Tipp's hat-trick hero Michael Quinlivan on a dramatic promotion

Forward secured victory against Armagh after a 2016 that saw him win an All Star

BY Raf Diallo 19:47 Monday 3 April 2017, 19:47 3 Apr 2017

Armagh's Aaron McKay and Michael Quinlivan of Tipperary ©INPHO/Presseye/Philip Magowan

After a fairytale 2016 in the All Ireland Football Championship that saw them reach the semi finals, Tipperary can now look forward to life in Allianz League Division 2 when 2018 comes around.

The Munster county finished in the Top Two in Division 3 with five wins from seven but as their final round fixture against Armagh ticked towards its conclusion, things were not looking good.

Trailing to the Orchard County with the scores 0-16 to 2-8, Michael Quinlivan was the player to step up.

The 24 year old Clonmel Commercials man had already notched two goals for Tipp and would complete a hat-trick in the dying seconds that would prove enough to tip the scales and secure victory and promotion in one fell swoop.

Video by Jackie Cahill: 



Speaking to Off The Ball as the dust settles on a dramatic late win, 2016 All Star Quinlivan admits it wasn't a vintage performance from Tipp. 

"We never really looked like we were going to win to be honest. We were second best for nearly most of the game and the only time we led in the whole game was the five seconds between the ball going into the net and the whistle being blown so it was a sweet enough one for us," he said, adding that for long periods of the campaign, Tipp have played "within ourselves" and not necessarily at their best.

He also admitted that Tipp "wouldn't be considered an unbelievable league team" and perhaps that there can naturally be a "small bit of a hangover" from an outstanding 2016 championship.

The 2011 All Ireland Minor Champion was one of the country's top scorers in last year's Championship, racking up 2-27 and he mused about where that hunger for goals and points might come from.

"I wasn't always a forward actually so maybe that could be something to do with it," he said, adding that it was John Evans who had him at corner back in a school's team back in the day and that his club under-21 manager pushed him into the forwards.

"I was a corner back for a long period of time growing up. It's just as much about staying grounded. At the end of the day, if we go out next week and get held completely against Louth [in the Division 3 final], that's the last memory that's in everyone's heads. So you're only as good as what's coming ahead of you."  

Back in February, Tipperary manager Liam Kearns had revealed that he and the team were against the Super 8 proposals that eventually made it through Congress to create a Round-Robin at the quarter final stage of the All Ireland.

Quinlivan said he wasn't surprised that it passed despite objections and while he can see the benefit of the Super 8 from a neutral's perspective, he explained that "I just don't think it ticks all the boxes on the current problems in the GAA."

He also added that the "hurling especially has been a forgotten subject for a while" in the area of championship reform.

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