By PRO Joe Bracken
SENIOR HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP
In despatching an underperforming Dublin side with relative ease, the Tipperary senior hurlers continued their progression in this year’s All-Ireland championship race with a 6-26 to 1-19 victory in Round 2, in the first of a Semple Stadium double bill last Saturday evening.
While not the hard pressed game they would have preferred, it will be feet firmly planted on the ground by all to ensure focus is maintained for hopefully more serious challenges that lie ahead, the first of which is an All-Ireland Championship Quarter-Final against Munster rivals Clare in what will be the first intercounty fixture played in the newly redeveloped Páírc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday week, July 22rd, at 3pm.
Not since1925 when Tipp scored 12-9 (45) against Antrim has the county amassed such a score as last Saturday. Seamus Callanan (Drom & Inch) led the scoring stakes with 3-11 (07 from frees) while John McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney) with 2-2 and Michael Breen (Ballina) were the other Tipperary goal scorers.
It will certainly have been the confidence booster everyone may have been looking for, but the players and management will know there is plenty more to do, so with that the result will be boxed off in favour of looking forward to the Banner challenge with increased resolve.
Tipperary last played Clare in the Munster Championship Semi-Final in 2011 with Tipp winning that one 4-19 to 1-19. Among the Tipp goal scorers on that day were current players Seamus Callanan and Patrick Maher (Lorrha-Dorrha). The hurling landscape has seen various attempts at change since, but Tipperary has always remained steadfast to a traditional set up and Saturday week’s encounter, on the face of it, should be a massive and stern test for Mick Ryan’s side. Clare will be hoping to right the few small margins that they failed to convert on Sunday in what otherwise may have seen them successfully over the line in the Munster Final and if these come right on the day, Tipp will need to be at the top of their game to ensure safe passage to the penultimate stage of the championship.
SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Kingspan Breffni Park has proven to be a very happy hunting ground for the Tipperary senior footballers as they again came up trumps by turning around a six point half time deficit to overhaul the home side Cavan in Round 2B of the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship last Saturday on a score line of 2-15 to 0-18.
When the draw was made for the fixture Tipperary were dealt the long trip up north for a second successive year and took to their task with purpose and intent. With a loyal band of supporters in tow, they 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 be in the draw for the next round the following Monday morning. It was no doubt a huge boost to the side when Michael Quinlivan (Clonmel Commercials) made a welcome return following his absence through injury since the Munster Semi-Final.
Congratulations to Emmett Moloney (Drom & Inch) and Jack Kennedy (Clonmel Commercials) on making their championship debuts in that win in Cavan.
In that qualifier draw, Tipperary were first out of the pot and secured home advantage against Armagh this Saturday evening, July 15th at 5pm in Round 3B of the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship at Semple Stadium. This fixture will certainly draw comparisons of the most recent encounter between the sides when they met in the league back in early April where Tipperary recorded a famous 3-8 to 0-16 victory ensuring Division 2 status next season. That was then and this is now, however, and Tipperary will have to be on their toes to quell the Armagh challenge when they arrive in Thurles next Saturday.
Not alone that, but one can expect Armagh supporters to travel in their thousands to support as this is their only show in town. Tipperary on the other hand have two productions on the go and to make sure the football entity continues to be in the hunt it is absolutely vital that Tipperary supporters come out in greater numbers to support our county footballers and rally them on against Armagh on Saturday. The players have given their all and have proven that 2016 is the building platform to success and now is the time for Team Tipperary Supporters to rise behind the side on Saturday and hopefully for more championship games to come this year.
The referee on Saturday will be Paddy Neilan (Ros Comáin). Tickets will be on sale in selected SuperValu and Centra Stores and also online at gaa.tickets.ie prices as follows; Adult €20.00 and Juvenile €5.00; Student/Senior Citizen Tickets €15.00 on match day only, no concessions. O’Riain Stand only (New Stand) with unreserved seating.
MUNSTER FINAL REFEREE
Congratulations to Fergal Horgan (Knockavilla-Donaskeigh Kickhams) on his first officiating as Munster Final referee. Fergal has now completed the set of three major provincial hurling finals as referee, having previously being in charge of the 2016 Leinster SH Championship Final between Kilkenny and Galway and the Ulster SH Championship Final in 2014 between Derry and Antrim.
It certainly wasn’t an unlucky number for Fergal as be became the thirteenth Tipperary referee to take charge of a Munster Senior Hurling Championship Final, the full list being as follows; R. Quane 1905, Tom Semple 1914 and ’18, Frank McGrath 1920 and ’21, J. Kennedy 1934, Willie O’Donnell 1946, Robert Stakelum 1956, John Moloney 1974, ’75 and ’78, George Ryan 1979, ’81, Willie Barrett 1992, ’94 and ’98 (draw and replay), John McDonnell 1995, Seamus Roche 2007, Johnny Ryan 2010 (draw) and Fergal Horgan 2017.
Congratulations to Semple Stadium on its achievement of being announced last week as winner of the inaugural 2017 Pitch Award. In what was a hugely significant honour, beating off stiff competition from across the country the grounds team at Semple Stadium led by David Hanley can be justifiably proud of the honour bestowed on them.
How fitting then that the ‘Field of Legends’ had the opportunity to portray itself at its brilliant best last weekend as just shy of seventy nine thousand spectators packed into Semple Stadium to enjoy a feast of hurling action in the space of twenty five hours.
This would not have happened without the utmost dedication, pride and work ethic of Stadium Director, David Morgan and his staff, groundsman David Hanley and his team and to all of you we congratulate you on winning the award. Thank you also for the splendid turn around once again late on Saturday night into Sunday morning so that Semple Stadium would be in pristine condition for the provincial hurling glamour event of the year the Munster Senior Championship Final.
Congratulations to the Tipperary ladies intermediate football team on retaining their Munster Championship crown following their defeat of Clare 4-9 to 1-14 in Mallow last Saturday afternoon, making it a truly memorable day for the Premier County with three great wins in total on the day. Goals from Aishling Moloney, Aisling McCarthy and a brace from Roisin Howard were crucial to this Tipperary victory. Congratulations also to manager Shane Ronayne and his selectors Alan O’Connor, Elaine Harte and Tony Smith for guiding the Tipperary ladies to victory.
Best wishes again to Fergal Horgan as he continues his busy schedule by refereeing the Bord Gais Energy Munster U21 Hurling Championship Semi-Final between Waterford and Cork in Walsh Park, this Thursday evening.
This weekend sees fixtures in Round 5 of the Tipperary Water County Hurling League, for a full check on all upcoming fixtures as well as recent results; please check the Tipperary GAA website https://tipperary.gaa.ie/ or the fixtures/results section in your local newspaper.
TEAM TIPPERARAY GAA RACE DAY
Next up on the fundraising agenda is the Team Tipperary GAA Race Day at the Galway Races on Monday, July 31st next. This is our third Galway Races venture continuing very successful opening days in 2015 and 2016. The Galway Races Summer Festival is renowned as a premier and most colourful racing festival. While it is a major sporting event, it also appeals to a much wider audience than just the racing fans. With the Killanin Stand Suites, there is something for everyone whether you are entertaining family, friends or business clients. This is the ideal format for mixing business with pleasure, whilst surrounded by the atmosphere and excitement that is the Galway Races. If you or anyone you know is interested in racing, or just a good day out and who might take a seat or two or a table, please contact Tim Floyd, County Secretary, 087 2591747 email@example.com for bookings and further details. By contributing to this wonderful day out you are providing invaluable support for Team Tipperary. Tipperary Co. Board is very fortunate to have a big pool of people who are willing to invest in the future of Tipperary GAA and support it so selflessly. It is an honour for Co. Board officers to carry out this work on behalf of these people and we together with our patrons are totally committed to the success of Tipperary GAA and our teams.
If you would like to be part of it, talk to us, we’d be honoured if you’d share the journey with us.
Following their successful run in the recent Celtic Challenge, the victorious South Tipperary winning side has been nominated for the Beat FM sports star of the month award for June. It would be great for the players if they won it. Voting is by public poll on the Beat FM website http://www.beat102103.com/sportsstarawards/
Tipperary GAA has recently launched a loyalty CashBack Card which as a Tipperary supporter each individual that registers is doing their small bit in support of the county cause. Loyalty cards were sent out with club draw receipts to all members and as there is no charge in registering you can opt in immediately. If anyone who doesn’t have a loyalty card and flyer please call to Lár na Páirce to pick up one. Register as per details on the CashBack flyer. To activate the card, holders must complete the registration and then please email, post or drop off your registration details to Lar na Páirce, Slievenamon Road, Thurles or firstname.lastname@example.org
TIPPERARY SUPPORTERS CLUB
Supporters can join on line now on tippsupportersclub.com/join by credit card or debit/laser card. Membership is €40 per person. Also on the website details are available of the direct debit facility; as the Club is run on a completely voluntary basis it would be a great help if members could join by direct debit.
The Supporters Club are encouraging members to switch to Direct Debit payment by offering a reduced charge of €30 for all Direct Debit members in 2017. It’s easy to sign up for Direct Debit, just download the two-page form from the Tipperary Supporters Club website at http://www.tippsupportersclub.com/join/ fill it out and send it to Jim Reidy at the address below.
If joining by post please send a cheque or postal order for €40 payable to Tipperary Supporters Club to Jim Reidy, 13 Castleknock Close, Dublin 15 (086-3580718, email: email@example.com ) All proceeds from membership go towards the preparation and training of the Tipperary Senior Hurling Team.
FRIENDS OF TIPPERARY FOOTBALL
With Tipperary out again in the Football Championship qualifier this Saturday, July 15th, the Friends of Tipperary Football membership is an ideal way of supporting the team. For €20 membership it enters each supporter into the following draws: 2 All Ireland Final Football tickets 2017; 2 All Ireland Final Hurling tickets 2017; 2 Tickets for each Tipperary Senior Football Championship matches 2017; 2 All Ireland Club Final tickets 2017.
Membership is also available online through the Friends websitewww.friendsoftipperaryfootball.com and there is also a link on the Friends Facebook page.
TIPPERARY GAA SCENE
Information concerning all areas in the GAA will appear in this section in the future. If you wish to include any item of interest in future articles, please firstname.lastname@example.org on or before 3.00pm on Monday. Visit the Tipperary GAA web site at http://tipperary.gaa.ie to keep up to date with all the latest news in Tipperary GAA circles.