FOR the second successive year a Mullinahone man has lifted the Munster cup on behalf of Tipperary. And, this time it was the turn of immensely-popular full-back Paul Curran.
“We’re delighted,” explained Paul Curran who has now played 41 championship games in the blue and gold of Tipperary.
“It’s great to put Munster championships back-to-back. It’s a tough thing and Tipperary don’t have a good record of doing it. We just slogged it out. It was tough going around the middle with the breaking balls. I think it was down to the goal chances - we took ours and Brendan (Cummins) stopped theirs. It swung our way then. He (Brendan Cummins) had two or three good stops there and that’s something we have to work on ourselves. They got in for some goal chances. Brendan gives you great confidence, the number of games he’s played - it’s faster he’s getting.”
Paul Curran was also eager to highlight the efforts of the Tipperary substitutes, men he felt made a telling difference to the game: “the boys who came in just managed to get a hurley in here and there.
“That was important because Waterford are the kind of team who can get goals and get a run on you and their heads go up. So, that’s encouraging. It’s a twenty-man game, lads get tired and you just bring on the fresh legs.
“It gives you great confidence to see the lads come on and it’s good for training as well. There’s plenty of competition there,” Paul Curran added.
“The Munster championship has been very competitive and there are four Munster teams left in the championship,” Paul Curran said as his thoughts turned to Tipperary’s All-Ireland semi-final on Sunday, August 19th.
“We’re happy with the direct route. We’re back to our clubs and then we have to knuckle down again,” Curran added.
And, Paul Curran won’t be writing off the defending All-Ireland champions Kilkenny any time soon: “I think they just had an off day. In fairness, Galway are motoring well. We played them a couple of weeks beforehand and they did the same to us. So, I wasn’t really surprised by the performance.
“But Kilkenny are Kilkenny. Anyone writing them off would be foolish.
“They were being written off before the league final this year and we saw what happened.
“If it’s Kilkenny (in the All-Ireland semi-final) then so be it, but they have to get over a quarter-final (against Limerick) yet.”