Breaking: Tipp through to the next round of hurling qualifiers after unconvincing victory

Noel Dundon

Reporter:

Noel Dundon

Email:

nd@tipperarystar.ie

Seamus Callanan

Tipperary attacker Seamus Callanan

Westmeath pushed All-Ireland champions all the way but final flurry of scores sees Tipp over the line.

Tipperary 2-18

Westmeath 0-15

Lacklustre Tipperary advanced to the next round of the All-Ireland senior hurling qualifiers after an unconvincing display against visitors Westmeath to Semple Stadium this evening.

The spark that Tipp supporters had hoped to see in their team was scarcely evident in this game, but they still had enough class to overcome the Westmeath men who showed great determination throughout the encounter.

Tipperary held a four point advantage by the half way mark, but they had failed to show any major spark against the Lake County men who were working very hard and pointing from distance.

In saying that, the hosts had opened up a 0-8 to 0-4 lead by the end of the first quarter and when John O'Dwyer goalled  it seemed as though the All-Ireland champions would press on.

However, Westmeath is was who pushed on and they were to hit 0-5 without reply to come right back into the game - a Ronan Maher point for Tipp on the stroke of half time, bridging an 18 minute gap since the Premiers previous score.

John "Bubbles" O'Dwyer, bagged Tipperary's first half goal.

There was bad new for Tipp with attacker Niall O'Meara who had been very involved in the game was stretchered off in the 22nd minute and certainly looks to be out of the next qualifier game next weekend. Indeed, the half was punctuated with injuries resulting in some 8 minutes of additional time being played.

Tipperary's ability to pick off scores was the difference between them Seamus Callanan, John O'Dwyer, Noel McGrath and sub Jason Forde picking off the scores to seal the win. And, when Tipp's second goal came from sub John McGrath in the dying moments after a long run from Steven O'Brien, Tipp were home and dry.

They now await the qualifier draw on Mnday morning to see who they will meet next weekend.