By PRO Joe Bracken
ALLIANZ HURLING LEAGUE
A hurling moonlight symphony, played out in four movements on the expanse that is Semple Stadium, ensured this Allianz League Semi-Final meeting between Tipperary and Limerick will resonate long in the memory as the ancient game edged towards classical status. Tipperary emerged victorious 2-31 to 1-31 following extra time in a match that left the Semple audience captivated as forty three players on show put all their collective energy into one masterpiece. On the side-line Mick Ryan and his management team orchestrated the Tipp movement and have closed the page on this composition as the focus turns rapidly towards another league final appearance against Kilkenny in Nowlan Park on Sunday next.
With just two points between the sides at half time, Tipp 0-12 Limerick 0-10, the second period would be as compelling with both sides deadlocked 0-26 apiece at the end of normal time. A brace of goals from Jason Forde (Silvermines) in the first period of extra time left it 2-28 to 0-29 at half time in that added period. Jason finished up with 2-11 which was crucial to Tipp’s victory and was ample return to earn him the Man of the Match award and congratulations to him on receiving it from Michael Rice, pictured below.
Congratulations also to Willie Connors (Kiladangan) on making his starting debut and scoring a point on the night to mark the occasion.
As indicated the Allianz League Final is set for Nowlan Park on Sunday next April 8th with a 3:30pm throw-in where Tipperary and Kilkenny will lock horns once more in a league decider.
It is only a few weeks back to February 27th when the sides met in round 4 of the league in Nowlan Park with the home side shading it 2-22 to 2-21. Michael Breen (Ballina) was Tipp’s chief scorer on the day with 2-9 as Tipp went in search of a first win there since April 13th, 2008. Incidentally, that was the same year that Tipperary last won a league title when Eoin Kelly (Mullinahone) lifted the cup when Tipp defeated Galway 3-18 to 3-16 in the Gaelic Grounds.
This will be the 71st National Hurling League game between the counties with Tipperary holding a narrow advantage with 32 wins to Kilkenny’s 31 and 7 games were drawn. The sides have met in 3 league finals in recent times where it is unfortunately three nil in favour of the men in black and amber. In 2009 in Semple Stadium it was Kilkenny 2-26 Tipperary 4-17, in 2013 in Nowlan Park Kilkenny 2-17 Tipperary 0-20 and in 2014 back to Semple Stadium a point separated the sides after extra time Kilkenny 2-25 Tipperary 1-27.
So with Tipperary on top of charts with 19 league titles, we will be hoping 2018 is the year that Mick Ryan’s men can make it 20 and also in doing so atone for the unexpected result in 2017. In conjunction with Tipp being top on most league wins, John Doyle (Holycross-Ballycahill) with 10 league medals sits on top of the individual league medal count.
We send best wishes to the players and management as they head to the ‘Cat’s’ lair on Sunday with the primary intention of a championship like performance following the culmination of an excellent league campaign. It will be all the sweeter if the success of victory comes in tandem. Supporters please note that the Littlewoods Ireland Camogie League Division 1 Final (Cork v Kilkenny) will throw in at 1.30pm ahead of the league final and to make travel arrangements accordingly.
Now that the Allianz League draws to a close some trivia for Division 1A indicates that Tipperary have topped the Group table in 3 of the last 5 years; in 2015 Tipp finished on 8pts with plus 10 of a scoring difference, in 2017 Tipp were on 7pts with plus 28 and this year 2018 Tipp were equal on 6pts with Kilkenny, Wexford and Clare but sat on top virtue of plus 12, as opposed to plus 6 for Kilkenny and Wexford, not a bad return in a competitive environment. For the record Tipp were 4th in 2014 with 4 pts and minus 10 and also 4th in 2016 with 5pts and plus 20.
Tickets are now on sale for the Allianz Hurling League Final. They are on sale via gaa.ie and usual Centra/Supervalue retail outlets. Seating is unreserved in specific stands. Player passes are not valide for this fixture.
Pricing as follows:
Adult Pre-Purchase €25
Adult Match Day €30
Seating is unreserved but stand specific, both Ardan De Gras & Ardan Breathnach stands are on sale.
The Group Pass will also be available until 1pm this Wednesday (O’Cearbhaill Stand) €5 per child, one adult free with every 10. The form can be filled in on-line here http://www.gaa.ie/tickets/club-offers
Season Ticket holders will be seated in the Ardan de Gras Stand.
ALLIANZ FOOTBALL LEAGUE
The Tipperary footballers signed off on their Allianz League Division 2 run with an away fixture in Down on Saturday last, losing out by a single score 2-11 to 1-11. Michael Quinlivan (Clonmel Commercials) was the Tipperary goal scorer ending up with 1-1. Congratulations to Stephen Murray (Burgess) on making his starting debut and also to Dave McGrath (Moyle Rovers) who was introduced as a second half substitute.
With their place in Division 2 consolidated before this fixture, the players and management can be proud of their achievements this season and it bodes well for a serious run at the Munster Championship which gets under way with a quarter-final fixture on Saturday, May 19th at home to Waterford at 7pm.
MUNSTER MINOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Wednesday week, April 11th, will be the date that the new minor inter-county age grade will come into play when Tipperary welcome Kerry to Semple Stadium for a quarter-final clash in the Electric Ireland Munster Minor Football Championship at 7pm.
The panel under the guidance of manager Matt O’Doherty (Arravale Rovers), coach Benny Hickey (Cahir), selectors – Viv Downey (Upperchurch-Drombane), James Boland (Inane Rovers), Johnny Nevin (JK Brackens), strength and conditioning coach Jason Coffey (Ardfinnan).and physio Tomás Ryan will be eager to get off to a winning start as the first of the Munster Championships gets under way. Best wishes to all in their preparations as well look forward to next week’s match.
Well done to Fergal Horgan (Knockavilla-Donaskeigh Kickhams) as he took charge of the Masita Croke Cup Final between St. Kieran’s College and Presentation College Athenry in Semple Stadium last Saturday evening.
The first of the action in the Tipperary Water County Intermediate Hurling Championship gets under way this weekend with three matches down for decision. In Group 2 Round 1 Carrick Davins will play Cashel King Cormacs in Clonmel Sportsfield at 6pm on Saturday next April 8th, while in Group 4 Round 1at the same time Sean Treacys play Moyle Rovers in Cahir. On Sunday then in Group 3 Round 1 it is Galtee Rovers/St Pecaun against Arravale Rovers in Páirc Coicam, Dundrum at 1:30pm. There are also two games in the Tipperary Water County Hurling League, please check http://people.gaa.ie/club/tipperary/ for all current fixtures and results.
On the occasion of the extremely sad passing last week of Rachel Kenneally RIP, we express the deepest sympathy of Tipperary Co. Board and all supporters to her parents Denis and Mary, sisters Laura and Louise and all her extended family. To all in Aherlow GAA Club, colleagues and friends with Tipperary Ladies Football we sympathise with you too on the immense loss of a fellow player at such a young age.
TIPPERARY FUN RUN/WALK
The Tipperary Supporters Club and the County Camogie Board are once again hosting a 5k fun run/walk which is a fundraiser for both the Supporters Club and the County Camogie Board, to aid county teams in their preparation for their respective 2018 championships.
The run / walk was launched last Saturday night in Semple Stadium and follows on from the outstanding success when first held last year. The event will take place once again at the Dome, Semple Stadium on Bank Holiday Monday, May 7th with an 11am start and will be followed by an open Tipperary training session in Semple Stadium.
Pre-registrations is available on www.tipperarysupportersclub.com or on the morning, adults entry is €10 and U16’s €5. All participants are encouraged to wear your club colours on the day. For more information contact Eamonn Buckley (Tipperary Supporters Club) 086 3838767 or Bridget Bourke (Tipperary Camogie) 087 6255427.
It was 130 years ago, Easter Sunday April 1st, 1888 when Tipperary represented by Thurles won the first All-Ireland Hurling Championship when they defeated Galway represented by Meelick in Birr on a 1-1-1 score line (a goal, a point and a forfeit point). That was the final of the 1887 championship.
MUNSTER GROUNDSMAN EDUCATION DAY
The GAA’s 2018 Munster Groundsman Education Day will take place in Páirc Uí Chaoimh this Saturday April 7th. 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.
HEALTH & WELLBEING
Starting next Tuesday, April 10th, 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.
The County Health and Wellbeing Committee would like to encourage GAA clubs to becoming involved in the 2018 Pieta House Darkness into Light campaign which commences in the small hours of May 12th and finishes as the sun is rising.
Clubs might consider encouraging all adult members or just an adult team to participate and to invite family and friends to join them at an event closest to you. By participating in their Darkness into Light flagship fundraiser in one of the many venues in Tipperary your club will be helping the wider community to support Pieta House.
To find your nearest venue and for registration details check https://dil.pieta.ie/event-information/venues
Has your club appointed a Healthy Club Officer recently if you have please send name and contact details to County Secretary immediately.
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
If you would like to be entered into the draw for some fantastic prizes the Friends of Tipperary Football are selling membership for 2018 and once again it is a very reasonable €20.
Membership enters each supporter into the following draws:
Two All-Ireland Final Football tickets 2018
Two All-Ireland Final Hurling tickets 2018
Two Tickets for each Tipperary Senior Football Championship matches 2018
Plus, all members will receive an exclusive car sticker.
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.