Galway 3-23 Tipperary 2-24
IT'S Galway and Limerick next weekend after a pulsating All-Ireland quarter-final at the Gaelic Grounds.
Tipp and the Tribe have delivered a series of epic games in the modern era and this was the same; an audacious goal from Aidan Harte in the closing stages, after a red card for Cathal Barrett in the 53rd had shifted the momentum, was the difference.
All-Ireland champions Tipperary are out, despite hurling extremely well for long spells. They rode their luck at times against Cork in last week's qualifier but didn't get the breaks their performance deserved on this occasion.
Seamus Callanan nailed a terrific early goal and added a few more points of trademark quality at tight angles. Noel McGrath buzzed around with intent in the first half before fading out. Bonner Maher was quiet but his goal, at the second time of asking, put Tipp in a very strong position coming up to half-time.
The Mahers won their share of possession and in the second half, when Galway had the wind at their backs, they made it very hard for Shane O'Neill's side to score from play.
It was an arm wrestle at times, yet lit up by a series of classy flicks and clever passes in between the slips and errors on a heavy pitch.
The leadership of Joe Canning was crucial for Galway and he converted some very taxing frees as well as a sideline cut from a tight angle. A marauding run with the game on the line led to a lovely pass for a Jason Flynn score.
Goals against the wind from the lively Cathal Mannion and Brian Concannon, from a slick Conor Whelan handpass, were critical for Galway.
They made a couple of major switches at half-time, replacing David Burke and Johnny Coen with Jason Flynn and Adrian Tuohey, but despite Daithí Burke and Padraig Mannion settling into the game, Tipp were value for their 2-18 to 2-16 advantage at the second water-break.
Ultimately, the red card left them peddling uphill and a Brian Hogan free that was deflected over was as close as they got to snatching a win in additional time.
J Canning 0-14 (0-12 f, 0-1 sideline), C Mannion 1-3, B Concannon, A Harte 1-0 each, J Cooney, J Coen, C Cooney, C Whelan, J Flynn, S Loftus 0-1 each.
J Forde 0-6 (0-5 f), N McGrath 0-4, S Callanan 1-2, Patrick Maher 1-0, A Flynn, M Breen, D McCormack 0-2 each, J Morris, N O’Meara, B Heffernan, W Connors, R Maher (f), B Hogan (f) 0-1 each.
E Murphy; A Harte, Daithí Burke, S Cooney; F Burke, G McInerney, J Cooney; P Mannion, J Coen; J Canning, C Mannion, David Burke; C Whelan, C Cooney, B Concannon.
A Tuohey for David Burke, J Flynn for J Coen (both h-t); S Loftus for F Burke, E Niland for C Cooney (both 58); D Morrissey for S Cooney (70+1).
B Hogan; C Barrett, B Maher, R Maher; Pádraic Maher, N O’Meara, B Heffernan; A Flynn, M Breen; D McCormack, N McGrath, Patrick Maher; J Forde, S Callanan, J Morris.
W Connors for Patrick Maher (50); J McGrath for N McGrath (53); P Cadell for N O’Meara (59); P Flynn for J Forde (65); M Kehoe for D McCormack (73).
C Barrett (53, second yellow).
J Murphy (Limerick).