Eamon O’Shea left smiling as Anthony Daly acknowledges the gap

Allianz NHL semi-final match reaction: Tipperary v Dublin

Tipperary manager Eamon O’Shea and Dublin manager Anthony Daly after the game. Photograph: Inpho

Tipperary manager Eamon O’Shea and Dublin manager Anthony Daly after the game. Photograph: Inpho

Mon, Apr 22, 2013, 05:00

Eamon O’Shea can afford a benign smile when the cookie crumbles like it did yesterday. For the second time in three weeks his team had come to Semple in need of a performance and a win and just like they had against Clare on the last day of the league proper, they put Dublin away before Anthony Daly’s side had time to imagine it could make a game of it. The upshot was another victory that oozed class and confidence with another hefty total to tell its tale.

“I’m just happy that we did that and scored what we did. We got a good start and it shows the benefits of being in the first division, I think, getting competitive games. It goes back to the argument – without opening this up again – of having the league as a competitive one.

“We’re very pleased. We didn’t have a good start to the league. It’s good to be playing more competitive games, and that’s why I’m in favour of extending the league, to have more teams in it, which would benefit the game.

“Sometimes you get an early goal on a team, and we had a bit of a breeze, the game evolved in a certain way and they found it hard to come back at us then. It happens. I know it all too well because it happened to us down in Cork. I was just pleased the team kept on playing, kept on being competitive.”

For Anthony Daly, it was a reminder of the distance between his side and the business end of the game. Dublin’s performance was reminiscent of the one last summer that saw them hunted out of the Championship by Kilkenny. They meet Wexford first this year and you wondered would a day like yesterday worry him ahead of it.

“Of course it does but look, these are the ups and downs of a season. We were delighted two weeks ago here and it’s a bit of a kick now there. But the only thing is we knew we would be going down to Wexford anyway on June 8th and that’s the target date for us. The league has been fairly okay to us and it is disappointing to finish like that.

“I thought we were going to put up a big performance. I don’t know whether we did too much training over the last 10 days or whatever but we had to drive on as well with our training. Look it’s down into Wexford now and there won’t be too much talk about us. We are very disappointed with that performance, that is a down day for us. But look what can you do? You have to come out and go train Tuesday night. That’s what we’ll do.”