Tipperary did just enough on Sunday afternoon to avoid a potentially damaging relegation play-off and, happily, also booked a quarter-final date with Cork thanks a three-point win over a disgusted Dublin team on Sunday.
Tipperary went into the game requiring a three-point win to condemn Dublin to a relegation play-off against Waterford, a three-point win which relied on a Niall McMorrow shot dropping short in second half injury time.
In the aftermath of a win, which saw Tipperary fight back from six points down, manager Eamon O’Shea was sensible enough to offer a little perspective.
“I wouldn’t go overboard about how good today was,” Eamon O’Shea told the Tipperary Star.
“Today was a day when we managed to get a three-point win after a poor start. We worked really hard and that’s about it.”
And, now Tipperary have a league quarter-final to look forward to against Cork.
“Yeah, it’s good,” Eamon O’Shea said.
“It will be another game for us and it will allow us to play two or three new players that I want to see on the pitch. We have had to rush a few players in the league which I regret.
“They are young players and they will come really good again. You have the likes of Tomás Hamill, who is an absolutely solid player, and I rushed him a little bit. I thought James Barry was very good when he came in. I think if we can manage the resources that we have and get four or five players back that have been injured we will be in a positive frame of mind. We are far from the finished article here.”
Eamon O’Shea revealed that the rehabilitation of players like Gearóid Ryan and Lar Corbett from injury was progressing, but also made the point that his players have been working incredibly hard in training.
“Our performances were not good. I am not trying to take away from the common perception which is right. We just couldn’t seem to get rhythm in our play. Last week in Galway I was annoyed that we didn’t really play to our potential.
“We have had two or three weeks of really good training and really good work. I just congratulated the thirty guys in there who really worked hard down on the training pitch,” Tipp manager Eamon O’Shea explained.
“They really are capable of a lot; they are really fine hurlers. Sometimes I think that Tipp are a team that have to have rhythm.
“It’s no surprise to me that almost all the teams put out seven or eight defenders against Tipperary; that’s what I would do if I was playing against Tipperary. We have to just find our way around that. By the time the championship comes I think we will have found one or two things in terms of finding a way around that. Teams set up really defensively against us and I don’t blame them. We have to work our way through that. We just have to work hard to become a better team.”
Eamon O’Shea was also eager to point out that he expected the touch of his players to improve significantly in the coming weeks.
“Confidence and touch are related,” Eamon O’Shea said.
“You probably will see an improvement when we start to train under the light now in terms of touch.
“We have a bit of work to do. We have been doing a lot of stamina work. We are trying to get it right. It doesn’t always work, but we are trying to get it right. And, today we got over the line.”