The Championship

Tipperary v Derry - how they rated

Derry's Mark Lynch is pursued by Tipperary's Ciaran McDonald during Saturday's All-Ireland SFC Qualifier at Breffni Park. Picture by Philip Walsh 

Thomas Mallon:
His unfortunate slip and poor clearance led directly to Tipperary’s goal, which proved crucial. Made two bright saves either side of half-time. He takes only partial blame for Derry’s poor kick-out strategy. 5

Oisin Duffy: Came in as a late replacement for Gareth McKinless who got injured in the warm-up. Had spells on a couple of different Tipp forwards but found Conor Sweeney the toughest. 6

Christopher McKaigue: A bit loose in the opening exchanges with Michael Quinlivan allowing his man to point too easily in the 12th minute and was beaten to a high ball three minutes later that could have ended up in Derry’s net. Did much better when pursuing his man out the field. 6.5

Karl McKaigue: The Slaughtneil man kept a tight rein on Brian Fox for long periods and always made himself available to accept possession in pressure situations. 6.5

Ciaran McFaul: Showed tremendous appetite to get forward and won the Tipp kick-out that led to Derry’s first half goal. Also involved in his side’s second goal. Left space behind him as Derry tried to press high. 7

Brendan Rogers: Whisked away from a family wedding to play on Saturday, Rodgers had a solid first half but as Derry pressed in the second half he was more exposed. Forced to shoot from distance with the final play of the game but the ball drifted wide. 6

Ciaran Mullan: Could have defended Josh Keane’s 43rd minute point better and didn’t get close enough to Conor Sweeney who equalised in stoppage-time. It was tough on all the Derry markers in the second-half as Tipp attacked from all angles. 5.5

Conor McAtamney: A gargantuan display in the middle of the field by the Swatragh man. Won a host of kick-outs, covered unbelievable acreage and was always productive in possession. Left everything on the field. 8.5

Niall Holly: Won a great turnover off Philip Austin in the 18th minute, but never got to grips with Peter Acheson in the early stages and drifted out of the game. 5.5

Niall Loughlin: Incredibly sharp turn for his first point and showed brilliant composure to bag another two before the break. Didn’t have the same influence in the second half as the Tipperary half-back line ran riot. 7

Enda Lynn: Drafted in to the starting line-up and worked hard. Scored a nice point to give Derry a three-point lead after 33 minutes before being replaced soon after the restart. 6

James Kielt: Caught a Tipperary kick-out and ran through to point. Made a couple of other fine fetches and converted a free. Probably withdrawn a little prematurely particularly at a time when Tipp were beginning to win more primary possession around the middle third. 6.5

Emmett McGuckin: Not a lot of ball kicked into the Magherafelt man but it was his work-rate that allowed Mark Lynch to convert a free in the 31st minute but lost another easy possession that led to a Tipp score. A mixed day. 6

Mark Lynch: Ciaran McDonald stuck to him like glue for long periods but the Banagher man timed his run to perfection to goal in the 32nd minute and dropped his shoulder to point with his weaker left in the second half. 7


Niall Toner:
Never got into any scoring positions but left his mark on Derry’s summer. 5

Christopher Bradley: Fantastic point and gave an inch perfect pass for Lynch that led to Derry’s late goal. 6.5

Emmett Bradley: Won a few balls around the middle and pointed. 6

Liam McGoldrick: Replaced Rodgers and grabbed a fine point in the 65th minute. 6

Eoghan Brown: Completely ignored Mark Hanley’s ‘sledging’, caught on Sky Sports, and made a fine run to major.

Neill Forrester: His only real involvement was diving bravely onto a 50-50 ball when Tipp looked like scoring again. 6


Danny Heavron:
 Incredible. You won’t see a more dynamic performance from a sweeper this summer. Scored four points from play, assisted for Derry’s opening goal, penetrated the Tipp defence every time he went forward and ran himself into the ground. His last act was putting two points between the sides before a bout of cramp. A class act and must be in the running for an Irish News Ulster Allstar. 9


Evan Comerford:
Was probably fortunate that Derry seemed to leave space to his left to kick into so often. Struggled to find his men. Good save to deny Heavron in the first-half. 6

Colm O’Shaughnessy: Picked up Enda Lynn from the start and probed into the Derry half when he could. Conceded a point just before half-time. Decent second-half. 6

Alan Campbell: Any day a full-back keeps his man scoreless is a good day. Got a good hand in on a rare delivery to Emmett McGuckin in the first half, but was turned over twice by the full-forward. 6.5

Ciaran McDonald: Had a nightmare outing in the Munster final but Liam Kearns entrusted him with taking on Mark Lynch, and the Aherlow man didn’t let his manager down. 7

Bill Maher: Drafted back to pick up Niall Loughlin in the first half, he couldn’t contain the young Greenlough forward. Moved out and was heavily involved in the attack in the second-half. 6.5

Robbie Kiely: Given the freedom by Danny Heavron dropping back and the licence by his manager to attack, Kiely was Tipperary’s best and most important player. Involved in everything. 8.5

Jimmy Feehin: Seemed an unnatural move to put him against the more physical James Kielt. Struggled aerially and got outmuscled for the Kilrea man’s fine first half point. Botched a goal chance for his own team. 5

Peter Acheson: Got forward plenty in the first-half and was to the fore in their good start. Had a real battle with Conor McAtamney in which they both broke even. 7

George Hannigan: Seemed to be bypassed by the game in the first half, struggling with the intensity of Niall Holly and McAtamney in the middle. Replaced at half-time. 5

Josh Keane: Dropped back often to supplement the defence when Derry were attacking, but was second best in his duel with Karl McKaigue throughout. 5.5

Kevin O’Halloran: Caused problems with his elusive movement. A mixed day from the dead ball, missing plenty but still scoring five points to add to his emphatically finished, but gift-wrapped, goal. 7

Brian Fox: Showed glimpses in the second half, breaking the tackle of Ciaran Mullan to kick a point at a crucial stage, but didn’t curtail Ciaran McFaul well enough. 6

Philip Austin: A real threat to the Derry defence every time he took off on a run. A strong, powerful player, he was able to break tackles and gain yards every time. Effective. 7.5

Michael Quinlivan: Had a great battle with Chrissy McKaigue between full-forward and midfield. Nothing really stuck for him inside but still scored two points from play. 7

Conor Sweeney: His rotation in and out of full-forward worked as Derry ended up losing him more than once. Kicked five points from play, including the equaliser and winner at the end. 8


Alan Moloney:
Had a much greater impact that Hannigan around the middle. 7

Shane Leahy: Won a late free that was missed and had a chance of his own blocked down. 6

Mark Hanley: Not on long enough to be rated.

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