Monday, 18 August 2014

Surprising Big Win for Tipperary

All-Ireland SHC Semi-Final:

Tipperary 2-18; Cork 1-11

Tipperary showed a lot of spirit and determination—and no little skill—in carving out a ten points win over old rivals Cork in Croke Park yesterday. The Tipperary backs, centre field and some of the forwards upset Cork's rhythm causing them to make mistakes and shoot some bad wides. Despite having the ball in the Cork half for more than 60 per cent of the first period, Tipperary only led by two points at half time. This was due to the mistaken policy of playing a one-man full forward line and raining long balls down into the Cork goal mouth. When things were changed in the second-half the forwards moved much more smoothly.

One incident in this game stood out for me; it was the sight of Tipperary forward John O'Dwyer racing ten yards to block an attempted Cork clearance, then picking up the loose ball and, from out near the side line, putting the ball over the bar from his left side. If that would not rouse the Tipperary spirit and break the hearts of the opposition, nothing would! O'Dwyer, Seamus Callanan and Patrick (Bonner) Maher were the outstanding forwards.

John O'Dwyer is not the first Killenaule man to show great skill on the Tipperary senior hurling team at a vital moment. I remember the 1962 All-Ireland final final when a great goal from Killenaule's Tom Ryan in the dying moments of the game snatched victory from a gallant Wexford team who had conceded two goals in the first five minutes. To quote lines from a poem written by the late Br. Joe Perkins following that game:
Like Mackey of yore, McKenna tore, then parted with the ball.
I'll never forget how he shook the net, the man from Killenaule.

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