Charlie Walsh’s effort beats Kacper Robak and into the Kerry net for Tipperary’s second goal.

Tipp can take positives into new All-Ireland competition

By Stephen Barry

Joint-manager Michael Donnellan believes the Tipperary minor footballers will benefit from their positive start against Kerry to contend in the new tier 3 All-Ireland Championship.

The Premier under-17s traded toe-to-toe with the provincial heavyweights for three quarters before falling away to a fourteen-point defeat. Donnellan thought they had Kerry on the back foot early in the second half but some cheap frees gave them an easy out.

“We thought we might have had them rattled,” he said.

“Kerry, I’m not afraid to say it, got a couple of soft frees that got them ahead of us again.

“We had lads through and twice there was a shoulder off the ball. Maybe that knocked the wind out of our sail, I don’t know.

“Our first-half performance, absolutely hats off to them. It was superb.

“Second half, things to work on. But if you’re going to have a standard that you need to work to, you have to look and see what Kerry did in the second half.

“We thought we’d have a rattle in the second half. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way. Kerry kicked on as they are the superpowers of football in Munster. They showed their class.

“You can’t fault these boys. They’ve put their heart and soul into it.”

Charlie Walsh gave a clinical display of scoring with 2-3 and Donnellan believes the signs are positive for the future of Tipp football.

“As an individual against Kerry, it’s some scoring. Especially considering he was kind of isolated most of the game on his own because we tried to hold Kerry out. Charlie is a good all-round footballer. Strong in the air, well able to take a score.

“The future of Tipp football is going to be good with the likes of him, Jack Garrett, and Dylan (Cotter), all those lads coming through.”

Attention will quickly turn to the tier 3 championship. The finer details of the new competition have yet to be announced but the Premier are due to enter at the quarter-final stage as a top seed of the thirteen team competition along with Limerick and Waterford from Munster, four teams from Leinster, 3 from Ulster, as well as Leitrim who will play London in a first round game.

“We’re in phase 3 now of the All-Ireland series and we’ll give that a good rattle,” Donnellan said.

“If we put in a performance like we did in that first half, we’ll have a good chance.

“We’ll take this experience and improve on where things went wrong. Because if we can match any team for sixty minutes like we did with Kerry for the first 40-45 minutes today, we could give that a good chance.”