Monday 16 March 2015

Two Fine Wins for Tipperary

National Football League Division 3:

Tipperary 4-16; Louth 3-11

National Hurling League Division 1:

Tipperary 2-22; Kilkenny 1-13

Tipperary senior hurlers and footballers secured two very important league victories yesterday. The footballers had a good win over Louth after their long trip to Drogheda. They had two longer trips previously, to Armagh and Irvinestown, and were unlucky to come away empty-handed.

While promotion is very unlikely at this stage, if they win their two remaining games it will consolidate their position as an improving football force, which is something they can be proud of considering the difficulties for football advancement in the county.

The hurling game, played at Semple Stadium Thurles, was one that Tipperary had to win for the sake of their pride and self-confidence. They played with championship-like intensity, which closed down Kilkenny and denied them the acres of space which they thrive on. The game was much closer than the victory margin would indicate, which demonstrates how hard it is to put Kilkenny away — even with depleted forces — in the hurling style being applied for the past 25 years or so.

While Tipperary played with skill and passion, some aspects of their play need to be looked at. They use the hand-pass to good affect most of the time but they overdo it at times and lose possession. They should use the ball fast when in possession rather than hesitating and being hooked, as happens to some of them. The placing of an excellent back or midfielder like Brendan Maher at centre-half forward is wrong and he should be restored to his more normal position. No effort has been made to get a recognized full-back; a very good young newcomer, Michael Breen, played at full-back on the under 21 team last year and should have been tried out in that position during the course of the league.

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