All-Ireland Senior QualifiersFootball: Tipperary 2-17; Longford 0-6
Hurling: Tipperary 3-25; Galway 4-13
The double victories for Tipperary footballers and hurlers at Semple Stadium, Thurles last Saturday evening were very important for both codes in the county. I did not get any pleasure from the fact that Longford and Galway were the defeated opponents. I have long admired Galway hurlers for their skill and commitment, the spectacular performances they produce at times, and of course the one and only Joe Canning. Longford is a county small in size and population which has always played its part in a sporting, cultural and true patriotic sense. We all remember the great Sean McKeoin from Ballinalee. I can also recall their great National League final win over Kerry in 1968 followed by a Leinster senior championship final win in the same year.
The Tipperary wins last Saturday were milestones for different reasons. The hurlers needed to throw off the shackles of their indecisiveness, especially in the closing stages of vital games; in future games they will need to eliminate the naive defending that gifted at least two goals to Galway. For the footballers it was very important to get a victory to maintain recent progress. They will know that from now on the real test will come. The best of luck to them.