Allianz Football League
Sligo 2-14, Tipperary 1-16
FIRST-half goals from Kyle Cawley and Niall Murphy were the key scores for Sligo in their one-point defeat of 14-man Tipperary, 2-14 to 1-16, at a bitterly cold Semple Stadium, Thurles, on Sunday.
Despite not scoring for the last 25 minutes – which included 10 minutes of additional time – Sligo just about held on, having earlier had leads of nine points and 10 points.
Tipperary, who were reduced to 14 players in the 45th minute when Jimmy Feehan was shown a second yellow card by referee Niall Ward, scored 1-6 to end up within a point of the visitors.
Michael Quinlivan’s goal after 65 minutes was the big score for Tipperary, who twice went close to getting goals in the frantic conclusion.
Philip Austin lashed a goal chance over the crossbar for his side’s 14th point – the corner-forward was then stretchered off after a collision with Sligo goalkeeper Aidan Devaney from the incident that almost led to a goal.
In the 10th minute of additional time, Tipperary centre-back Robbie Kiely drove a shot goalwards but Sligo team captain Neil Ewing deflected it out for a ’45’.
This win, Sligo’s first in two games, means that Niall Carew’s side are unbeaten after two rounds and second in the table behind Louth.
Backed by the breeze, Sligo led from the outset when the excellent Gerard O’Kelly-Lynch pointed after four minutes after running upfield from his wing-back position.
Kyle Cawley’s ninth minute goal, which was created by John Kelly’s ball into Niall Murphy, who offloaded to the goal specialist, put Sligo in the driving seat.
The Connacht side, for whom Ross Donovan was excellent in defence, also found the range with some fine points by Kyle Cawley, Criostóir Davey and Niall Murphy.
The winners’ second goal was a quality 27th minute finish from inside forward Niall Murphy, who was found by a pass by Keelan Cawley (wing-back Cawley had to leave the field with a serious injury five minutes later).
Murphy’s goal put Sligo nine points up, 2-7 to 0-4, and Niall Carew’s side finished the half seven points up thanks to pointed frees from Mark Breheny and Adrian Marren.
Sligo continued to pick off some nice scores in the second-half – with Tipperary’s drive reduced by Jimmy Feehan’s red card – and when Kyle Cawley pointed from a Mark Breheny pass it left the gap at 10 points, 2-14 to 0-10, with 15 minutes of normal time left.
Sligo had to nervously hang on but this was a significant win against last year’s All-Ireland semi-finalists.
Tipperary: Evan Comerford, Alan Campbell, Paddy Codd, Willie Connors, Kevin Fahey, Robbie Kiely, Jimmy Feehan, Alan Maloney (0-2), Martin Dunne, Josh Keane, Liam McGrath, Brian Fox (0-1), Conor Sweeney (0-5, 3f), Michael Quinlivan (1-2, 2f), Philip Austin (0-1)
Subs used: Kevin O’Halloran (0-4, 3f, 1 ’45’) for Liam McGrath h-t; Emmet Moloney for Kevin Fahey 50; Jack Kennedy for Josh Keane 58; Liam Casey for Martin Dunne 58; Liam Boland (0-1) for Philip Austin 69
Sligo: Aidan Devaney (0-1, 1 ’45’), Ross Donovan, Kevin McDonnell, Noel Gaughan, Keelan Cawley, Neil Ewing, Gerard O’Kelly-Lynch (0-2), Paddy O’Connor, Adrian McIntyre, Criostóir Davey (0-1), Mark Breheny (0-3, 2f), John Kelly, Kyle Cawley (1-2), Adrian Marren (0-4, 2f), Niall Murphy (1-1)
Subs used: Eoin McHugh for Keelan Cawley 32; Stephen Gilmartin for Paddy O’Connor 60; Stephen Coen for Niall Murphy 62; James Hynes for Criostóir Davey 70+4; Enda Connolly for Ross Donovan 70+7
Referee: Niall Ward (Westmeath)