Michael Ryan pleased as Tipperary retain momentum

“It’s just feeding that competition that we crave inside in Thurles, all the time.”

Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald and Tipperary’s Michael Ryan shake hands after the Allianz Hurling League semi-final at Nowlan Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald and Tipperary’s Michael Ryan shake hands after the Allianz Hurling League semi-final at Nowlan Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

Tipperary manager Michael Ryan was asked had he maybe been worried on the hour when John McGrath missed a chance at one end and Wexford swept back for a great Lee Chin point to cut the margin to two, 2-12 to 0-16.

“Worry isn’t the emotion. You’re in the middle of the game and it ebbs and flows. It’s all about getting the next ball and getting your hands on it and our boys getting themselves into some kind of structure and shape, which at times we gave up too easily today,” said Ryan.

“But when we found that and were able to get our hands on the ball, they were able to make some good things happen. But Wexford had great long periods of ascendancy. We’ll certainly be not happy at all about those. But look, they’re a quality side – this is their first defeat in this league and that’s not an accident.”

The dynamite finish that saw Tipp stitch 3-6 into their opponents settled any remaining nerves.

Overall it was a satisfactory outing for the All-Ireland champions and their manager was particularly pleased with the contributions off the bench, in particular Michael Breen who stormed into the match after half-time and shot four points from play.

“Yeah, almost an instant impact, which was great for him. And got his hands on the ball, and that’s what it’s all about up there. But four scores in 35 minutes is a very good return, and it’s just feeding that competition that we crave inside in Thurles, all the time.”

His Wexford counterpart Davy Fitzgerald was in relatively mellow humour for someone who may be looking at a sideline suspension for his unscheduled entry onto the pitch in the 18th minute and he took the positives from the afternoon.

“I’m not actually devastated. You don’t like losing by ten or 11 points – or whatever it was – but you know what, for a long part of that game they gave Tipp socks of it. So from that point of view I wouldn’t have dreamt of that when I came into the job. We are making progress.”

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