Sunday 28 September 2014

Bitter Disappointment for Tipperary

All-Ireland SHC Final Replay:

Kilkenny 2-17; Tipperary 2-14

It was another sad evening for Tipperary players and supporters. It is very hard for those of us who lived through the great Tipperary victories of the 50's  and 60's — especially against last night's opponents — to experience such hardship in winning All-Irelands for the county in the past 40 years. The way the game is played now — more especially in the past 20 years — has played into the hands of Kilkenny who were always more adept at the handling game. That is the reason they have been so successful during the past fifteen years especially. It has become a mad scramble for the ball on the ground now; something of a "lucky dip". It was described recently by one former county hurler and manager as "a hurling scrum".

Tipperary's recipe for success in the past was to move the ball on the ground — "first time pulling" as they used say. They need to make much more use of this style of play in future. To keep players sharp, club hurling can be made more competitive by regrading weaker teams and changing the playing format of such contests.

Having written all that, on the evening mistakes were made which could have made all the difference if a little more cuteness was shown. Players carried the ball into cul-de-sacs where not alone were the side exits blocked, the rear one was also then sealed. Instinct will dictate when a player should make a sudden surge towards goal. It would be much better to spread the ball to the flanks and let the receiving players shoot for points. They gave too many long distance passes via the hurley — always something of a lottery — when a shot for a point might have been a better option.

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