Tipperary gave ‘flattest performance’ in final, says Ryan

Galway manager Micheál Donoghue believes championship is what really defines a team

Tipperary manager Michael Ryan: defeat will “hurt nobody more than our players, but it’s done, that’s all we can say about it now”. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

If most people were more than surprised by the manner and dimension of Galway's league final victory over Tipperary, it's safe to assume that few found the outcome quite as unpleasant as the All-Ireland champions' manager Michael Ryan.

Having set out to try to win the title as corroboration of the side’s MacCarthy Cup win last September and confirmation of the county’s rising status in the game, as a potentially dominant force, he had to watch instead as his team was pillaged.

“We looked way below where we’d like to be in several positions on the field,” he said afterwards. “Does it leave question marks? We’ll have a good look at this to see where it leaves us in terms of where did it start, where did it stop.

“I’ve been involved in games like this, I’ve played in games like this, and it’s not nice. It’ll hurt nobody more than our players, but it’s done, that’s all we can say about it now.”


Poor outing

Saying that it was the “flattest performance we’ve ever produced, he added that as far as he was concerned this year’s All-Ireland had been “wide open” since last September.

“No surprises here other than we had such a poor outing. We expected Galway to be full value as opposition, we know they’re quality opposition – the challenge is going to be ours in terms of having a four-week turnaround to the first week of the championship.

“The league is done, it’s been eight games in 10 weeks, and it’s been pretty intense. These are amateur players and deserve huge credit for the effort they’ve given. It’s time for us to draw breath and to lay our plans for the Munster championship – that’s coming at us fast, against Cork in Thurles.”

That championship match is four weeks away and a week later the new league champions open their summer with a match against Dublin. Galway manager Micheál Donoghue was anxious to contextualise.

“Look it’s only a short few weeks since the Wexford game and we’d a poor result in that and the boys got a lot of stick after that but pushed on and worked hard. It’s still only April and our focus will turn to the championship.”


Once again the team's performance against Tipperary was centred on an outstanding centrefield performance from David Burke, ably supported by Johnny Coen, who said that he was continuing to enjoy himself away from corner back and in the company of work colleague Burke.

“It is going okay. There is a bit more freedom. Sometimes it is great and sometimes your tongue would be hanging out. The two of us are teaching there in the school [St Brigid’s Vocational, Loughrea]. We never get too far away from each other. We are always in each other’s ear.

“The league is all about performance and getting your preparation right for the championship. At the end of the day, while we are happy with the win, we are really looking forward to the championship. That is really what defines a player, defines a team.”

Seán Moran

Seán Moran

Seán Moran is GAA Correspondent of The Irish Times