By Brian McDonnell
KILRUANE MacDonagh’s Brian ‘Buggy’ O’Meara made his senior inter-county debut for Tipperary against Cork in 2010. Tipperary lost that encounter at Páirc Uí Chaoimh by ten points (0-14 to 3-15), but Brian O’Meara is looking forward to taking on the Rebels on Sunday, June 24.
“I made a disaster of a debut down there about two years ago. So, I’m looking forward to going down there again to try and right the wrongs,” Brian O’Meara told the Tipperary Star.
“We need to get the shoulder to the wheel again now.
“Cork is an extremely hard place to go down to and win a game. Any team will tell you that.
“I don’t know who will be favourites for the game, but I guarantee that it will be a tough game and there won’t be much in it.”
Brian O’Meara helped himself to 1-2 from play with his three-pointer following an enterprising Patrick Maher run playing a vital role in Tipperary recovering a seven-point second half deficit.
“Bonner (Patrick Maher) came on and he went through,” Brian O’Meara said as he reflected on his crucial goal.
“I think there were four lads around him, the ball just broke and I just flicked it in to be honest. For a neutral I suppose it was a good game to watch. It was tit-for-tat and a very close game.
“With 15 minutes to go we were six points down and it was looking like backs to the wall, but the lads stood up and took their scores. It was a great comeback I thought.”
O’Meara also singled out Patrick Maher for special praise: “he was super when he came on. His fitness levels are unreal; he attacks the ball every time, ball after ball. I would say he’s an absolute nightmare to mark.
“He really boosted our spirits when he came on”.
Following the final whistle in Sunday’s thrilling quarter-final Thurles’ Pádraic Maher said that the Tipperary team were now looking forward to facing Cork in the provincial semi-final.
“Yeah, there is another tough one coming up there now,” Pádraic Maher said.
“We will enjoy this one there now today and then knuckle down again tomorrow or on Tuesday night and get back again training. There is a long road ahead of us, but we’re looking forward to it.”
An obviously relieved Pádraic Maher was also eager to highlight the contribution of the Limerick men to Sunday’s quarter-final.
“We are just delighted to get the win. Limerick are an up-and-coming team and they have lads to come back into that team as well. They are going to be a hard team for anybody to beat and we are just delighted to get the win,” Pádraic Maher said.
“I remember looking up (at the scoreboard) and seeing that there were seven points in it, but there was still 16 minutes left on the clock.
“There was still plenty of time and we just kept tagging on points and we didn’t try going for goals too early. We used our experience there in the finish, we tagged on a few scores and we came out on top in the end.”
Pádraic Maher praised the efforts of full-forward Brian O’Meara while also highlighting the ferocious competition for places among the Tipperary players.
“Yeah, he (Brian O’Meara) showed what he is made of their today,” Pádraic Maher added.
“He’s a big presence there inside on the edge of the square and he even can come out the field to get a bit of ball as well.
“Séamie Callanan and Shane McGrath were fantastic as well when they came on. Shane Bourke came on and got a few scores.
“We know what we have there in those lads and what’s on the sideline.
“A few lads were unlucky not to tog out there today and they are going to be fighting for jerseys there again for the next day.
“Look, it’s looking up for us, we are taking it one step at a time and that’s going to be a great boost to this camp.
“Personally I’m looking forward to the next day against Cork.”