Allianz Football League Division 3 – Tipperary 2-12 Antrim 0-13

Tipperary defeated Antrim by 2-12 to 0-13 in Round 1 of the Allianz Football League Division 3 on Sunday February 5th at Semple Stadium Thurles.

Work to do but Tipperary ‘get the job done’

Report by Jackie Cahill for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Tipperary 2-12 Antrim 0-13: A much-improved second-half display saw Tipperary claim an opening day victory over Antrim in Division 3 of the Allianz Football League.

Goals from All Star Michael Quinlivan and Philip Austin were pivotal as the Premier County, last year’s All-Ireland semi-finalists and one of the leading contenders for promotion, won by five points in front of 722 spectators at Semple Stadium.

Tipp were four points down in the first half, and trailed by 0-5 to 0-7 at the break, but a more direct approach in the second period bore rich dividends.

Both of Tipp goals came from long Alan Moloney deliveries from midfield, with Conor Sweeney providing the assists. Quinlivan profited in the 56th minute before Austin claimed the second goal with six minutes remaining.

It was encouraging stuff from Tipp, who were two points down before turning the screw. With the breeze at their backs in the second half, and kicking towards the Town End, Tipp showed fine game management to win a first round league game for the first time since 2014.

Both teams finished the game with 14 players as Tipp had used all six subs when they lost a second player, Willie Connors, to a black card.

And Antrim were a man light for the closing seconds when Conor Murray was dismissed for a second bookable offence.

A black card for Ryan Murray at the end of the first half cost the visiting Saffrons. Murray had been motoring well before he was handed his marching orders, a hotly-disputed decision but arguably correct as the forward appeared guilty of a hand-trip.

Murray’s replacement, CJ McGourty, did well but also missed a couple of straightforward chances from frees.

Antrim were also unlucky to see two point efforts in the first half denied by the upright, while Tipp goalkeeper Evan Comerford did well to keep out a palmed Stephen Beatty effort.

Comerford’s opposite number, Chris Kerr, saved well from Quinlivan early in the second half but he would have to pick the ball out of his net twice as Tipp broke through.

Tipp manager Liam Kearns reflected: “I wasn’t happy at half-time, we were poor in the first half. We were very rusty and made a lot of mistakes and basically they showed more aggression and were more at it than we were.

“But we sorted out a lot at half-time and I was happy with the second half, even though we left a few scores behind us but we got the job done.”

On the disputed black card, Antrim boss Frank Fitzsimons said: “It was right in front of me, the referee came to the linesman and the linesman didn’t say anything, but he (ref) went back and gave a black card to Ryan. It took effect on us but you have to dust yourself off, get up and go again. We had to put somebody else on (McGourty) and he did well when he came on too.”

Scorers for Tipperary: P Austin (1-2); C Sweeney (0-4, 2 frees); M Quinlivan (1-0); J Keane (0-2 frees); K Fahey, R Kiely, L McGrath (f) & B Fox (0-1 each).

Scorers for Antrim: C.J. McGourty (0-4, 2 frees); R Murray (0-3, 2 frees, 1 sl); P McBride & M Fitzpatrick (0-2 each); P McAteer, C Murray (0-1 each).

TIPPERARY: E Comerford; A Campbell, P Codd, W Connors; K Fahey, R Kiely, J Feehan; A Moloney, M Dunne; J Keane, L McGrath, B Fox; C Sweeney, M Quinlivan, P Austin.
Subs: K O’Halloran for McGrath (h.t.), E Moloney for K Fahey (46), I Fahey for Dunne (66), Liam Boland for Quinlivan (68), J Hennessy for Codd (69), Luke Boland for Fox (b/c 70+1)

ANTRIM: C Kerr; P Healy, P Gallagher, C Hamill; P McBride, J Laverty, P McAteer; M Johnson, J Dowling; D Lynch, C Murray, S Beatty; R Murray, C Small, M Fitzpatrick
Subs: CJ McGourty for R Murray (b/c 35), R McCann for Small (52), R Scott for Beatty (63), S Donnelly for Lynch (64)

Referee: B Cawley (Kildare)

Quinlivan and Austin goals key as Tipperary turn the screw on Antrim in the second-half

Tipperary 2-12 Antrim 0-13

Report by Jackie Cahill for

SECOND HALF GOALS from All-Star Michael Quinlivan and Philip Austin helped Tipperary to gain a winning start in Division 3 of the Allianz Football League.

The Premier County overturned a four-point first half deficit to win by five in front of 722 spectators at Semple Stadium. Both goals arrived following long deliveries from Alan Moloney, with Conor Sweeney providing the assists.
With Tipp a point down, 0-10 to 0-11, Quinlivan’s 56th minute goal was a crucial score and when Austin pounced six minutes from time, the points were secure for the hosts.

But it wasn’t all plain sailing for Tipp, who were 0-5 to 0-7 behind at the end of a disappointing first half. Antrim packed bodies behind the ball and Tipp found it difficult to find a way through, before a more direct approach in the second half paid rich dividends.

Antrim suffered a real blow approaching half-time when lively forward Ryan Murray was black-carded for an apparent hand-trip, a call hotly-contested by the Saffrons. C.J. McGourty came on to score four points but he was also responsible for some poor second half misses.

After Evan Comerford did well in the first half to keep out Stephen Beatty’s palmed effort, his opposite number and Antrim goalkeeper Chris Kerr pulled off a fine save from Quinlivan early in the second half, diverting the ball onto the post.

By then, Tipp had gone ahead for the first time in the game but Antrim – who were 0-7 to 0-3 up in the first half – rallied to lead by 0-11 to 0-9, before the Premier County scored the crucial goals. In stoppage time, Tipp lost captain Brian Fox and debutant Willie Connors to black cards.

With all six subs used, the loss of Connors left Tipp playing the closing seconds a man light. And Antrim were reduced to 14 players when Conor Murray was dismissed for a second bookable offence.

Scorers for Tipperary: Philip Austin 1-2, Conor Sweeney 0-4 (2f), Michael Quinlivan 1-0, Josh Keane 0-2f, Kevin Fahey, Robbie Kiely, Liam McGrath (f) & Brian Fox 0-1 each.

Scorers for Antrim: C.J. McGourty 0-4 (2f), Ryan Murray 0-3 (2f, 1 sl), Paddy McBride & Matthew Fitzpatrick 0-2 each, Paddy McAteer & Conor Murray 0-1 each.


1. Evan Comerford (Kilsheelan-Kilcash)
2. Alan Campbell (Moyle Rovers)
3. Paddy Codd (Killenaule)
4. Willie Connors (Kiladangan)
5. Kevin Fahey (Clonmel Commercials)
6. Robbie Kiely (Carbery Rangers)
7. Jimmy Feehan (Killenaule)
8. Alan Moloney (Rockwell Rovers)
9. Martin Dunne (Moyle Rovers)
10. Josh Keane (Golden-Kilfeacle)
11. Liam McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney)
12. Brian Fox (Captain) (Éire Óg Annacarty-Donohill)
13. Conor Sweeney (Ballyporeen
14. Michael Quinlivan (Clonmel Commercials)
15. Philip Austin (Borrisokane)
17. Kevin O’Halloran (Portroe) for McGrath (h.t.)
20. Emmet Moloney (Drom & Inch) for K Fahey (46)
18. Ian Fahey (Clonmel Commercials) for Dunne (66)
21. Liam Boland (Moyle Rovers) for Quinlivan (68)
19. Joseph Hennessy (Loughmore-Castleiney) for Codd (69)
26. Luke Boland (Moyle Rovers) for Fox (b/c 70+1)


1. Chris Kerr (Naomh Gall)
2. Peter Healy (Naomh Eanna)
3. Patrick Gallagher (Naomh Seosamh, Lann Abhaigh)
4. Conor Hamill (Naomh Seosamh, Lann Abhaigh)
5. Paddy McBride (Naomh Eoin)
6. James Laverty (Clann na hÉireann)
7. Paddy McAteer (Naomh Uíle)
8. Martin Johnson (Ciceam an Creagán)
9. Jack Dowling (Naomh Bríd)
10. Declan Lynch (Lamh Dhearg)
11. Conor Murray (Lamh Dhearg)
12. Stephen Beatty (Uí Donnabháin Rosa)
13. Ryan Murray (Lamh Dhearg)
25. Conor Small (Ciceam an Creagán)
15. Matthew Fitzpatrick (Naomh Eoin)
24. CJ McGourty (Naomh Gall) for R Murray (b/c 35)
20. Ruairi McCann (Naomh Mhuire, Achadh Galláin) for Small (52)
21. Ruairi Scott (Naomh Eanna) for Beatty (63)
26. Sean Donnelly (Uí Donnabháin Rosa) for Lynch (64)

Referee: Brendan Cawley (Kildare)

Fixture Details

05.02.2017 (Sun)
Allianz Football League Roinn 3 Round 1
Semple Stadium, Thurles 14:00
Tiobraid Árann v Aontroim
Referee: Brendan Cawley (Cill Dara)

The Tipperary football team to play Antrim in Round 1 of the Allianz Football League Division 3 encounter in Semple Stadium on Sunday next, February 5th at 2pm has been announced by manager Liam Kearns.

The captain for 2017 is Brian Fox from Éire Óg Annacarty-Donohill and there is a league debut for Willie Connors (Kiladangan) while Liam McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney) also gets a debut league start having come on as a replacement in previous campaigns. After taking a year out Killenaule’s Paddy Codd returns to the full back position, as Kearns names a strong team for Tipperary’s opening fixture.

The team lines out as follows;

1. Evan Comerford – Kilsheelan-Kilcash
2. Alan Campbell – Moyle Rovers
3. Paddy Codd – Killenaule
4. Willie Connors – Kiladangan
5. Kevin Fahey – Clonmel Commercials
6. Robbie Kiely – Carbery Rangers
7. Jimmy Feehan – Killenaule
8. Alan Moloney – Rockwell Rovers
9. Martin Dunne – Moyle Rovers
10. Josh Keane – Golden-Kilfeacle
11. Liam McGrath – Loughmore-Castleiney
12. Brian Fox (Capt.) – Éire Óg Annacarty-Donohill
13. Conor Sweeney – Ballyporeen
14. Michael Quinlivan – Clonmel Commercials
15. Philip Austin – Borrisokane

16. Ciarán Kenrick – Moyle Rovers
17. Kevin O’Halloran – Portroe
18. Ian Fahey – Clonmel Commercials
19. Joseph Hennessy – Loughmore-Castleiney
20. Emmet Moloney – Drom & Inch
21. Liam Boland – Moyle Rovers
22. Liam Casey – Cahir
23. Jack Kennedy – Clonmel Commercials
24. Colm Stapleton – Upperchurch-Drombane
25. Paul Shanahan – Upperchurch-Drombane
26. Luke Boland – Moyle Rovers