Monday, 22 May 2017

Cork get the better of Tipperary.

Munster Senior Hurling Championship quarter final; Cork 2-27; Tipperary 1--26.
In yesterday's rip-roaring game,played at Thurles,Cork edged out old rivals,and All-Ireland champions Tipperary,by 4 points.The game was tit-for-tat all the way to the end with players giving their all with determination,and no-little skill.The Tipperary backs were in trouble with the Cork forwards from the beginning.Their positioning,and defensive tactics,were faulty thereby allowing the Cork forwards far too-much time,and space,to shoot at the Tipperary posts.The Tipperary mid-field must also share some responsibility in this regard.
          The Cork backs had a strangle-hold on the Tipperary forwards most of the time.If more ball was supplied to the wings it would help to open up the Cork defence and allow the dangerous Tipperary forwards to shine.This year's championship has become even more competitive.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Departure of Enda and Michael.

Taoiseach,Enda Kenny announced last evening that he was stepping down as leader of F.G from mid-night.His desire is that a new leader of the party is in place by June 2nd.He will continue to lead the country until a new Taoiseach is elected.Enda Kenny has given tremendous service to the people of Mayo,and Ireland,since his being first elected in a bye-election in the Autumn of 1975,replacing his late father,Henry,famed mid-fielder in Mayo's first All-Ireland final win of 1936,beating Laois in the football final of that year.
        Enda became Taoiseach in 2011 when the country was in dire financial straits-in bondage to the International Money Markets.His government led us out of the crisis to a stage where this year the I.M.F.are predicting that Ireland will have the second fast growth in the Euro Zone,with unemployment at less than 6%,it was at 15.3%when the government came to power 2011.Enda Kenny is wished well in his retirement.
        Minister for Finance,Michael Noonan,to-day, announced that he will not accept a cabinet post in the new Government,and will not be contesting the next General Election.He can stand proudly with all the great Fine Gael,and Cumann na nGaedheal,Finance Ministers of the past;such as Richie Ryan,Gerard Sweetman,Patrick J.McGilligan.They all assumed office when the finances of the country were in bad shape,but not as dire as when Michael Noonan became Finance Minister in 2011.He is wished many more happy years on the banks of the Shannon.
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Monday, 24 April 2017

Tipperary hurlers routed by Galway.

National Hurling League final: Galway 3-21; Tipperary 0-14.
In yesterday's National hurling league final,played at Pairc na nGaedal,Limerick,Galway inflicted inflicted a 16 points defeat on Tipperary-the latter's heaviest league final defeat ever.While Tipperary were favourites,shrewd observers of the game knew that victory could go either way;knowing that Tipperary have been put to the pin of their collars to beat Galway during the past 30 years or so.
       The fluid nature in the way hurling has been played over the past few decades can throw up very surprising results at times.Getting the ball in the hand is now more than nine points of the law in hurling;and being able to use it advantageously when secured.Galway,when their confidence level has been boosted,have the skill to use the ball well being good strikers.They monopolised the duels for possession yesterday,and when Tipperary gardened ball ,far too often it was given away through faulty passing-a fatal draw-back.This was the result of Galway's close-marking,and harassment.The day when the good ground,and air striker,was supreme has passed-which is a great pity,because it was the through art of the game.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Silverware for Tipp Footballers

National Football League Division 3 Final

Tipperary 3-19; Louth 0-19

After a long League campaign, Tipperary senior footballers have beaten Louth in the Division 3 Final played at Croke Park yesterday evening. This followed a splendid away win against Armagh last Sunday after a last-minute goal by Michael Quinlivan. These two victories were all the sweeter for Tipperary having lost two home games unexpectedly in the earlier stages of the league.

Louth had rested a number of their players in their game on the previous Sunday having already gained promotion and qualified for the final. With a fresher team than Tipperary, they started strongly and led by 6 points to 3 after 15 minutes. However, Tipperary managed to stay in touch and, in the last 15 minutes before half-time, they produced a 1-05 blitz which laid the foundation for this win.

Louth began the second half as they had done in the first, reducing the deficit to two point, but a vital goal by Conor Sweeney in the 43rd minute gave Tipperary the cushion to push on for victory. Louth kept battling to the end but two Tipp points in the 69th and 70th minutes, and another goal by Conor Sweeney at the end of stoppage time, put a further gloss on the score.

Tipperary football has now built a good foundation to move forward and challenge for top honours. However, more needs to be done at County Board level as regards the organising and completing of club competitions. Better grading and fewer fixtures can get players used to competing with a higher level intensity; all club games should be completed far earlier in the year; and top coaches should be in place for under-age players.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Bravo Michael Quinlivan!

National Football League Division 3

Tipperary 3-08; Armagh 0-16

National Hurling League Quarter Final

Tipperary 4-28; Offaly 3-13

Yesterday, Tipperary's senior footballers made the long trip to the 'Wee North' for the final group match in Division 3 of the National Football League. At the Athletic Grounds in Armagh, they took on the home county in a game that decided who got promoted to Division 2 for next year's competition. The winners would also earn a place in the divisional final next weekend against already-promoted Louth.

With so much at stake, Tipperary came away with a famous win after Michael Quinlivan scored a sensational goal in the 74th minute following a pass from Liam Casey. It was Michael's third goal —all scored in the second half — which proves the old saying: "Cometh the hour, cometh the man".

Tipperary had already lost two home games in the league, which they had been expected to win, especially against Louth on the previous Sunday when they led by two points at half-time having played against the breeze in the first half. This left them with the the daunting task of travelling North to take on a team with an outstanding football pedigree in their own back yard.

While Michael Quinlivan was the hat-trick hero on the day, the whole team played with similar heroics.The forwards had been scoring points freely in previous games, but on this occasion points were hard to come by, so the goals were vital. The backs upped their performance on this occasion, with the positional changes having the desired effect. So, it is hearty congratulations to players, management and last — but certainly not least — the loyal supporters wherein lies the true heart of Tipperary.

On the same day, Tipperary achieved the expected win over Offaly in the National Hurling League Quarter Final at Tullamore. They now go on to play Wexford who were surprise winners over Kilkenny in the other quarter-final leg. Best of luck to both teams in their next engagements.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Vera Lynn at 100

Vera Lynn celebrated her 100th birthday yesterday. Whenever I think of this special lady my mind goes back to my childhood when I first heard her rich melodious voice on Radio Eireann and various gramophone records. The songs I heard at the time included Hello Patsy Fagan, Patsy McCann and Sitting on the Bridge below the Town.

The voice of Vera Lynn has always remained special to me. Another special person I often think about is my cousin, Nellie Shorthall of Fethard, Co. Tipperary who passed away in November 2015 shortly after reaching her 101 birthday. Nellie was a great lady who loved music and was a big fan of Vera Lynn; I am sure she is looking down on Vera to-day.

Vera Lynn's greatest hits were: Auf Wiederseh'n SweetheartThe White Cliffs of Dover, My Son My Son and We'll Meet Again. The other great female singers that followed were Rosemary Clooney, Teresa Brewer, Jo Stafford and, a little later, Connie Francis.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Great Win for Ireland

RBS Six Nations Championship:

Ireland 13; England 9

In Saturday's final game of the Six Nations series, played at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, the Irish rugby team achieved a famous win over England. This may end up being the sporting highlight of the year — unless Tipperary win a football All-Ireland, or the hurlers achieve a consecutive national title, something they haven't achieved since 1964/65.

England came into Saturday's game with an impressive record of 18 consecutive wins against both northern and southern hemisphere teams, thus equalling the all-conquering All-Blacks' record. Ireland had an indifferent Six Nations, losing to both Scotland and Wales, while England had trashed Scotland by 61 points to 21 on the previous Saturday.

I knew Ireland would put on a vastly improved performance for this one — they always do when their backs are to-the-wall — but I didn't think it would be enough against an English team that has upped their game so much under New Zeland coach, Eddie Jones. With fierce determination, no little skill, a bit of necessary luck, Ireland achieved the impossible. Johnny Sexton put in a commanding performance at Number 10 while continuing to bear the brunt of late tackles.

The one thing that stands out about the Irish Rugby team is its united country dimension, drawing support from Ballycastle to Bere Island. Indeed, the Irish captain, Rory Best, hails from the Unionist heartland of North Armagh.

The game with the 'crooked ball' is indeed a funny one.