Tipperary ladies football captain Samantha Lambert pictured celebrating with her teammates following the Lidl Ladies Football National League division two final at Parnell Park. Photo: Sportsfile
Blue and gold supporters left Parnell Park in Dublin on Sunday afternoon feeling a foot taller following Tipperary’s dramatic one-point win over Cavan in the Lidl National Ladies Football League division two final (0-21 to 3-11).
Plenty went wrong for the Premier County in this decider, but each time Tipperary responded to the challenge posed. And, you could not but fall in love with this team and how they go about their business: Tipperary are mean in defense, explosive on the ball and they just refuse to give up. Indeed, Tipperary ladies football manager Shane Ronayne described the spirit of his players “incredible”.
You can read a full report on Tipperary’s dramatic league final win over Cavan by clicking here.
“We are delighted and we are especially delighted with the response from the players when Cavan got their scores; when they got the goals our girls went up the field and they took control of the game again. I think twenty-one points was an incredible score,” Shane Ronayne told the Tipperary Star.
“It was incredible, I thought. Cavan got three goals and every single time we responded to them. And, especially the one after half-time: they scored a goal from the throw-in, but we responded incredibly well and we got the next five points in-a-row. We led by five then as well and went back into our shell a small bit, maybe, when they got the player sin-binned. We would be disappointed about that - they levelled the game during that period. But, then again, when they levelled it with that goal we came back again.”
And, Tipperary manager Shane Ronayne was also eager to pay tribute to the quality of the Cavan team.
“They are a serious team - they beat Tipperary in the 2013 All-Ireland (intermediate) final and they have been senior for the last four years,” Shane Ronayne explained.
“So, that’s a big step up; they are operating at this level in division two for the last couple of years. We are only coming up from division three. We had to really learn that when we made mistakes at this level that we were going to be punished. And, we made a couple of individual errors today and little bad decisions here and there and Cavan being Cavan they got the scores. But I just think that our players really responded incredibly well each time.”
Shane Ronayne then paid tribute to several of his players, especially veteran Mairéad Morrissey.
“Look at Mairéad Morrissey, I think she is thirty-five years of age and I thought she was brilliant. (Aishling) Moloney kicked brilliant points, (Aisling) McCarthy was playing her first game in maybe eight weeks and she only got the all-clear to play last Sunday; Anna Rose Kennedy is only seventeen and she was brilliant; Orla O’Dwyer was playing Camogie (with Tipperary) last night and she was just incredible,” Shane Ronayne explained.
“They are just an incredible bunch. It is just superb to see the whole team spirit there. We decided to play on the front foot today and not sit back. Okay, we conceded a bit, but we scored twenty-one points.”
The Tipperary team will now turn their attention to the up-coming Munster senior championship semi-final clash with Cork on June 2nd - Waterford take on Kerry on the opposite side of the draw with a place in the provincial final up for grabs.
And, following this latest victory you would have to wonder where the ceiling is for this Tipperary ladies football team - the outfit managed by Shane Ronayne have now won successive leagues titles (division three and division two), find themselves amongst the elite in division one and also thundered to last season’s All-Ireland intermediate championship title.
“The big thing is that we have Cork on the horizon now. And, we know that we are going to have to be an awful lot better against Cork - Cork are Cork, they are a class act,” Shane Ronayne revealed to the Tipperary Star.
“They might be missing a few (players) from years gone by, but they are still Cork and they still got to a league semi-final and only for a brilliant off-the-line clearance they would be in the final here again today. People are talking about them being in trouble, but they are not. And, I know that from being involved in the club scene down there. So, it’s going to be a huge task the next day, but, look, I think today will give our girls great confidence. And, we are where we want to be: we are up in division one, we are in a Munster senior semi-final against Cork and we are going to go hell for leather for the next four weeks.”
Manager Shane Ronayne also paid tribute to his management team which features mentors Anne-Marie Ruby, Elaine Harte, Tony Smith, James O’Leary and Alan O’Connor.
The Tipperary panel of players pictured before the Lidl Ladies Football National League division two final at Parnell Park, Dublin on Sunday afternoon. Photo: Sportsfile
To keep up to date with all the sporting news in Tipperary please click here - to follow the Tipperary Star sports team on twitter please click here - to follow sports editor Brian McDonnell on Twitter please click here. Alternatively, you can also like the Tipperary Star on Facebook.