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Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Experience of Croke Park on big days could aid Tipperary cause

Tipperary's Michael Quinlivan makes ground
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Gaelic football
Tipperary needed a last-gasp goal from Michael Quinlivan, five minutes into injury-time, to seal a smash-and-grab victory against Armagh last Sunday which booked their ticket to today's Division 3 final and they can take full advantage of that late reprieve. 

Tipp have already lost to today's opponents Louth too, 0-16 to 0-12 in round six, and have looked a pale shadow of the side who reached last year's All-Ireland semi-final but that's not to say they do not possess enough quality to secure some silverware. They have more than enough ability to be crowned champions.

Tipperary were the surprise packages of 2016 and were unlucky to suffer a five-point defeat to Mayo in the last four of the All-Ireland race. That outing and their quarter-final demolition of Galway (3-13 to 1-10) were both at Croke Park and that big-game experience at headquarters looks sure to stand them in good stead.

 Quinlivan is made for the big stage. He got 3-1 in the win over Armagh and the wide open spaces of Croke Park will play to his strengths. Conor Sweeney is also a classy attacker and Tipperary have enough firepower up front to get the better of Louth. 

Colin Kelly has done remarkably well with Louth to secure promotion but perhaps they have peaked already. They burst out of the traps with a landslide success over Laois away in O'Moore Park in round one and looked super-fit in the first couple of rounds. 

Tipperary have taken time to find their feet, but there have been glimpses of promise in recent weeks and a big performance is brewing. That could come today. 

Westmeath are hot favourites going into the Division 4 decider but Seamus 'Banty' McEnaney might have played his cards right over the last couple of weeks and Wexford could catch them on the hop. 

If Westmeath can limit the influence of John Heslin, who has been on fire in recent rounds, that could be the key to success for the Model County. 

Tipperary -2
3pts 11-10 Betfair, Hills, Paddy Power
Tipperary to score over 2.5 goals
1pt 9-2 Ladbrokes
Wexford to score over 15.5 points
2pts Evs Paddy Power
Wexford to score over 1.5 goals
1pt 12-5 Paddy Power
Already Advised (February 4)
Wexford to win Division 4
1pt 5-2 general

Quinlivan is made for the big stage. He got 3-1 in the win over Armagh and the wide open spaces of Croke Park will play to his strengths.
E.W. Terms
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