Premier are wary of the Tribe, reveals Nicky English
FIVE years on from their last Liam MacCarthy coronation, Tipperary hurlers won’t settle for the consolation of a Munster title. They need All-Ireland validation now, according to Nicky English.
“It’s not easily won now at this stage because Kilkenny are going to be there,” cautioned the Tipp legend, who scaled the September summit as both player and manager with the Premier.
“I would say they will feel they need to win it this year … five years since they won it and they got pretty close last year, but it’s still no trophy and still no medal.
“At least this year they have the Munster championship - they’ll build on that and I think they will feel they have to win it.”
English believes his native county are in relatively fine fettle approaching Sunday’s SHC semi-final against Galway - but warns they must be.
“Everything has run pretty smoothly for them in the championship,” he pointed out. “Some of Tipperary’s reputation is built on beating Limerick - Limerick turned out to be not at the races at all this year really, so you probably have to discount a bit of that.
“Tipperary were well able to deal with Waterford in the Munster final, so I think they’ll be a step-up again.
“Everyone will be pretty wary of Galway. They played in Thurles (against Cork) and everyone saw first-hand the physicality, the power, the speed, the scoring and the amount of scoring chances that they created.”
ALL-IRELAND MHC B SEMI-FINALS
Páirc Esler: Down v Kerry, 2.0
Arklow: Wicklow v Roscommon, 2.0
ALL-IRELAND SHC SEMI-FINAL
Croke Park: Tipperary v Galway, 4.0, B Kelly (Westmeath) RTE/ SKY Sports
ALL-IRELAND MHC SEMI-FINALS
Croke Park: Tipperary v Dublin, 2.0, Paud O’Dwyer (Carlow) TG4
Croke Pk: Galway v Killkenny, 12.0, TG4