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Tipperary cause shockwaves by dumping Galway out of title race

By John Campbell

The All-Ireland Football Championship has become predictable almost to the point of boredom.

But yesterday Tipperary not so much as lobbed a spanner into the works as triggered a sporting tsunami. Suddenly, a county totally devoted to hurling is in the All-Ireland football semi-finals - and they could face Tyrone!

Remember the scoreline for it will go down in history - Tipperary 3-13 Galway 1-10. Not only did Tipperary stride majestically right to the top table but they did so in style.

Two goals from Conor Sweeney, another from Michael Quinlivan and a heroic team performance has thrust the team up among the elite, their last semi-final appearance having been in 1935.

Damien Comer's goal just before the break looked to have thrown Galway a lifeline but they were sunk without trace.

Meanwhile, when Mayo manager Stephen Rochford took his seat in the Croke Park press box for his team's All-Ireland Round 4B football qualifier against Westmeath, he effectively thrust responsibility for getting the side into a quarter-final meeting with Tyrone on the shoulders of his lieutenant Tony McEntee.

And the Armagh 2002 All-Ireland winner did not let him down by calling the shots correctly as Mayo slipped past Westmeath on a 3-15 to 1-14 scoreline.

But both McEntee and Rochford are already acutely aware their team will need to show a considerable step-up if they are to overcome Mickey Harte's upbeat outfit next Saturday.

Even though they swept into a 2-9 to 0-4 lead at half-time through goals from Jason Doherty and Cillian O'Connor, Mayo found themselves reined after the break chiefly because of John Heslin.

The Westmeath marksman finished with a personal tally of 0-13.

Last year's runners-up Kerry, meanwhile, were rarely troubled as they cruised past Clare by 2-16 to 0-11.

Belfast Telegraph

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