, Dave Reynolds (0-5), Enda Condron (0-1), Pat Leavy, Kevin Dunne, Sean O’Donaghue, Brendan Coughlan, Jimmy Miller, Red Hanlon (0-1), Colm Scanlon, Aidan Egan.