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  • GAA

Have Tipp forgotten how to win?

Wednesday, 27th February, 2019 2:27pm

Story by Shane Brophy
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Have Tipp forgotten how to win?

Joe O'Dwyer congratulates Kilkenny goalie Eoin Murphy for sending a preasure free over the bar for the winning point. Photograph: Bridget Delaney

Have Tipp forgotten how to win?

Joe O'Dwyer congratulates Kilkenny goalie Eoin Murphy for sending a preasure free over the bar for the winning point. Photograph: Bridget Delaney

In an individual context, this was just another defeat, but for Tipperary when facing Kilkenny, this is no other game.

While Cork are traditionally are our greatest rivals, in a modern context it is Kilkenny, with the great league and championship clashes the sides have produced over the last eleven years, even if this wasn’t one of them.

However, what hasn’t tended to change has been Tipperary’s inability to take a winning position and force it home and once again Kilkenny made them pay in injury time with Richie Hogan and Eoin Murphy (free) landing the scores to give the visitors a scarcely deserved victory.

However, what we have learned over the years with a Brian Cody led team is that if you leave them hanging around in a game they have the mental fortitude and composure, even with such an inexperienced team, such as the one they put out last Sunday to get the job done.

It wasn’t a great game, arguably the poorest of the 24 in league or championship between the sides over the last eleven years but it was a win they needed to hold on to and they couldn’t do that. Indeed it is becoming a worrying trend of how easily Tipperary tend to lose focus in winning positions and concede the last score or two in tight games.

In the championship last summer, Noel McGrath hit a point with two and half minutes of injury time left against Clare to take the lead, yet the Banner hit three points in the remaining time to win the game.

Against Wexford, the Slaneysiders hit the two points in injury time to come from behind to win and again last Sunday, Noel McGrath pointed from long range to give Tipp the lead, yet in the ninety seconds that remained, they conceded two points to lose the game.

You can give credit where it is due to the likes of Padraig Walsh who showed the greater determination to claim the puckout to set-up Richie Hogan for the leveller, however, Walsh should have at least been crowded out from there, not able to get a pass away and when he did, Richie Hogan had the space needed to fire over.

At well as that lack of organisation in defence in the closing stages, Tipp also remain panicked in defence under pressure, summed up by Padraic Maher touching the ball on the ground leading to the match-winning free for Eoin Murphy. In fairness to the former skipper, he was trying to make a play and on another day could have gotten away with it, however, it also begs the question why was he virtually in the half forward line so late in the game, a long way away from centre back where he should have been at least organised, just in case Kilkenny had one last attack.

 

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