Diarmuid O’Riordan grabs a high ball before scoring Tipp’s only goal of the game.

Nevin eager to build on progress despite defeat

By Enda Treacy

Reflecting on what transpired was the visibly disappointed figure of Tipperary minor manager Johnny Nevin, who couldn’t shy away from what he felt was a game his side could have won only for some inexcusable errors.

“A very disappointing result”, Nevin said dejectedly.

“I can’t really fault the effort of the players, they left it all out there. We were just caught with two sucker punches of goals in either half.”

Even with some simple errors setting back the Tipperary challenge at various points throughout the game, they still managed to stick in the game despite not playing at their level and Nevin felt they could push on if they had been more clinical and had eliminated some of the basic mistakes that led to Limerick goals.

“We kind of said midway through the second half when we got it back to two points that we could push on, but it’s a real pity,” Nevin added.

“We’re always trying to work on it in training that we’d be sound at the back and keep the defensive work solid and that was frustrating, but in fairness to Limerick they were very organised I have to say so fair play to them. We just ran out of time.

“Goals really win matches you know. We never really looked like we were going to get another goal in the second half, and they defended the ‘D’ very well and being honest, it probably was the slow start that cost us.”

Nevin also felt that his side weren’t clinical enough in the scoring zone, especially in the second half where they fluffed some good scoring opportunities when the game was there for them.

“Yeah, we had some bad wides,” he added.

“We were talking at halftime about improving our shot selection. You know, we had seven or eight wides in the first half and nearly had the same in the second half.

“Even when we were five points down and clawed it back to two, we were still taking on the shots from bad positions.

“But look, they’re young lads, they’re trying very hard, and are probably under pressure chasing the game and that was probably why they were forcing things, forcing shots.”

While Nevin, the management team and the players will have to take the defeat on the chin, the JK Brackens clubman was keen to point to the improvements made at this level in less than nine months, as he was part of the management team that fell to a sobering defeat at the hands of Clare in 2020, and is already looking forward to getting stuck into preparing for next year as he has another year in charge.

“We’ve only really had eight weeks with these lads too so we’ll just be hoping that next year we can keep as many of them playing football as possible,” he said.

“Last year, it wasn’t nice being on the sideline on a day where you lose by twenty points to Clare. The easy thing for us would have been to walk away, but we wanted to stay and keep working hard and we’ll continue to do that.

“We have a three-year term and we’ll work hard again over the autumn and into the new year and get a panel together for next year and try to improve the players we have and really go hard at it again.”