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  • GAA

Tipperary's Hurling League report card

Thursday, 21st March, 2019 10:13am

Story by Shane Brophy
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Tipperary's Hurling League report card

Tipperary's Jason Forde is first to the breaking ball ahead of Dublin's Eoghan O'Donnell. PHOTOGRAPH: ODHRAN DUCIE

Tipperary's Hurling League report card

Tipperary's Jason Forde is first to the breaking ball ahead of Dublin's Eoghan O'Donnell. PHOTOGRAPH: ODHRAN DUCIE

Here's an omen, in 2016 when Tipperary won the All Ireland Senior Hurling title, they exited the national league at the quarter final stage in a game where they shot nearly as many wides as scores against Clare.

Three years on, Tipp again shot themselves in the foot with eighteen wides against a Dublin side that, however, provided further evidence that the Leinster championship in 2019 won't be as easy to predict as many has expected, particularly with the Dubs having their two key games against Wexford and Galway at home in Parnell Park.

Whether this early exit from the league means anything for Tipperary, we'll only know come May and June but certainly we'd have been expecting a little bit more from the campaign so far which has been a little underwhelming with two wins and four losses from their six games, three of those defeats being by one point margins.

In a positive sense, their two best performances came in the wins against Clare and Cork, two of the sides they'll have to beat away from home in the summer if they are to emerge from the Munster Championship and into the All Ireland Series.

You can point to the fact that Clare had Tony Kelly sent off early in the second half and Cork being awful in Pairc Ui Rinn as being mitigating factors for the losers, but these were the two games where Tipperary certainly looked switched on for and when motoring well, they still look very very good.

However, come championship they'll need to be switched on for four games in six weeks and that is the most disappointing aspect of the defeat to Dublin last weekend, the failure to build off the positive momentum from the Cork game. This lack of consistency is still one of the issues that seems to follow this Tipperary team around, they'll throw in a poor performance when expected to win, and then play well when tipped to do otherwise.

 

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