By Brian McDonnell
IN the wake of Tipperary’s stunning 21-point win over Waterford in Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday Declan Ryan admitted that the key to his side’s progress could come down to how well they manage the hype following this explosive display.
“I’m sure there will be plenty of hype after today’s performance. It’s new territory for Tipp in a lot of ways, to score that many goals,” Declan Ryan said in the wake of Tipp’s 7-19 to 0-19 win.
“There is going to be a certain amount of talk, but we have a lot to look forward to. But we’re lucky. I think we have a lot of experienced players in the group and a lot of the younger guys are used to winning. The job will be to perform at our optimum level the next day we go out as well.”
The cumulative score of 40 points even bettered Tipp’s 3-27 to 2-12 win over Clare in the 1993 provincial final.
“It was just a super performance from the players,” Declan Ryan told the Tipperary Star.
“I’m delighted with the way they went about their business today and everything seemed to go right on the day.
“We won plenty of good ball out around the middle of the field and in our half-back line early. They delivered some great ball in and some days they end up in the back of the net, some days they go wide. Today, everything seemed to go right for Tipperary and it was one of those days.”
As the game entered the final five minutes of the opening half Waterford trailed by just six points (0-7 to 1-10) before Tipperary embarked on as violent a goal-scoring surge as you are ever likely to witness - Eoin Kelly, Lar Corbett (two) and Seámus Callanan plundered goals which retired the sides with 17 between them at the interval (5-10 to 0-8). Waterford’s Clinton Hennessy made two stunning stops in the second half, but Eoin Kelly and Lar Corbett still managed two more three-pointers with the Thurles man notching 4-4 in total.
“He (Lar Corbett) is an incredible player when he gets the right type of ball,” explained Declan Ryan.
“We know we have scoring potential there in our forward line and if we get them enough ball we can do some damage. The ball seemed to fall right for us today, but it didn’t seem to fall for Waterford at all.”
And, Declan Ryan was quick to point out that Tipp’s outstanding half-back line (John O’Keeffe, Conor O’Mahony and Pádraic Maher) provided the platform.
“We’ve had some criticism in that department in the last couple of games, but I think they showed what good men they are. They all stood up today and they played as well as they could,” the Clonoulty-Rossmore man said.
Declan Ryan was however concerned that Tipperary conceded 20 frees in all with Waterford’s Páuric Mahony converting 12 placed balls.
“It’s something we worked on earlier in the season and I think we only conceded eight against Clare which was a big plus for us. It’s obviously something we can work on for the next day. It’s important to have things you can work on, but it was considerable how many we conceded,” Declan Ryan said.