Monday 31 August 2015

Fine Win for Tipperary Minors

All-Ireland MFC Semi-Final:

Tipperary 0-11; Kildare 0-9

It always gives me special pleasure when Tipperary footballers achieve championship success at Croke Park. These successes have been scarce down the years; however they are happening more often in recent years. The All-Ireland final victory for the minors in 2011 was the pinnacle. This was followed by a Munster final victory for the minorsin 21012. Earlier this year, after a great campaign, the u-21 footballers were unluckily beaten by a point in the All-Ireland final which was played in terrible conditions. Great credit is due to the loyal band — many now gone to their eternal reward — who promoted the game against the tide down the years; and, of course, the gallant young players who are all heroes today.

Yesterday's game could have gone either way; both sides missed goal scoring chances — the Tipperary misses were more clear-cut. Individually, Kildare had the better players overall, but Tipperary combined very well as a team, showed great determination and will to win — and had the bit of skill where needed to score the vital points. The Tipperary players from clubs where the playing of Gaelic football is far down on the menu, overcame this handicap, to a point, by showing great spirit and using their hurling experience to read the game.

The senior game yesterday, where Mayo made a dramatic recovery to draw with Dublin, brought back memories of 1955 when Dublin and Mayo also played a draw in the All-Ireland semi-final. Mayo owed a lot to their full-back line, where blond right-full-back Willie Casey from Ballina was superb. The great full-back, Paddy Prendergast, also kept the shackles on Kevin Heffernan, who had bamboozled all the full-backs he had come up against that year. Dublin won the replay by one point but lost the final to Kerry, who had beaten Cavan — also in a replay — in the other semi-final.

Tipperary also contested the Minor football final that year, as well as the minor hurling, but defensive weakness in two positions allowed Dublin to score three soft goals and go on to win by six points.

Saturday 22 August 2015

August Weather

Dead heat and windless air,
And silence over all;
Never a leaf astir,
But the ripe apples fall;
Plums are purple-red,
Pears amber and brown;
Thud! in the garden-bed
Ripe apples fall down.

Air like a cider-press
With the bruised apples' scent;
Low whistles express
Some sleepy bird's content;
Still world and windless sky,
A mist of heat o'er all,
Peace like a lullaby,
And the ripe apples fall.

— Katherine Tynan

Monday 17 August 2015

Mixed Fortunes for Tipp Teams

All-Ireland Hurling Semi-Finals

Minor: Tipperary 2-17; Dublin 1-15
Senior: Galway 0-26; Tipperary 3-16

Both of yesterday's games, played in Croke Park, were close and exciting. The minor game lacked fluency at times with a high portion of mistakes being made, mainly by Dublin. Many of the Tipperary players were more workman-like than brilliant, but they had enough skill in the forward line to pick off vital points in the last ten minutes of the game. They will need a more cohesive team effort in the final against Galway, but they are the kind of team that might do it.

The senior game was a a tit-for-tat affair until the final Galway point in injury time gave them the spoils. When a player scores 3-9 and his team ends up on the losing side, there has to be something disjointed about their performance, especially as the winners failed to score a goal. This was the big difference — Galway played as a team; Tipperary did not. When Tipperary were on top in the early stages, they resorted to unnecessary attempts at passing, with the ball ending up with an opposing player on most occasions — and points resulting a few times. Passing, like most things in the game of hurling, is an instinctive act when you stall and think you are losing.

Tipperary's tackling, as often in the past, was flawed. Putting an arm, or a hurley, around an opponents back invariably results in the concession of a free. Galway got a lot of scores from placed balls.

The playing of Brendan Maher at centre-half-forward was wrong from the start. He has proven himself in the past as an excellent back or mid-fielder; it was Tipperary weakness at half-back and mid-field that allowed Galway to pick off a lot of their points. John O'Dwyer should be played at half-forward — even in the centre — with Patrick (Bonnar) Maher at right full forward.

Saturday 8 August 2015

Noel McGrath is Back

Noel McGrath
It was great news to learn that Noel McGrath has taken part in all the recent training sessions for Tipperary senior hurlers and is available for selection for the forthcoming All-Ireland senior hurling semi-final against Galway.

Noel's qualities as a hurler are universally recognized but his return to good health is more important than any game (he is also a top class Gaelic footballer, but the people in control of Gaelic games in the county would not entertain the idea of a player playing both codes at top level — an attitude that also prevails in some other counties). It is always sad to hear of somebody touched by serious illness, but in the case of a young man of the caliber of Noel McGrath, it was a terrible shock.

The McGrath family from Loughmore-Castleiney have a proud tradition of service to Tipperary GAA. Noel's grand-father and grand-uncles played with Tipperary senior and junior football teams in the late forties and fifties. His father, Pat, played in all grades of hurling with Tipperary teams; he also played on Tipperary football teams. Pat's brother, Tom, played on the Tipperary senior football team from 1975 to 1985. He also was a member of a Tipperary Intermediate hurling team. Tom is, at present, a great reporter on Gaelic games for local radio station Tipp FM; when you hear his account you know you are listening to the voice of a true Tipperary GAA person.

Finally, I want to wish Noel all the luck in the world for his future; good health and more sporting success!

Thursday 6 August 2015


Hiroshima is a Japanese city situated 190 miles south west of Kobe at the head of a bay in the Korean Strait. It was an important religious and commercial centre. Seventy years ago today, at 8 a.m. on 6th August 1945, the first atomic bomb used in warfare was released over Hiroshima by a US Air Force Super-Fortress. It destroyed the greater part of the city's centre to a radius of nearly one-and-a-half miles and over 78,000 people were killed. Rebuilding began in 1947.

Another atomic bomb exploded over Nagasaki on the 9th August and Japan surrendered unconditionally to the Allies in the same month. Her empire vanished and her homeland was occupied by the Western Allies from 1945 to 1951.