Date Time Competition Season
21 May 2023 1:45 pm Tailteann Cup 2023

Match Report

Down Blitz Tipperary To Reach Summit Of Group 2

Down put in an emphatic result against Tipperary to top Group 2 of the Tailteann Cup, as they ran home 18 point winners, in a tie they never looked like losing after a strong second half push.

Pat Havern was influential in the tie from his free taking and scoring abilities, he notched 0-5 for the afternoon, while Odhran Murdock and Shelan Johnston found the net, finishing the day on 1-2 and 1-1 respectively. 

Tipp gave plenty of frees away in this contest, Down had numerous different takers and on plenty of occasions added points as Tipp faded especially in the second half, scoring just two points as they struggled in front of the posts.

It was cagey start from both teams as plenty of misplaced efforts on goal, showed nerves from both sides as this second round game was in its infancy, Tipp managed to buckle down and get the opening score as Sean O’Connor pointed after four minutes. Minutes later and Down were level as Pat Havern struck a long range free just outside the 45m line over the backspot.

Frees certainly would cost Tipp in that opening half, however almost straight after that Down levelled, Jack Kennedy struck a lovely point from play to put Tippearary ahead for the second time, the Premier County would find the scoring tough however after the tenth minute, as Down took control.

Havern again accurate from the boot this time close range saw him tap over to level, the tie for the second time, Emmet Moloney saw yellow for a push in the back, despite the free begin from an acute angle, Havern was ever reliable to stroke over the chance, 0-3 to 0-2 at the end of the first quarter.

The Mournemen kept pressing with Havern acting as conductor, another free saw Andrew Gilmore convert, while Havern added his fourth and fifth point in quick succession to put a four point gap between the teams after 25 minutes.

Despite their lead Down looked frustrated on the sideline with their play, making two changes in their forward line, Shealan Johnston replaced Ruairi O'Hare and Donagh McAleenan replaced Andrew Gilmore, they were still getting further ahead of their hosts, Daniel McGuinness and Ryan Johnston both converting chances to put six between them after the half hour mark.

Tipp had not scored since the tenth minute and five minutes into the allotted six of added time saw Kennedy point a free for just their third score, Ceilum Doherty cancelled out the score, but with the last act of the first half, Kennedy added his third point popping over a close range free.

The output for Tipp certainly was lacking in the opening half, they were struggling to get the ball in at times, when the chances materialised they went either side of the posts, but Havern was having a big impact especially from the placed ball scenarios.

At the break Teddy Doyle was summoned from the bench, he struck a peach of a point two minutes into the second half from over 45m out near the sideline, it cancelled out an early Danny Magill point, but once again it was Down that took control on the scoring front.

Magill added his second of the half but drama would follow, Tipp were awarded a penalty after 41 minutes as Sean O'Connor went for a score the ref spotted a foul, Kevin Fahey stepped up but it was well wide of the goal, Mark Rusell then had a mark overturned, Down won back possession and then at the other end they ran well and after a fluid move Shelan Johnston struck home with the aid of a deflection, 1-11 to 0-5 in favour of the Ulstermen.

It was becoming academic that Down would be victorious in this contest but by how much was still the bigger question as Tipp struggled in front of goal, Johnston, Magill, Murdock, Havern and Ross Car all pointed, before Kennedy notched the second Tipperary point of the half, what would be their final score after 58 minutes, Down at that stage were ten points to the good, 1-16 to 0-6.

Having been allowed space to use their dynamic running style, which brought numerous fisted points, Murdock raced through with no one putting in a tackle to ripple the back of the net for Down’s second goal, they almost had a third moments later but that effort cannoned off the crossbar, put another free in saw Murdock tap over for a 2-17 to 0-6 lead on the hour mark.

The game lost its edge in the final ten minutes, a solo score from Eamon Brown the only effort, as Tipp looked dejected and exhausted in their performance, the whistle coming at a relief for them, next is Waterford as they hope to end what has been a dismal and disappointing year with a win, while Down have Meath to worry about for top spot in the group.


1Michael O’Reilly Goalkeeper
2Shane O’Connell Defender
3Jimmy Feehan Defender
4Willie Eviston Defender
5Kevin Fahey Defender
6Colm O’Shaughnessy 22 Defender
7Colman Kennedy Defender
8Paudie Feehan 20 Midfielder
9Conal Kennedy 23 Midfielder
10Emmet Moloney 18 Forward 15'
11Jack Kennedy Forward 9', 35+4', 35+7', 59'
12Luke Boland Forward
13Mark Russell Forward 63'
14Stephen Quirke 24 Forward
15Sean O’Connor Forward 5'
16Cian O’Mahony Goalkeeper
17Darragh Brennan
18Dean Carew 10
19Rory Collins Forward
20Teddy Doyle 8 Forward 37'
21Joseph Lawrence Midfielder
22Donagh Leahy 6 Forward
23James Morris 9
24Mikey O’Shea 14 Forward
25Eoghan Power
26Keith Ryan


1John O’Hare Goalkeeper
2Finn McElroy 26 Defender
3Pierce Laverty Defender
4Anthony Doherty Defender
5Conor Francis Defender
6Gerard Collins Defender
7Patrick Branagan Defender
18Daniel Guinness 22 Defender 31'
9Pat Havern 15 Midfielder 8', 11', 15', 22', 25', 55'
10Miceal Rooney 23 Forward
17Ryan Johnston Forward 32'
12Odhran Murdock Forward 59'
53', 61'
24Andrew Gilmore 13 Forward 19'
14Ruairi O’Hare 21 Forward
19Ceilium Doherty Forward 35+6'
16Niall Kane Goalkeeper
8Conor Poland Midfielder
11Jerome Johnston Forward
13Donagh McAleenan 24 Forward
15Eamon Brown 9 Forward 67'
20Shane Annett
21Shealan Johnston 14 Forward 43'
22Daniel Magill 18 Defender 36', 40', 46'
23Conor Fitzpatrick 10
25Eugene Branagan Forward
26Ross Carr 2 57'
  • 73'

    Full time in Thurles, Down never in doubt as they overcome Tipp in an impressive display to top the group, Meath now await them on the final day if they look to finish top of the pile.

  • 59'

    Murdock hits the net, space opened up for him and he struck the back of the net

  • 59'

    Kennedy gives the home side something to cheer about as he grabs just their second point of the half

  • 58'

    Havern and Carr both point for a 14 point lead

  • 53'

    Johnston, Magill and Murdock add points and Down lead by 12, as Tipp need a sensational finish to this tie

  • 43'

    Down find the net as Shelan Johnston strikes home with the aid of a deflection, Tipp will be incensed that a call for a mark was overturned

  • 41'

    Tipp have a penalty as Sean O'Connor goes for a score the ref spots a foul, Kevin Fahey steps up but its driven wide, Down lead by six as Magill added his second of the half

  • 37'

    An early exchange of points, as Doyle marks his appearance for Tipp with a super point from over 45m out near the sideline

  • 36'

    Second half throws in as Teddy Doyle replaces Paudie Feehan at the break

  • 42'

    Half time in Thurles, where Tipp add two late scores in added time from Jack Kennedy, but Ceilum Doherty pointed for Down as they take a five point lead to the dressing rooms

  • 35'

    Six minutes added time

  • 32'

    Changes for Down as Shealan Johnston replaces Ruairi O Hare and Donagh Mc Aleenan replaces Andrew Gilmore

  • 32'

    Down now ahead by six as Daniel Guinness and Ryan Johnston both add scores

  • 25'

    Four point lead now for Down and Havern adds his fifth point of the day, two quick scores from him have the visitors in the driving seat

  • 19'

    Excellent block on the line by Jimmy Feehan stops a Down goal, but they win another free and Andrew Gilmore converts

  • 15'

    Another Havern free has Down a point ahead

  • 15'

    Emmet Moloney into the book

  • 11'

    Jack Kennedy put Tipp back in the lead but Havern adds his second free to level matters once again

  • 8'

    Down level as Pat Havern converts a free around d the 45m line

  • 5'

    A couple of early wides but Sean O'Connor puts the home side ahead

  • 1'

    The ball is thrown in and away we go

  • Tipp play as selected, Down make four late changes, Conor Poland, Jerome Johnston, Donagh McAleenan, Eamon Brown all drop out, Ceilium Doherty, Andrew Gilmore, Ryan Johnston and Daniel Guinness all come in

Past Meetings

(Round 1)
1-11 2-11
NFL Division 3
Semple Stadium

(Round 1)
0-10 0-10
NFL Division 3
Semple Stadium


Semple Stadium
Semple Stadium, Childers Park, Thurles Urban, The Municipal District of Thurles, County Tipperary, Munster, E41 YE09, Ireland

Diarmuid Kearney is a freelance Sports Journalist based in Co Kerry. He has more than 5 years experience covering domestic and international soccer for different media organisations, while also working for local and national print and digital organisations covering GAA.