Positive Séamus Callanan injury news adds to Tipperary relief
Manager Michael Ryan admits Clare’s goals rattled his side at Páirc Uí Chaoimh
Tipperary manager Michael Ryan celebrates the win over Cork with selectors John Madden and Conor Stakelum. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
Tipperary manager Mick Ryan’s primary response to Saturday’s quarter-final win was one of relief, a sentiment compounded by the following day’s news that prolific full forward Séamus Callanan’s arm and hand injuries hadn’t been as serious as feared.
The evidence of the weekend was that Tipp are very much forward-driven at the moment and in a match that largely by-passed centrefield, frailties farther back exerted needless pressure.
Still, Ryan was keen to accentuate the positive and allocate some of the responsibility to the Clare forwards, who managed three goals, another one disallowed and a close call.
“You’ve got to credit the forwards. The second goal in particular was a super catch by Shane O’Donnell and once you are in control of the sliotar you have the advantage on your man. By the time Shane came down – he’s very fleet-footed, and he turned in immediately and off-loaded it before it was finished. They were quality goals.
“Does it test the full-back line? Absolutely it does. And it rattles you. It rattles. There is great credit due to those defenders because you have got to pick yourself up. It’s not nice to be taken for a goal and to be taken for two in the first half certainly wasn’t in our script.
“I thought we got into the game from the off. We put up an overall decent tally of points. But look, the overriding feeling here is total relief to have got through. Clare got six unanswered points in-a-row, had the gap down to one and that was the tipping point of the game. Thankfully it just tipped back in our favour so we’re delighted.”
He also paid tribute to the newly opened Páirc Uí Chaoimh and said that Tipp’s decision not to avail of the offer of a practice run had had no impact on their performance.
“It is a fantastic stadium and it’s a credit to Cork. We are delighted to have been part of one of the two inaugural games down here. I think it’s kind of Croke Park-esque.
“That didn’t impact the guys at all. We actually didn’t come down as a team beforehand. I was actually down here myself on Wednesday morning with work but is exactly as I described, it’s Croke Park-esque. I was really impressed by the quality of the pitch. That was our first time to get on it and it was really good. I think it will be a fantastic stadium going forward.”
Donal Moloney, one Clare’s joint managers, succinctly listed the deficiencies in a battling but unavailing performance.
“The wides are regrets; we missed goal chances as well and probably made a few mistakes in defence too,” he said. “They’re a lot of the regrets but having said that, we have an awful lot to be positive about as well. We had some outstanding performances today, some of the guys in the full-back line, Jamie Shanahan, Conor Cleary were really good and up front Aaron Cunningham and Peter Duggan. ”
He said that he and his joint-manager Gerry O’Connor had been unhappy with the disallowing of Conor McGrath’s ninth-minute goal because he had taken too many steps with the ball.
“It was very harsh. It was very harsh, to be perfectly honest. We couldn’t buy a free in the first 20 minutes.” O’Connor had had words with the referee Colm Lyons at half-time.
“Yeah, look, it is a big game for Colm Lyons as well – wouldn’t be complaining too much about it but that was harsh; that was a very harsh free. There were loads of other incidences of over-carrying throughout the game and that was a very big call for him to make.”