Brendan Maher will be in action for Borris-Ileigh on Saturday.
Galway success over shadowed by the passing of the great Tony Keady. In Tipp attention now turns to the club scene.
Now that the dust has settled on Tipperary's exit from the All-Ireland senior hurling championship the attention shifts big-time to the club scene. But, the two elements are intrinsically linked and you can bet your bottom dollar that many Premier County folks will have their views on potential talent which should be tried out in the county jersey.
Sunday's defeat was disappointing alright and we don't have a great record of coming through the backdoor to claim the ultimate silverware - 2010 being the obvious exception. On that occasion we had recovered from the horror show in Pairc Ui Chaoimh against the hosts to win our way into the final against Kilkenny before ending the so-called drive for five.
But, going back as far as 1997, the backdoor has not been a majorly successful route for Tipperary. Whether it's that defeat mentality enters the psyche or what, it just has not proved to be very fruitful. '97 saw Tipp fall to Clare in the Munster Final and then suffer the same fate in the All-Ireland Final. Then, fast forward to 2014 and the defeat to Limerick in the Munster championship before losing to Kilkenny after a replay in the All-Ireland. Now, 2017 is added to the two championship defeats in a season list, eventhough the performance in Croke Park was decent.
Seamus Callanan in action against Galway.
Still though, not enough key men got their game to the required level against Galway last Sunday, no matter how hard they tried - and they certainly did that. In attack, Tipp were swallowed up, something similar to the League Final actually, and despite missing chances, the scope for cutting loose was simply not there. We were unable to throw off the shackles and the game reminded a lot of the 2011 final against Kilkenny when the brakes were put on and we didn't have the ability to find the necessary space.
The players and management deserve enormous credit though for the lengths they have gone to this season. This week they walked away from the scene with nothing to show for their efforts - having not reached the All-Ireland, they won't even get a holiday out of it... not even a weekend in Tramore!! And yet, their efforts were as huge, if not even bigger, than last year. The fine line between winning and losing is getting ever more thin but the rewards for winner and loser are growing further and further apart.
Credit to Galway though - they were on top of their game. If there would be one worry for them, it would be that half of Tipperary's attack didn't function and still the gap was only one point.
Unfortunately, in Galway at the moment, the focus is on the passing of the great Tony Keady - one of the finest centre backs to have graced the game. He was strong, brave, fast and a tremendous hurler at the heart of the Tribesmens defence for years.
Pat Fox in action against Tony Keady (white helmet) and Ollie Kilkenny in Tipperary's clash with Galway in the All-Ireland semi-final of 1987.
The infamous 'Keady Affair' which resulted in him losing out on the All-Ireland semi-final against Tipperary in 1989 having supposedly played illegally in the US, left a bitter taste in the mouths of many Galway people - Tipperary were accused of having blown the whistle on him and the game itself turned out to be an ugly, nasty, tension-filled encounter. Hopefully though, Tony Keady's memory will be of the great performances he produced for Galway - his clash with Donie O'Connell in the 1988 All-Ireland was a clash of giants. Donie was a handful for anyone and was in his prime at the time - Keady was also and when the ball dropped between them, the Gods were seen wincing.
Tony won two All-Irelands having played in five and was a real character off the field. Tipperary's sympathy goes to the bereaved.
In Tipperary this weekend the club scene takes centre stage with a plethora of games on Saturday and Sunday. It will be hard to get to them all so patrons will be forced to make a few choices. Smart money is on the Sarsfields vs Nenagh Eire Og game in Templemore on Saturday evening being the pick of the clashes, while Upperchurch Drombane and Borris-Ileigh in Semple Stadium on the same day will also be a cracker, one would expect. Loughmore Castleiney and Kiladangan is also a standout game in Dolla on Saturday evening while the local derby that is Killenaule and Mullinahone in Monroe will also attract much attention.
So, will we spot much potential for the Tipp team? Will we be looking at a different type of player? Are the players there to carry the process forward?
View the action on Saturday and Sunday and make up your own mind.