By PRO Joe Bracken
ALLIANZ HURLING & FOOTBALL LEAGUES
‘That’s another fine mess you’ve gotten me into’, a quote from comic genius Oliver Hardy sprang to mind last Sunday morning when we woke to a second snow covered spectacle in almost as many weeks which has placed something of a fixtures headache across club and county competitions. All the best laid plans and strategies of many come to nought if the weather fails to act in tandem and throw things awry and particularly so with the latter stages of the Allianz Leagues looming large on the horizon.
In the Allianz Hurling League, Tipp’s proposed visit to Parnell Park for their quarter-final clash with Dublin was cancelled before the bus left on route and while a temporary reprieve to Monday offered some solace that too fell victim as pitches in Dublin and Thurles were deemed unplayable before lights out on Sunday. The chance to make amends for previous failings in Parnell Park, which are cast aside for now, won’t matter in the slightest to anyone as the wider expanse of Croke Park will find favour with all as the rearranged quarter-final clash with Dublin has been fixed for headquarters on Sunday next, March 25th with a 1pm throw-in as part of a double header clash which is followed by Dublin and Monaghan in the Allianz Football League.
As mentioned last week, Tipperary and Dublin met in the first round of the league in Croke Park in February 2017 with Tipperary winning 1-24 Dublin 1-8. The stakes on Sunday are higher as the winner will progress to meet Limerick in the semi-final while the vanquished will realign the targets for May championship action.
We send best wishes to the team again on Sunday as they prepare for another stern test from a resurgent Dublin unit.
Sunday’s referee will be Sean Cleere (Cill Chainnigh).
Unfortunately, the Tipperary football camp were not as fortunate as their hurling counterparts in so far as they had made part of the long journey to Newry with an overnight stay in Dundalk to break the voyage but they too were greeted to a snow covered landscape on Sunday morning. The elements up north also signalled cancellation and leaves that fixture on the back burner for now as Liam Kearns’ side focus in on what will be probably the most important game in the teams progression on Sunday next, March 25th in Cavan.
Heading to Kingspan Breffni for the Allianz Football League round 7 match against Cavan at 3pm, the venue has proven to be a very happy hunting ground in recent time for Tipperary football, a win on Sunday will enhance promotion ambitions to Division 1 for Tipperary in a game which will probably have a championship feel to it such will be its importance.
However, err at your peril because one should not dismiss or forget the home side as they too are harbouring the same promotion desires. An almighty battle awaits and this Tipperary team will want every supporter possible to be in Cavan to roar them on in what will be a cauldron like atmosphere.
Last year Tipperary travelled to Kingspan Breffni to take on Cavan in Round 2B of the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship and came away with the desired result winning 2-15 to 0-18. Tipp took an early lead and after a few goal opportunities failed to materialise they found themselves in arrears at the break. But such was their resilience, second half goals; firstly a penalty from Conor Sweeny (Ballyporeen) and a strike from Robbie Kiely (Carbery Rangers) ensured that Liam Kearns’ side would progress to the next round.
More of that resilience will be required on Sunday as Cavan, who were leading Division 2 for most of the campaign, will look to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat to Roscommon.
Again we send best wishes to the team on what will be a hugely significant mission but one the team is definitely capable of delivering on.
Supporters travelling to Kingspan Breffni with season tickets should note gate No. 26 at the top entrance or gate No. 50 at rear of covered stand and the designated gates to use on Sunday. A crowd in excess of 3,000 is expected so the message is be there in plenty of time.
The referee will be Fergal Kelly (An Longfort).
Congratulations to JK Brackens and Upperchurch-Drombane as they collected the first silverware of the year when winning their respective Tipperary Water County U21 football championship titles last weekend. In the ‘A’ final JK Brackens had a narrow 1-5 to 0-7 win against Moyle Rovers while in the ‘B’ decider Upperchurch-Drombane had 2 to spare in a 1-7 to 1-5 victory over Killenaule.
Round 2 action in the Tipperary Water County Hurling Leagues was interrupted with the snow over the weekend and some of these are rescheduled for this weekend along with round 1 fixtures which were previously postponed also, please check http://people.gaa.ie/club/tipperary/ for all current fixtures and results.
TIPPERARY FOOTBALL STRATEGIC PLAN
The Tipperary Football Committee have begun the process of building a Three Year Strategic Plan with the aim of identifying key actions and projects that will serve as a blueprint for the continuing development of football in the Premier County in the coming years. As part of that process the committee are holding a workshop in the Anner Hotel at 8pm on Thursday week, March 29th, to help to ensure that this plan, in so far as is possible, reflects the views and suggestions of all those interested in the promotion of football in Tipperary.
The committee hope to have at least two representatives from each club in the county attend on the night and invite clubs to send representatives who would have an interest in this workshop. The committee would appreciate a reply to Hugh Coghlan 087 9877355 email@example.com by March 19th with the names and phones numbers of persons attending.
SCÓR NA bPÁISTÍ
Best wishes to all involved in Scór na bPaistí as we look forward to seeing a wonderful County Final in Halla na Feile, Cashel on Sunday next, March 25th.
GAA MCNAMEE AWARD
Congratulations to Liam Ó Donnchú on being a worthy recipient of a 2017 GAA McNamee Award which will be presented to him at a function in Croke Park later this month. Liam’s book ‘Thurles Sarsfields GAA Story – Volume 1’ covering the years 1884 to 1959 and launched last November won the best GAA club publication category and is a fitting reward for Liam who has dedicated a huge part of his life to all things GAA and he sets an exceptional standard in doing so.
AIB CLUB ALL-IRELAND HURLING FINAL
After an epic contest in Croke Park on St. Patrick’s Day, Na Piarsaigh (Limerick) and Cuala (Dublin) will have to go at it again following their 2-19 to 1-22 draw after extra time in the AIB All-Ireland Club Hurling Final. The Tipperary connection with Na Piarsaigh is quite strong with corner back Niall Buckley and his brother Mark both nephews of Tipperary Supporters Club secretary Eamon Buckley. Wing back Kieran Kennedy is a son of former Tipp U21 captain in 1981 Philip Kennedy (Nenagh Éire Óg), goalkeeper Padraig Kennedy is son of the late Liam Kennedy (Kilruane MacDonaghs) who passed away last year, Shane Dowling’s mother is Joan Carey from Ballymackeogh, Newport and panel member David Shepard is a son of former Tipp goalkeeper Tony Shepard who won an All-Ireland club medal with Kilruane MacDonaghs in 1986.
For Cuala, Shane Stapleton (Borris-Ileigh) brother of All-Ireland winner Paddy Stapleton came on for Cuala midway through the second half while Evan Hanley (Lattin-Cullen) is also a member of the panel. Well done to all the guys and best wishes in the replay.
MUNSTER GROUNDSMAN EDUCATION DAY
As reported by John Harrington on the GAA website, the GAA’s 2018 Munster Groundsman Education Day will take place in Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday April, 7. Attendees will hear from a number of key speakers over the course of the day, beginning with Course Director for Greenkeeping and Sportsturf management at Coláiste Stiofain Naofa, Daniel Crowley. Register for this event by contacting Mr. Kieran McGann, National Pitch Maintenance Workgroup firstname.lastname@example.org or call 086 7773100.
COACHING & GAMES
Tipperary Coaching and Games will hold GAA Easter activity camps for those aged 6 to 12 at various venues in the county on 27th to 29th of March or 3rd to 5th of April from 10am to 1pm. The cost is €30 and all participants will receive a free sliothar and football. Those interested should contact registered clubs for further details.
HEALTH & WELLBEING
Starting on April 10th next, Place4U has teamed up with Tipperary ETB and Moyle Rovers to deliver a 10-week Health & Wellbeing Programme for men aged over 30. The aim is to help improve health, fitness and lifestyle, for further information phone 087 4407935.
Healthy Ireland at your library is a service available in all local libraries across the county. You can access a large collection of books on Health & Wellbeing through your local branch and on occasion also enjoy programmes and events relating to healthy topics. It’s free to join the library, apply online at www.librariesireland.ie or call into your local library.
TIPPERARY SUPPORTERS CLUB MEMBERSHIP 2018
Click here to join: http://www.tippsupportersclub.com/join/adult-members/
The Tipperary Supporters Club member’s gift in 2018 is a specially produced Tipperary Supporters Club Cap, in the traditional Blue and Gold and featuring the Tipperary Supporters Club Official Logo.
Membership is €40 per person and there are several payment options. All proceeds from membership go directly towards the preparation and training of the Tipperary Senior Hurling Team.
FRIENDS OF TIPPERARY FOOTBALL
The Friends of Tipperary Football are appealing to all Tipperary supporters to take up Friends membership as the senior footballers continue to make huge strides in Division 2 this campaign and need all the support they can muster to help them achieve their promotion aims.
The Friends are continuing to sell membership for 2018 and once again it is a very reasonable €20 and all members will receive an exclusive car sticker and more importantly will be helping the senior footballers reach their potential. If you would like to join online you can do so at http://www.friendsoftipperaryfootball.com/join/ or contact any Friends of Tipperary Football committee member.