Cahill pleased with clinical nature of performance

Tipperary manager Liam Cahill admitted there was a lot to like about his sides performance in the win over his former Waterford charges on Saturday night.

“I just liked the way we were so clinical when we got in one-on-one goal chances,” he began.

“We took them well. We left one or two after us, but I think Waterford would’ve left a couple after them as well.

“It’s nice when you get in there to be able to convert them. I’m delighted for Jake and Conor Bowe, they’re good finishers when they get in one-on-one.”

Once again, the bench made a marked impact with Bowe, Mark Kehoe and Jason Forde contributing 1-8 in the second half which proved to be the difference in the end, although it took a while for Tipp to adapt to Waterford’s tactical adjustment at half time.

“It has to be a trait of every team now” added Cahill of the impact of the subs.

“If you haven’t subs to come in and take up the pace where it’s left off well then with the way the Munster Championship is coming at us and the way these League matches are coming so rapid, you have to have the strength and depth. Obviously, we’d like to have a few more if possible, only due to a few unfortunate injuries, but we’re very happy with our lot to date. We’ve a good competitive environment at the moment.”

He added: “To be honest about it, Waterford reverted back to seven backs, maybe eight at times. We took wrong options by hoofing it down the field. You had Tadhg de Búrca and Calum Lyons and all these fellas able to build from the back and it just took us a while to get to grips with that. Once we did, I thought we stemmed it reasonably well, kept the scoreboard ticking over when Waterford came at us. I know the sending-off came at an opportune time for us as well when we had a little bit of a foothold. It really gave us that extra bit of momentum to kick on.”

The win ended Tipperary’s five game losing run against Waterford going back to March 2020, four of them coming when the Ballingarry clubman was in charge of the Deise, and he admitted it was difficult planning for them.

“It’s difficult. You don’t realise until you go analyse Waterford properly during the week how good they really are,” he said.

“When you think of all the key players they have and the big performers they have, it’s a difficult task. I know one or two of them got injured early on which probably had a big bearing on the game as well but there’s no doubt Waterford will be a dangerous animal come championship.

He added: “The honesty of the match and the physical stakes were really good. These boys train hard and we’re always trying to bring our training game out onto the field. We’d like to think we play the way we train. There was lots of intensity in that game for a game in March. Weather conditions weren’t where they would be come May when we do battle again. It’s just a nice little taster I suppose of what’s coming down the tracks.”

The win secures Tipperary’s passage to the league semi-finals with a game so spare after recording their fourth consecutive win and Liam Cahill lauded the competitiveness in the panel for providing such a strong start to his time as manager.

“We’ve rotated our panel well and still remained very competitive,” he said with 28 players having featured so far.

“That’s a great lift for myself and the management team that we have such willing and honest players, players with a massive desire to play for Tipperary, and they’re really loving training hard and working hard together. I just hope it continues now for the next number of weeks into championship.”

For the moment, they have one more league game to take care off before the semi-finals when they make the long trip to Antrim next Sunday and affords the opportunity to rotate the panel again with the busy schedule the lies ahead.

“Antrim is a tough place to go now. I’ve experienced that last year with Waterford. It’s a really tough environment,” he said.

“Antrim are hurling really well as well at the moment. It’ll ask real good questions of fringe players, new players in, and we’ll know an awful lot more about these younger players after Corrigan Park.”