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.

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