Harte gets his reward after battling back once more
Galway 3-23 Tipperary 2-24
Galway and Tipperary brought the best out of each other once more and in the end, it took a late, great winner from corner back Aidan Harte to settle it.
A former forward, the Gort club man showed his instincts of old to go for the jugular when the majority of players would have been happy with the point. Coming so late in the game, with the strike putting Galway two points up with just three minutes to play, it proved a fatal blow for the All-Ireland champions Tipperary who ended with 14 men but went out swinging.
To their credit, the Premier County reacted well to that 53rd minute red card for Cathal Barrett with Willie Connors, Dan McCormack and Seamus Callanan in particular standing up, but Galway gradually came to terms with their advantage, and sprayed the ball around well. For the Tribesmen, Conor Whelan was once again a constant menace while Cathal Mannion stylishly shot his way to a goal and three points.
But still, it looked like Tipperary were going to hang on until Harte intervened. It was a tremendous finish from the 32-year-old who's been playing with Galway since 2008. For the first half of his career, Harte played in the forwards but since 2015, he was moved back to wing back where he has flourished. Having been dropped last weekend in favour of Sean Loftus, Harte reminded the management of his worth with a man of the match display here.
The Aidan Harte goal that sends Galway into the All-Ireland semi-finals 💣pic.twitter.com/jgPkKdftLW
— GAA JOE (@GAA__JOE) November 21, 2020
On a rollercoaster afternoon, that was the difference.
From the get-go, Tipperary meant business with Seamus Callanan's 36th Championship goal putting them in the driving seat early on. Patrick 'Bonner' Maher was a man on fire in these early stages with the Lorrha club man directly assisting three Premier points. Noel McGrath and Alan Flynn were also to the fore for Liam Sheedy's side.
As usual, Conor Whelan was causing problems though as Cathal Mannion restored parity with a well-taken goal for Galway. Daithi Burke recovered from a rocky start to win a few momentum-shifting balls while Joseph Cooney thundered into the game.
It was score for score but Tipp went into the break the happier, with Bonner Maher's goal giving them a four point advantage. In the second half, they picked up from where they left off with Seamus Callanan hitting the point of the day off the back foot, while Dan McCormack became more and more effective.
Barrett's second yellow for a mistimed tap on Brian Concannon's shoulder handed Galway a lifeline and Joe Canning's exquisite sideline gave them momentum.
From then on, it was all about that man Harte.
"The experience has stood to me at this stage," he said after, "I know it's never over until it's over. Just keep going for the team and try and do your best for the next ball."
His Galway career hasn't been a straight forward thing but he's kept in there, kept battling and today he got his reward.
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) November 21, 2020