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  • GAA

Kearns expects positive reaction from Tipp

Thursday, 6th June, 2019 10:38am
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Kearns expects positive reaction from Tipp

Liam Kearns

Kearns expects positive reaction from Tipp

Liam Kearns

By Michael Dundon

 

DOWN v TIPPERARY

Pairc Esler, Newry

Sunday 9th June

Throw-in @ 2.00pm (ET & Result)

Referee: Fergal Kelly (Longford)

 

Following Tipperary’s shock defeat by Limerick in the Munster senior football quarter-final at the start of May, manager Liam Kearns is expecting “a big performance” from his charges when the Premier boys engage Down in the All-Ireland qualifiers in Newry on Sunday.

In his thirteen years in team management, the former Kerry star says he never experienced anything like the misfortune that befell Tipperary this year due to injuries key players and others unavailable. As many as twelve players were out of action for most or part of the National Football League campaign in division two. These were losses no team could sustain in the hot competition there is in division two and the consequence was relegation, a galling defeat by Clare in Thurles in the last round sealing Tipp’s fate.

It has been a nightmare. I have never come across anything like it in my time”, he says as Tipperary put the finishing touches to their preparations for the visit to Down.

But things got worse as a highly fancied Tipperary lost to Limerick in the Munster quarter-final, a huge setback as the Premier County were eyeing a championship run with optimism as the absent players began to re-appear. In this regard Liam points to key men returning to the fray before they were really ready after missing so much of the league and the pre-season preparation and he freely admits “We took liberties against Limerick. Five or six of the lads were playing their first game for some time and we got found out. Because of the result, I now regret playing them, but we were looking further down the line and trying to speed up their preparation for that.

How have the players reacted to he Limerick defeat?

The reaction was very good. I gave them the option of not training the following Tuesday night or maybe a week off, but they all wanted to get back on the Tuesday and again on the Thursday and for a challenge against Longford and not one player let us down. I cannot fault their commitment to their training. This is a very tight group and they have given everything since the Limerick game.”

 

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