Monday 16 July 2012

Trio of Triumphs for Tipp

A very good week-end for Tipperary G.A.A. teams:

All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers:

Tipperary 1-13; Wexford 0-15

On Saturday, the senior footballers displayed determination, courage and skill to see off the challenge of Wexford. A further display of these characteristics and more confidence will thwart the new found ambitions of Antrim at Semple Stadium next Saturday. The best of luck in that game.

Munster MHC Final:

Tipperary 1-16; Clare 1-12

On Sunday the minor hurlers regained the Munster championship after a lapse of five years. Extra pleasing was the fact that Bill Maher became the first player from the Kilsheelan-Kilcash club to captain a championship-winning Tipperary hurling team. I may be wrong, but as far as I am aware, the only other occasions when players from the South division captained Munster and All-Ireland winning Tipperary hurling teams were in 1996 when the present minor hurling manager, William Maher of Ballingarry, achieved the honours; and going back to 1953 when that fine forward, the late Tommy Foran of Carrick-on-Suir Davins, led the junior team to victory. The best of luck in the next game.

Familiarity breeds contempt. I omitted mentioning Mullinahone's Eoin Kelly—one of the greatest players of his generation—who captained the senior hurlers on their great victory in 2010—Sorry.

Munster SHC Final:

Tipperary 3-19; Waterford 1-18

Congratulations to the senior hurlers on retaining the Munster crown. It was a tough physical battle.

The positives:
  • The determination shown by the players in their efforts to gain possession and in preventing their opponents from using the ball when possession was lost.
  • The good showing of the two corners of defence despite a somewhat shaky start, and also the centre
  • The physical presence and skill of Brian O'Meara and Patrick (Bonnar)Maher in the forward line is a great addition to the team's armory.
  • The non-concession of too many frees—most of those conceded were accidental. Many frees are being awarded to players at present in hurling, and gaelic football, where no contact has been made on the player receiving them.
  • The return of Eoin Kelly to near his past form is a huge plus.
The negatives:
  • Too much hand passing in an effort to score a goal when points are there for the taking. A player's instinct will let him know when a goal is on.
  • Eliminate wayward passing.
  • More ground hurling to open up play for the forwards, all of whom are capable of scoring.
The best of luck at the next outing which I believe will be at Beechers Brook.

Monday 9 July 2012

Galway Shock Mighty Cats

Leinster SHC Final:

Galway 2-21; Kilkenny 2-11

Galway's achievement has given a badly needed boost to hurling. It was achieved with strong motivation, undoubted skill and a determination often lacking in the past. A combination of these factors knocked Kilkenny out of their stride in the first half. In that situation the underdog will achieve things that would not come easy on other occasions. Kilkenny showed how lethal they still are by outscoring Galway in the second half. The Galway forwards contributed to this by adopting a more defensive role—understandable in the circumstances, I suppose—but it made their attack very disjointed. Great to see Joe Canning back to his best. He exudes class in everything he does since his minor days. He is a fine role model for the youth of the country when it is so badly needed as certain elements try their worst to drive society further into the mire.

Tipp Minors Retain Crown

Munster MFC Final:

Tipperary 2-14; Kerry 1-14

Many congratulations to Tipperary minor footballers. They may be minor in name but not in achievement. It takes a mighty effort to beat Kerry three times in a row in the minor championship—twice in the same competition. Despite the great efforts of a gallant few, Tipperary have been serfs to royal masters for longer than I can remember except for the occasional uprising - Kilarney and Thurles in 1955 and Kilarney again in 1984. The foundations have been laid and I hope on this occasion that success will blossom at senior level. Best of luck in our remaining games—which may involve another meeting with Kerry—especially to my neighbours David Power and Bill Maher.

Monday 2 July 2012

Meath Derail Kildare

Leinster SFC Semi-Final:

Meath 1-17; Kildare 1-11

Some great football in this game. It showed what a great game Gaelic football can be when the ball is moved forward all the time—cut the lateral and back passing. Some great fielding and long kicking in this game. Meath bring something special to the game when they are at, or near, their best. Following some of their displays in recent times it shows what can be done with proper motivation when the ability is there as it is in most other counties. I was sorry for Kildare, though. They have produced fine players over a long number of years without getting the rewards they deserve. They tried the long ball yesterday. It would have worked for them if the target man had proper support—there did not appear to be any plan in that regard. Playing Johnny Doyle around the middle of the field was a waste. Meath had two great fielders there who were very tall. Doyle would have been much better employed near the opponents goal. Kildare will still be there for the shake up. With a little more fine-tuning, Meath will put it up to Dublin.

All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers:

Tipperary 1-12; Offaly 0-10

Well done to Tipperary on their win against Offaly—a tough one coming up against Wexford, but they can do it with plenty of the Meath-like motivation