Tipperary manager James Woodlock

These boys don’t know when they are beaten

By Shane Brophy

If ever a team plays in the image of their manager, this Tipperary minor team are it with James Woodlock in that they never know when they are beaten.

Having conceded 1-3 without reply to go one point behind in added time, better teams’ heads would have dropped but not this Tipperary team and Woodlock never believed the game was lost. “No, not from my point of view,” he admitted.

“I just felt we just needed to get the ball in once and we did, and then we got it in a second time.”

The manner of the win is a continuation of what this Tipperary team has been about all year, nothing is impossible.

“We have been tested all year”, Woodlock added.

“I am going to go back and say what I do a lot we had to do with the hard way every game has been a struggle for the team.

“There was one game we got to open up in in Thurles against Waterford and they had a long route to come back in so we are just happy to be where we are and there is huge belief in their group, but it would have been really disappointing first half.

“The workrate was down around the middle third and they were creating huge space inside and that was disappointing but in the second half I thought we closed them down very well but when you come to sixty minutes on the clock and you are level, it was always going to be a game and always going to be a battle.”

He added: “Galway came, and they put two serious forwards inside and brought a third man out to the middle of the field, and we knew that would happen and we thought we would cope with him, but we couldn’t, so it forced us to bring a man out. The last thing we wanted to do was give them a sweeper as we felt we could get at their backs. Tom (Delaney), Damien (Corbett), and Paddy (McCormack) were on top all day, and when Senan (Butler) came on he was on top, so we had to get the ball in, we couldn’t get it in the first half because we weren’t working hard enough to win the breaks around the middle of the field but in the second half that changed. Workrate is a fundamental that these players have to live by, or you won’t play.

“The boys that came off the bench today really finished the job again. And it’s not the same boys that are coming off the bench every day and that is huge. I think we have used 25-26 players in the championship.”

As well as the late comeback, Tipp conceded their first goals in the championship so far, two coming in the space of a minute in the middle of the first half which gave Galway a serious fill-up but were just one point adrift at half time.

“We reset at half time and the scoreboard that counts once at that is at the end of the game,” added Woodlock.

“We weren’t going to panic; we went in and had a good chat. These guys are a really mature bunch of players. Sixteen of them were through the mill last year in hurling and football and every question has been asked of them. There was nothing asked of them that we haven’t seen already, apart from the goals. They have had to go to different venues, come from six points down, five points down, go to extra time, go to a penalty shootout, we have seen it all so that is huge maturity from the group, and they would have been disappointed at half time. I thought we owned the second half but weren’t just clinical enough.”