A storming finish from Tipperary – the hosts hit 1-4 without reply during the closing 14 minutes – handed the Premier County their first league win of the campaign.
Having failed to score for the opening 19 minutes of the second period, Tipperary’s first score of the half came gift-wrapped as a Liam McGrath free from the 45-metre line went all the way to the net following confusion from Shaun Patton and Hugh McFadden on the goal line.
That goal brought Tipperary back within one of their opponents and while Donegal kicked two of the game’s next three scores to lead by 0-13 to 2-5 entering the final nine minutes, Liam Kearns charges finished like a train to claim the two points on offer.
Brian Fox lit the fuse on their closing purple patch with a super point from distance before Liam Casey, after being put through by Liam McGrath, rolled the ball into the bottom right corner of Patton’s goal.
There followed points from Liam Casey, Conor Sweeney and Stephen O’Brien to seal a pretty special win for Tipperary.
Donegal, who enjoyed the backing of a strong wind in the opening half, led by 0-10 to 1-4. The margin could have been double that as Donegal were awarded a dubious enough looking penalty three minutes before the break, John Meagher adjudged to have fouled Hugh McFadden. Jamie Brennan took the resultant spot kick, but, Michael O’Reilly, to his credit, dived the correct way.
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Brennan was responsible for two of Donegal’s first-half tally, the Ulster champions using the wind to kick a number of fine points from out the field. Oisin Gallen had the visitors on the board as early as the 35th second, the full-forward with the game’s only converted mark.
Tipperary’s response was a through-the-centre goal. They wouldn’t, however, score again for another 13 minutes, the home side finding scores very hard to come by during the opening 35 minutes.
Ciaran Thompson’s massive sideline kick was the first in a Donegal three-point burst, one of two which they managed in the opening half, but no doubt that Declan Bonner wouldn’t have been overly pleased with Donegal’s three-point lead at the break given it was hardly an insurmountable target for Tipperary to chase.
And so it proved.
Scorers for Tipperary: S O’Brien, L Casey (1-1); Liam McGrath (1-0, 1-0 free); B Fox, C Sweeney (0-2, 0-1 free), P Austin (0-2 each); L Boland (0-1 each).
Scorers for Donegal: C Thompson (0-4, 0-2 frees); M Langan (0-1 free), O Gallen (0-3 each); J Brennan (0-2); N O’Donnell (0-1).
Donegal: S Patton; EB Gallagher, B McCole, T McCleneghan; C Ward S McMenamin, R McHugh; J McGee, H McFadden; C Thompson, C McGonagle, M Langan; N O’Donnell, O Gallen, J Brennan.
Subs: L McLoone for McGee (45); E McHugh for McCleneghan (52); M McElhinney for Gallen (66); P Brennan for McMenamin (69)
Tipperary: M O’Reilly; A Campbell, J Meagher, E Moloney; J Feehan, D Brennan, K Fahey; S O’Brien, J Kennedy; P Austin, L Casey, L McGrath; B Fox, C Sweeney, K O’Halloran.
Subs: L Boland for O’Halloran (52); C O’Shaughnessy for Feehan (59); C Kennedy for J Kennedy (67); D O’Meara for Austin (73); P Codd for Fahey (73).
Referee: B Cawley (Kildare).
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