Tipperary GAA Scene 5th July

by PRO Joe Bracken.

MUNSTER SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP HURLING FINAL

And then there were two, same teams – different venue as the Tipperary hurlers head to Limerick’s Gaelic Grounds next Sunday, July 10th, to meet Waterford in this year’s Munster Senior Hurling Championship Final in what will be a repeat of last year’s decider which Tipperary won by five points.

In what has been a competitive campaign, Tipperary saw off the challenges of both Cork and Limerick in rain soaked conditions in Semple Stadium to be within seventy odd minutes of retaining their title.

With Brendan Maher once again leading his side into the Munster Final, it will be Michael Ryan’s first final in charge as manager. However, he will no doubt draw on his vast experience both as a two time Munster Final winner but also in his tenure in the Tipperary backroom. As selector from 2007 to 2010 under Liam Sheedy and 2012 to 2015 as assistant manager to Eamon O’Shea, Michael Ryan’s pedigree is undoubted and if anyone can galvanise his side around him and his beliefs and continue a successful championship run, then Mick is your man.

Tipperary and Waterford have met in ten previous Munster Finals, the last of course being on July 7th last year when Tipperary won 0-21 to 0-16, with Tipperary ahead eight to two in the overall standings. The first final was back in August 1925 in Dungarvan which Tipperary won 6-6 to 1-2, before a break to 1958 when both sides met in Thurles Sportsfield with Tipp again winning, easily in this one. It was one apiece in ’62 and ’63 in Limerick, the last time both counties met in the Treaty City. If Waterford are looking for omens, they were winners in ’63, 0-11 to 0-8.

Of the last four meetings of which Tipp won all four, the finals of ’11 and ’12 in Páírc Uí Chaoimh were bookended either side with finals in Semple Stadium.

Incidentally, last year’s final was only the second time that no goals were scored in the ten finals played, the other being that ’63 final in Limerick and for the record Tipperary have amassed 30 goals in the ten finals to Waterford’s 11.

The attendances at Tipperary v Waterford championship games since the 1958 final are bright in terms of spectator participation and the great respectful rivalry which exists between both counties. That ’58 final saw 41,384 attend that game and though in subsequent years attendances fluctuated a little the 40k barrier was breached once again in the 2002   final when 40,276 went through the turnstiles. Latter years have generated terrific numbers in attendance beginning in the All-Ireland qualifier in 2006 when 45,928 were in attendance. That record was shattered when 53,635 paid to see the 2008 All-Ireland semi-final. While the 2010 equivalent was 226 shy of reaching the 50k mark, it showed the appetite for games between Tipperary and Waterford hadn’t waned. Last year’s attendance in Semple Stadium was the largest attendance of the 9 Tipperary-Waterford Munster Finals since 1958 with 43,084 watching as Tipperary claimed their 40th Munster crown which was a first with Brendan Maher as captain and Eamon O’Shea as manager.

So following a brief history of the ancient rivalry aside, we send best wishes to the team and management and all the backroom set up, on what we hope will be a truly historic day for the Premier County on the banks of the Shannon. The flags are out the bunting is up and no doubt the sandwiches will be made in plenty of time before the Tipperary supporters head off in mass exodus in search of the promised land and Munster’s highest honour before thoughts focus elsewhere.

The senior final throws in at 4pm with referee Brian Gavin from Offaly in the middle on Sunday.

Ticket prices are as follow; Covered (Mackey) Stand: Adult €35, Juvenile €5, Student/OAP: Purchase Adult tickets and receive a €10 concession at designated turnstiles prior to entry

Uncovered Stand: Adult €30, Juvenile €5, Student/OAP: Purchase Adult tickets and receive a €10 concession at designated turnstiles prior to entry

Terrace: Adult €25, Juvenile €5, Student/OAP: Purchase Adult tickets and receive a €10 concession at designated turnstiles prior to entry (Note – Tipperary have been allocated the Caherdavin End Terrace, Waterford have been allocated the City End Terrace)

MUNSTER MINOR HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP

In what was arguably one of the greatest Tipperary performances at minor level for some time, Liam Cahill’s minor side carved out a victory of epic proportions over Cork in Páirc Uí Rinn last Thursday night, on a score line of  0-23 to 1-15 to set up a Munster Final against Limerick also next Sunday in the Gaelic Grounds.

Though 1-9 to 0-9 down at the break and not playing badly, the second half display by Tipperary was stunning in its performance and spectacular in its delivery. Boys became men who manfully and willingly took to their task, each exuding pride in their jersey, yet selfless and determined in their attitude. Even though the Rebels went six ahead, Tipperary were in no mood to be rolled over and in turn gave Cork a lesson in not only how to win a match but in how to boss the intensity as well. All this sets up for a mouth-watering clash on Sunday.

And so to Sunday, the minor showpiece which throws in at 2pm is also a repeat of last year’s final, in which Tipperary claimed their 38th title when Darragh Peters and Stephen Quirke lifted the cup.

Sunday’s final will also be the second final for Liam Cahill and his selectors who successfully plotted the course last year and in doing so again this year has cemented his expertise in the managerial stakes.

Best wishes here too to our minor hurlers, management and backroom team in the final on Sunday. A successful start to the day by our minors would have the supporters in buoyant form before the senior ship sets sail on its voyage.

MUNSTER SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP FOOTBALL FINAL

Defeated but not beaten, we send commiserations to our wonderful senior footballers who against all the odds put in a superb shift against the might of Kerry in Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney on Sunday last in the Munster Final, losing out on a score line of 3-17 to 2-10 before an attendance of 21,512 which included a great and vocal Tipperary following. Ok, the performance from a Tipperary perspective may not have been as they or we would expect from the lads, the fact is they will know that themselves and will be eager to make amends as quickly as possible.

An early goal from Jimmy Feehan had Tipp hearts believing but Kerry after that sluggish start used all their craft and experience to smother the Tipperary fire which had not been ignited at this stage since 2002. But in the flickering embers Tipperary found light and that light of hope is what they will bring forth into the qualifier round as Robbie Kiely’s goal exemplified, believe and all things are possible.

In the post-mortem of reality, Tipperary will probably learn more than Kerry, they will learn more about themselves, their preparation and what is required to be competitive at the higher level. Though Kerry never got going like Kerry should, that is not a fault of Tipperary and regardless of what appeared as unprofessional sniggering of some television analysts in their view of the game, which was insulting to all concerned, the fact is that two proud county teams prepared long and hard during harsh winter months to carry their jersey with pride irrespective of outcome or circumstance in preparation of championship action. We know that doesn’t always necessarily translate into getting it right on the day, but they keep working nonetheless.

Tipperary can face into the qualifiers with renewed hope and a certain amount of optimism, a win the next day will show progress for the team and supporters this year. After all who knows how far belief will take you?

TIPPERARY MUNSTER U21 HURLING SEMI-FINAL

Following a fixtures meeting last Thursday night the Tipperary v Limerick Munster U21 Hurling championship semi-final will now go ahead next Thursday night, July 14th, in Semple Stadium at 7.30pm.

This will be William Maher’s (Ballingarry) first time in charge of the U21’s as he looks to build on the recent Munster intermediate championship where he gave much of his side experience in an effort to overturn the huge task a fancied Limerick side will bring to Thurles.

POC FADA

Congratulations to Gearóid O’Connor (Moyne-Templetuohy) who won the U16 Munster Poc Fada Final last Saturday in the Michael Cusack Centre in the Burren, Co. Clare. Gearóid took on the pick of Munster and finished the course on 19 pucks, one ahead of his nearest challenger. Gearóid will now represent Munster in the All-Ireland Finals in the Cooley Mountains and we send him every best wish up there on July 30th next.

In the senior final, Paul Carroll from Burgess finished 4 pucks behind the winner James McInerney from Clare.

TIPPERARY FIXTURES

Burgess defeated Toomevara in the first semi-final of Johnny Ryan Cup last Friday night by 3 points and in the first semi-final of the Jim Devitt Cup, Kilruane MacDonaghs proved too strong for Moyne-Templetuohy.

Action continues this week in the Co. Senior Hurling Challenge Cup, the Co. Intermediate Hurling Championship and also in the Co. Junior Hurling Leagues.

For a full round up of all fixtures and results across the Premier County please view the county website at http://tipperary.gaa.ie

TIPP CONNECTION

Best wishes are extended to Toomevara’s James McGrath, who is joint manager of the Offaly U21 hurling team, which meets Dublin in the Leinster Final, this Wednesday evening, July 6th, at O’Connor Park, Tullamore.

Both counties are aiming for a sixth provincial title. James, who was a goalkeeper in his playing days, won three  county and  two Munster senior hurling titles in the colours of  ‘The Greyhounds’.

TIPPERARY SUPPORTERS CLUB

The Tipperary Supporters Club for 2016 is available and at €30 per person it is unchanged again this year. The Tipperary Supporters Club member’s gift in 2016 will be a trolley coin keyring, 43 mm x 33 mm, featuring The Tipperary Supporters Club Official Logo.

Supporters can join on line on www.tippsupportersclub.com by credit card or debit/laser card. Also on the website details are available of the direct debit facility; as the Club is run on a completely voluntary basis it would be a great help if members could join by direct debit. If joining by post please send a cheque or postal order payable to Tipperary Supporters Club to Jim Reidy, 13 Castleknock Close, Dublin 15 or 086-3580718, email: info@tippsupportersclub.com

TIPPERARY GAA SCENE

Information concerning all areas in the GAA will appear in this section in the future. If you wish to include any item of interest in future articles, please e-mail at pro.tipperary@gaa.ie on or before 3.00pm on Monday. Visit the Tipperary GAA web site at http://tipperary.gaa.ie to keep up to date with all the latest news in Tipperary GAA circles.

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