The Allianz leagues are underway with the Tipperary footballers having had their first outing of the season on Saturday evening last in FBD Semple Stadium – unfortunately the result was of similar hue to last season with a defeat at the hands of Carlow.
However, if the result was less than satisfactory, the performance showed much improvement in what was a decent game of football – the decisive score of the game coming from that Carlow breakaway goal in the second half with Tipperary doing much of the pressing – depressing indeed it was, and Tipperary were unable to get back on terms again despite pressing very hard.
Could they have had a penalty at the very death? Perhaps. But, the harsh reality is that chances had come Tipperary’s way earlier on and were not taken – rectifying this will be a big challenge for Paul Kelly and his management team.
Tipperary are away to Longford next weekend in round 2 and that won’t be an easy place to go. But, The Premier Footballers should be buoyed by the performance with quite a few debutants getting game-time and acquitting themselves rather well in the process.
They will only improve with further minutes on the pitch. But, if Tipperary wish to get out of Division 4 – and that is surely a priority- then they will need to win games on their travels, starting with Longford next weekend. Losing a second game in succession would not be conducive to mounting a promotion challenge.
Hurlers have a tricky assignment in Parnell Park
Tipperary will travel to Parnell Park on Saturday afternoon next for the first round of the hurling league against Dublin for what will be a tricky and difficult tie. Of course, all the games in the hurling league are potentially tricky, especially if coaches are trialling players to see what they are made of.
But, Parnell Park has been particularly challenging for Tipperary and has always been a difficult place to get out of with points intact – a Croker trip would have been far more attractive from a Premier perspective.
The run-out against Limerick last weekend for the Dillon Quirke challenge was useful in one sense with quite a few fringe players getting a run out. Some impressed, others didn’t particularly, and the match will not be referenced as any kind of turning point for either team.
However, there were some noteworthy points to be taken from it nonetheless. John McGrath’s return to form is very welcome indeed from a Tipperary perspective – the Loughmore Castleiney man will be required firing on all cylinders if any success is to accrue in 2024.
The forwards created a lot of chances in the game and while they didn’t execute a lot of those chances, one would have to be reminded that it is still only January and there is plenty of time for sharpening up.
Adam English didn’t miss much for Limerick though – he was as sharp as a tack as was Donncha O’Dalaigh and both men gave the Tipperary rearguard plenty to think about. John Kiely might have been shy a lot of his standout stars, but he has plenty of others in the making judging by Sunday’s clash.
There was a fine attendance for the game and it was an ideal day for families to come along to the stadium and see the Tipperary men in action again.
Keeping Dillon Quirke’s name alive amongst the GAA public is very important, but it is perhaps as important to continue raising the much needed funds for the further screening of young boys and girls for potential heart difficulties.
The Dillon Quirke Foundation has commenced its great work and already youngsters are being screened in clubs – what a legacy this is to the Clonoulty Rossmore man who perished on the Field of Legends almost two years ago much to the shock and great sadness of all GAA people throughout the globe.
A pity about the jersey controversy – again. It overshadowed the event somewhat and suggests that official GAA and grassroots GAA are poles apart.
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