Tipperary look for improvement as they take on Dubin

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Tipperary look for improvement as they take on Dubin thumbnailPatrick “Bonner” Maher enjoyed his first start with Tipperary after his six month stint overseas with the Irish Army. Maher is pictured supported by Michael Breen with Aaron Craig (Westmeath) challenging in last Saturday's nine point win.

WHEN Tipperary and Dublin met in 2011 in the All-Ireland championship it brought together two champions. Tipperary were reigning All-Ireland Champions while Dublin had been crowned league Champions in May of that year.
This time the scenario is quiet different with Tipperary, not playing with the same penchant as last year against a Dublin side that has struggled very much under the tenure of Ger Cunningham.
Dublin were paired with Galway in the Leinster Senior Hurling quarter final on May 28 and they faced the challenge determined to erase the disappointment of been relegated from Division 1A to 1B.
They matched Galway for the opening half and had Barry Kelly not whistled back a Ben Quinn goal, things would have been a lot brighter. They trailed 1-10 to 1-7 at half time and withstanding the concession of five unanswered points to Galway plus losing Cian O'Callagahn to a second yellow card offence (rather harsh) the Capital ran out disappointing losers by fourteen points 2-28 to 1-17.
Who knows what might have happened if Dublin had a full team. In fairness, this Dublin side has had too many difficulties along the way this year. Team manager, Cunningham has seen players leave the panel which has meant he brought in new players and ironically his team inflicted a heavy defeat against an injury depleted Laois side. The full time score was almost a mirror image of the result against galway 2-28 to 1-15 and there was encouraging displays by david Treacy, Eamon Dillon, with Bean Quinn, Chris Crummy, Johnny hetherton and newcomer Cian O'Sullivan adding wight to the process.
No matter how poorly the Dubs play, Tipperary on the other hand know they face a real test. They have some very disappointed supporters after witnessing three uninspiring displays against Galway, Cork and Westmeath last weekend. Tipp will need a marked improvement on the last day and this will require inspiration from Seamus Callanan, Patrick Bonner Maher, John O'Dwyer, Michael Breen, Noel McGrath and Brendan Maher.
That might seem harsh in some people's eyes but the players mentioned above are players whom we have come to know as players of real quality and who can transform the fortunes of Tipp's ability to secure another All-Ireland title.
But let's not get carried away. Michael Ryan has said quite plainly that there are places up for grabs and after last weekend's win the likes of Stephen O'Brien and Jason Forde might well be in line for a start. Niall O'Meara seems to be certain of missing this game after picking up an injury in the victory over Westmeath.
When the sides met six years ago in the championship, Tipp beat Dublin 1-19 to 0-18 in the All-Ireland semi final. Only Michael Cahill, Padraic Maher, Noel McGrath, Seamus Callanan, Patrick Maher were in action that day. Darren Gleeson, Brendan Maher were on the subs bench that day.
Next Sunday will the tenth championship meeting between the sides with Tipperary winning eight. Dublin won in 1917. Difficult to see Dublin to mark the 100th anniversary with a win.
Tipp to prevail by five


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