Tipperary’s dream of putting back to back All-Ireland minor football titles came a cropper in most disappointing fashion in Croke Park on Saturday afternoon last, when Connacht runners-up Mayo crushed David Power’s men with a very confident display.
For a group of players who had given so much entertainment and joy to scores of Tipperary followers, this was the day it all went horribly wrong. Basic errors were made throughout the field and when Mayo turned on the style Tipperary were simply unable to respond. They resembled a group of players of whom too much had been asked and perhaps with so many players having roles in other sports and codes, all of the action caught up with them. Tipp looked flat; were stretched time and again in defence; were almost completely over-run in midfield; and found it very hard to get the necessary space to attack Mayo’s rearguard in any meaningful manner. Indeed, had Tipp not goalled, rather opportunely, through Philip Quirke six minutes before the break – a goal which came against the run of play – the game could have been over by half time. But, true to form, the players showed their grit and their heart by managing to hang on to the coat tails of the Mayo men who were free-flowing, full of running, and at times downright rampant.