Tipperary senior hurling Coach Paidi O’Neill has welcomed the fact that most of the players came through unscathed from the club championships at the weekend, despite ‘putting ourselves in the hands of fortune’.
It was risky business alright with the All-Ireland hurling final just a few weeks ago, but the management team who are very supportive of the club scene and who appreciate the fact that so many other players have been left relatively idle while the county team is in action, were happy for the divisional semi-finals to go ahead , and even happier that the players came through more or less unscathed.
Niall O’Meara got a knock playing for Kilruane MacDonagh against Burgess but the injury is not thought to be very serious. And, Paidi, the former St Mary’s player admitted to waiting by the phone for the up-dates.
“It was high risk certainly and we were sitting by the phone on Sunday evening but if something like that works out it is OK. We would have been conscious as a management team that you have a very sizeable number of club players who need to be catered for as well. On balance we have done OK, I think, with five or six rounds of games played at this stage. We have been putting ourselves in the hands of fortune but at the same time it is good for players to get a break from the inter county scene . One of the impressive things for me, with regard to this bunch of players, is their commitment to their club teams. They come back refreshed to us and when you can avoid injuries, these club games can be very good for the county team,” Paidi told The Tipperary Star this week.
There was also good news from the camp in that Patrick ‘Bonner’Maher has recovered from an injury picked up in the warm up prior to the Cork game. He played through the pain barrier on the day but by his own admission was unable to cover much ground, particularly in the second half.
“The injury is grand now. 100% and I am just looking forward to the next few weeks and getting ready for the All-Ireland Final,” the Lorrha Dorrha clubman told The Tipperary Star this week.
Manager Eamon O’Shea confirmed the news and added that he too awaited news of the club games on Sunday, as he relaxed away from it all.
“Connemara. A great place to relax and to go after you lose a game too,” he told members of the local and national media on Monday evening in The Anner Hotel.