Tipp denied as Rushe strike saves Blues
LIAM RUSHE scored a brilliant goal with the last puck of the game to snatch a dramatic draw for Dublin at Croke Park last night.

Tipp, inspired by a flurry of scores from their full-forward Brian O’Meara, looked to be on course for a hard-fought win until Rushe plucked a dropping ball from the air and shot low past Darren Gleeson.

The draw still doesn’t save them from the probability of a relegation play-off against Waterford but it gives Dublin their first point of the season. Dublin must look to their subs bench and pay homage to David Treacy (1-2) and Niall McMorrow (0-2) for the sterling impact they had when introduced.

Up to that point they looked toothless in attack and had to depend on outstanding defence to keep them alive.

Played in front of a paltry crowd, the game picked up in pace as it went on. The first half was extremely tense and compact as both defences dominated. Dublin looked sharper for long periods but still trailed by two points at the break. Hitting eight wides certainly didn’t help the cause.

It wasn’t until Tipp — who started without Paul Curran and Conor O’Mahony — switched centre-forward Noel McGrath with O’Meara in the 22nd minute that they looked like creating some decent chances. Until then they were relying on the free-taking of Pa Bourke who converted three placed balls.

The dominance of Mickey Cahill and Padraic Maher at the back was telling, however, as were the two crucial interventions of Gleeson. His stop from Eamon Dillon was particularly eye-catching.

Tipp were also lucky in that two yellow cards for Stapleton and John Coughlan, picked up for high challenges, might have been red on another day.

Dublin substitutes McMorrow and Treacy made a massive difference after the break and helped edged their side into a two-point lead but Declan Ryan’s men finished strongly, mainly through O’Meara who shot 0-4 on the trot to take the lead with time just up.

The main reason for their late resurgence was the presence of Padraic Maher on the half-back line after being moved out from the edge of the square. The Thurles man proved to be a colossus for the last 20 minutes.

As his forwards responded to his call to arms, it seemed as if they would leave Jones Road with a win. However, the last word belonged to Rushe and his goal ultimately ensured that justice was done for a plucky Dubs outfit.

Scorers — Dublin: L Rushe, D Treacy 1-2 each, A McCrabbe 0-3 (2f), D Sutcliffe, R O’Dwyer, N McMorrow 0-2 each, J McCaffrey, D O’Callaghan 0-1. Tipperary: Pa Bourke 0-6 (5f), B O’Meara 0-5, N McGrath 0-4 (3f), J O’Brien 0-2, B Maher, S Bourke, J Ryan, S McGrath 0-1 each.

Dublin: G Maguire; N Corcoran, P Schutte, R Treanor; M Carton, J Boland, S Durkin; J McCaffrey, S Lambert; L Rushe, D O’Callaghan, D Sutcliffe; E Dillon, R O’Dwyer, A McCrabbe. Subs: D Treacy for E Dillon (h-t), S Stapleton for S Lambert (52), N McMorrow for A McCrabbe (55), M O’Brien for P Schutte (58).

Tipperary: D Gleeson; D Maher, P Maher, M Cahill; T Stapleton, J Coughlan, C O’Brien; B Maher, J Woodlock; G Ryan, N McGrath, P Bourke; J O’Neill, B O’Meara, S Bourke. Subs: J O’Brien for S Bourke (h-t), D Young for Coughlan (46), J Ryan for P Bourke (47), S McGrath for Woodlock (58), T Hammersley for O’Neill (69).

Referee: B Gavin (Offaly)

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