Tight match between Galway and the Premier County ends in a draw
By CIARÁN McGREAL
John O'Dwyer's point with the last puck of the game earned Tipperary a well-deserved draw against Galway in Pearse Stadium.
Joe Canning looked to have won it for the hosts with an excellent point from a sideline cut but O'Dwyer had the final say.
Tipperary had the better start with Niall O'Meara grabbing a third minute goal. Noel McGrath flicked the ball to the Kilruane MacDonaghs man and he beat James Skehill from close range. McGrath added to Tipperary's tally with a brilliant point two minutes later to put the visitors 1-2 to 0-0 up.
Galway began to get a foothold and they went close to getting a goal of their own in the ninth minute but Conor Whelan could only find the side netting with his low shot.
Brendan Maher and Michael Breen dominated the midfield and they helped themselves to two points apiece in the first half with Tipperary leading 1-9 to 0-5 after 28 minutes.
But Galway finished the half strongly and two minutes into injury time, Canning beat Darren Gleeson with a brilliant shot to claim a Galway goal. The Portumna man rode the challenge of Ronan Maher to dispatch the ball high into Gleeson's net. A further point from the full-forward left just a point between the teams at the break.
In a lively start to the second half, Galway grabbed their second goal through Iarla Tannian on 42 minutes. Gleeson had denied Whelan with a great save but Tipperary failed to clear and Tannian's low shot went under Gleeson and into the net. This gave Galway a two point lead but Tipperary were soon in front again as John McGrath kept up his accuracy from placed balls.
Niall Burke's 54th minute point levelled things up again and Galway survived a scare at the other end as Skehill's short puck out almost resulted in a Tipperary goal but John O'Dwyer hacked it wide. Two brilliant scores from Flynn and Niall Burke put the hosts two points up again after 58 minutes.
Tipperary kept the scoreboard ticking over with some well taken scores to get back into it. Canning thought he'd won it but substitute O'Dwyer got his second point of the match to earn the Munster side a draw.
Galway: J Skehill; F Moore, Daithí Burke, P Hoban; G McInerney, David Burke, A Harte; C Mannion, I Tannian (1-0); A Smith, N Burke (0-4), D Glennon (0-1); J Flynn (0-3), J Canning (1-11, 0-8f, 0-1 sl), C Whelan.
Subs: R Cummins for Tannian (54), E Burke for Whelan (61), P Brehony for Smith (63).
Tipperary: D Gleeson; C Barrett (0-1), T Hamill, M Cahill; B Heffernan (0-1), R Maher, P Maher (0-1); M Breen (0-3), B Maher (0-2); N McGrath (0-3), K Bergin, D McCormack; J McGrath (0-6, 0-5f), A Ryan (0-2), N O'Meara (1-0).
Subs: C O'Brien for Cahill (24), C Kenny for Bergin (h-t), J O'Dwyer (0-2) for McCormack (h-t), D Quinn (0-1) for Kenny (58).
Referee: James Owens (Wexford)