Monday 24 April 2017

Tipp Hurlers Routed by Galway

National Hurling League Final:

Galway 3-21; Tipperary 0-14

In yesterday's National Hurling League Final, played at Páirc na nGael, Limerick, Galway inflicted a 16 point thrashing on Tipperary — the latter's heaviest league final defeat ever! While Tipp were favourites, shrewd observers of the game knew that victory could go either way given that Galway have been putting Tipperary to the pin of their collars for the past 30 years or so.

The fluid nature of hurling in the modern era can throw up surprising results. Getting the ball in hand is nine points of the law as long as you are able to use it advantageously when secured. When their confidence level has been boosted, Galway have the skills and striking ability to use the ball well. In yesterday's showdown, they monopolised the duels for possession and when Tipperary gardened ball, it was given away all too often through faulty passing — a fatal draw-back in the face of Galway's close marking and harassment.

The day when ground and air strikers reigned supreme has passed — which is a great pity because this was the true art of the game.

Sunday 9 April 2017

Silverware for Tipp Footballers

National Football League Division 3 Final:

Tipperary 3-19; Louth 0-19

After a long League campaign, Tipperary senior footballers have beaten Louth in the Division 3 Final played at Croke Park yesterday evening. This followed a splendid away win against Armagh last Sunday after a last-minute goal by Michael Quinlivan. These two victories were all the sweeter having lost two home games unexpectedly in the earlier stages of the league.

Louth had rested a number of their players in their game on the previous Sunday having already gained promotion and qualified for the final. With a fresher team than Tipperary, they started strongly and led by 6 points to 3 after 15 minutes. However, Tipperary managed to stay in touch and, in the last 15 minutes before half-time, they produced a 1-05 blitz which laid the foundation for this win.

Louth began the second half as they had done in the first, reducing the deficit to two point, but a vital goal by Conor Sweeney in the 43rd minute gave Tipperary the cushion to push on for victory. Louth kept battling to the end but two Tipp points in the 69th and 70th minutes, and another goal by Conor Sweeney at the end of stoppage time, put a further gloss on the score.

Tipperary football has now built a good foundation to move forward and challenge for top honours. However, more needs to be done at County Board level as regards the organising and completing of club competitions. Better grading and fewer fixtures can get players used to competing at a higher level intensity; all club games should be completed far earlier in the year; and top coaches should be in place for all under-age players.

Monday 3 April 2017

Bravo Michael Quinlivan!

National Football League Division 3:

Tipperary 3-08; Armagh 0-16

National Hurling League Quarter Final:

Tipperary 4-28; Offaly 3-13

Yesterday, Tipperary's senior footballers made the long trip to the 'Wee North' for the final group match in Division 3 of the National Football League. At the Athletic Grounds in Armagh, they took on the home county in a game that decided who got promoted to Division 2 for next year's competition. The winners would also earn a place in the divisional final next weekend against already-promoted Louth.

Michael Quinlivan
With so much at stake, Tipperary came away with a famous win after Michael Quinlivan scored a sensational goal in the 74th minute following a pass from Liam Casey. It was Michael's third goal —all scored in the second half — which proves the old saying: "Cometh the hour, cometh the man".

Tipperary had already lost two home games in the league, which they had been expected to win, especially against Louth on the previous Sunday when they led by two points at half-time having played against the breeze in the first half. This left them with the the daunting task of travelling North to take on a team with an outstanding football pedigree in their own back yard.

While Michael Quinlivan was the hat-trick hero on the day, the whole team played with similar heroics.The forwards had been scoring points freely in previous games, but on this occasion points were hard to come by, so the goals were vital. The backs upped their performance on this occasion, with the positional changes having the desired effect. So, it is hearty congratulations to players, management and last — but certainly not least — the loyal supporters wherein lies the true heart of Tipperary.

On the same day, Tipperary achieved the expected win over Offaly in the National Hurling League Quarter Final at Tullamore. They now go on to play Wexford who were surprise winners over Kilkenny in the other quarter-final leg. Best of luck to both teams in their next engagements.