Sports

Tipp march on to face Clare in All-Ireland quarter final

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Tipp march on to face Clare in All-Ireland quarter final thumbnailJohn McGrath (Tipperary) made it all look so easy as he dropped over his first point of the game as Tipperary coasted to a 22 point victory over Dublin in the All-Ireland Hurling Qualifiers at Semple Stadium on Saturday last

TIPPERARY will face Clare in the All-Ireland quarter final on Saturday week following their 22 point victory over Dublin in the second round of the qualifiers at Semple Stadium on Saturday last.

The sides were drawn together in the quarter final draw on Monday morning and the game will be the first inter-county game at the newly re-opened Pairc Ui Chaoimh on Saturday July 22 at 3p.m. and it promises to be a cracker. The second quarter final (Wexford v Waterford) will be played at the same venue the following day.

Clare lost the Munster Final to Cork by five points on Sunday, so they will have to pick themselves up from that disappointment for this clash with the All-Ireland champions. But the thoughts of a game against Tipperary should get their competitive juices flowing again.

Tipp and Clare had some memorable clashes at the Cork venue in the late 1990s and early 2000s and Saturday week's game has all the makings of another great contest.

With a big win over Dublin tucked away last Saturday evening, Tipperary manager Michael Ryan was in a hurry to see the second game (Waterford v Kilkenny) in Semple Stadium but took time out to speak to the press.

He was quick to suggest that his team of players always had the ability to produce big scores but getting over the disappointing performances of the previous games against Galway, Cork and Westmeath was going to take a while to forget. Getting to the last six was what was at stake, he said.

"We came here to win. The scoreline might flatter us and is certainly not something we are thinking about. We just came to get a performance but ultimately we came here to get through, no more or no less, whether we struggled by a point or a victory the way it worked out today. What really was at stake was to go forward into the last six which we secured and we are happy with that," said Ryan.

Tipp are in a good place now but Ryan agreed that there were a few moments to worry about as Dublin went toe to toe on the opening quarter.

"We always say it's a cliché but we always question ourselves more in defeat. In the first half we got a really good start and next thing we looked up and Dublin got 1-4 against us and it was a draw game despite our good start. There are always things we have to improve on. The qualifiers have given us a second day. We are alive to play the next day and bring that momentum step by step," said Michael.

Tipp securing 6-26 was a big score. "These lads are very potent. That's an unfortunate scoreline against Dublin to be honest. Does it flatter us? It really doesn't matter at the end of the day. What we just wanted at the end of the day was to get them into the groove, get them playing more hurling and a bit more ruthless and we certainly showed that out there today."

On conceding 1-19, was it a matter of concern? "We will have to look at that. It is 1-19 but at various stages in that game I thought the intensity had slipped a bit from our perspective. It's a difficult kind of one when you do get into what looked like a comfortable lead like that. Are we working as hard as we should, certainly areas like that,"

The win arrives after a less than impressive win over Westmeath just seven days previously, contrasting this big win over Dublin which suggests that Tipp recovered well and prepared well.

"You could ask, what is the ideal preparation? The win (over Dublin) was the more important part. That performance that we produced against Westmeath (last week) would not have done today against Dublin or not indeed most other days. However once you're winning is the important thing. These boys have been on the road for quite a while. The core of the team is very mature and ambitious group as are the young fellows. They want better performances than they have been playing for the past couple of weeks. I like the way it's building so we will keep an eye on that," added Ryan.

Happy in the knowledge that Tipperary were safely into the quarter finals, Ryan was non committal as to who he would like to meet in the last six suggesting that Tipp had no control who they were drawn against.

The win for Tipp was not that physical but Ryan had only one worry on the injuries front. Ryan said that Donagh Maher took a shoulder injury close to half time but he seemed to get back into his stride pretty quickly. Ryan introduced five subs during the game including Tom Fox who is relatively a newcomer to the scene.

"Good to see young lads getting a chance. We called it out to the lads before the game that it was going to take twenty players to get the job done. Those guys love the opportunity to play," added Mick.

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