Published Saturday, 28 July 2012
Players clash on the pitch. (© Presseye)
The Mournemen had just a six-day turnaround to contend with after their defeat to Donegal in the Ulster decider at Clones, as they sought to become only the second side to win a qualifier after losing a provincial final.
They got off the a good start when Ambrose Rogers opened the scoring, and two further points from Mark Poland put James McCartan's side in the driving seat with ten minutes gone.
Full-back Dan Gordon added a fourth before Michael Quinlivan opened Tipp's account with a free in the 23rd minute, but Down remained well in control and added a goal on the stroke of half-time when Conor Laverty reaqcted quickest to a rebound off the post to fire into the net to give Down a 1-6 to 0-4 lead at the break.
After leading by six points for much of the second half, Mournemen suffered a scare with ten minutes to go as Tipperary fired over three unanswered points to leave just a goal between the sides.
Down rediscovered their rhythm though, and further scores from Poland and Rogers gave them breathing space in the closing stages.
Tipp were denied a goal right at the death but it would have made little difference to the outcome as Down became the first side since Dublin in 2001 to make the All-Ireland quarter-final after losing a provincial final.