Sunday 24 July 2016

Wonderful Tipperary Win

All-Ireland Senior Football Qualifiers:

Tipperary 1-21;  Derry 2-17

Every loyal Tipperary supporter will be filled with joy following the county's one point win in last evening's game played at Kingspan Breffni Park, Cavan. Tipperary are now through to the All-Ireland Senior Football quarter-finals for the first time in the modern era.

Tipp captain, Peter Acheson, celebrates with manager, Liam Kearns 
While every notable win by a football team representing the county is cherished, this victory will rank in the top echelon when one considers: the unavailability of leading players before the start of the competition (as already chronicled); the rather heavy defeat to Kerry in the Munster final following a historic victory over Cork; and the unfair distance the team had to travel to fulfil this challenging fixture.

Playing with the breeze, Tipperary started well and led by four points until they were rocked back by a Derry goal and found themselves a point behind at half-time. An extra effort was needed in the second-half and it was forthcoming, boosted by a goal from Kevin O'Halloran who availed of a poor Derry kick-out. On the 65 minute mark Tipperary led by five points, but Derrry weren't finished and scored a goal and three points to take the lead. True heart was needed and it came in the form of a strapping lad from Ballyporeen, Conor Sweeney, whose trusty left foot drove over two late points to clinch a famous victory.

Monday 11 July 2016

Big Wins for Tipperary

Munster SHC Final:

Tipperary 5-19; Waterford 0-13

Munster MHC final:

Tipperary 1-24; Limerick 0-10

Prior to yesterday's senior hurling final at rain-sodden Limerick Gaelic grounds, nobody would have predicted that there would be a margin of 21 points separating the sides at the end of the game. Waterford had slightly the better of matters for the first fifteen minutes. With the wind at their backs, they missed a few chances for points; Tipperary got an opportunist goal and Waterford confidence began to wilt. When Tipperary got a second goal shortly after half-time, Waterford collapsed as Tipperary confidence rocketed with victory in sight and the breeze at their backs. It was a demoralising defeat for the young skillful players on the Waterford team and they will require very intelligent managing to raise their morale for their next outing.

Tipperary showed more determination than in their previous matches. They didn't engage in unnecessary passing; and they refrained, a great deal, from using their arms to stop an opponent's progress. Much sterner tests lay ahead.

The minor final also produced a very surprising margin of victory for Tipperary — nobody would have predicted that either team would win by 17 points. In the first round, Tipperary lost to Waterford at Walsh Park. They regrouped to beat Clare at Ennis in the loser's group play-off. In the semi-final they produced a virtuoso last 25 minutes to turn a six-point deficit into a six point win against Cork at Pairc Ui Rinn.

I was very pleased that, for the first time, the South Tipperary division provided the largest number of players to a championship winning Tipperary hurling team with six in the first fifteen and dynamic sub, Dylan Walsh, contributing greatly. Included among the six was my fellow parishioner Mark Kehoe from the Kilcash-Kilsheelan club.

Hopefully they can go all the way.