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Monday 23 October 2017

O'Shea insists Tipp 'were guilty of sloppiness at times' as hurling's normal order is restored

IT'S over. The titillation of 2013, the greatest championship ever, the realignment of the hurling stars ... it's gone.

Done.

Finito.

With Clare and Dublin and Limerick winning the shiniest pots and pans last summer, we thought the tectonic plates which move under the sport had actually shifted.

Maybe not for ever. But just enough, we hoped, to give us a decade like the 90s.

And now, a summer later, what have we got?

An All-Ireland semi-final line-up featuring 'the big three'.

Plus Limerick, who tend to sporadically reside close to nobility anyway.

Wexford were the last great hope of the summer and they're gone. And then Dublin get put back into their box by Tipperary.

This Tipp team of all the talent and enigmas.

unprecedented

The one which, after beating the finest hurling team ever and in doing so, prevented an unprecedented five-in-a-row, watched their Under 21s incinerate Galway less than a week later. With no hint of hubris was it confidently predicted that the hurling world would bow at their feet for years to come.

And then ... nothing.

Earlier this year, they were rounded on by some of their own for reacting to their Limerick defeat the way most teams greet a victory.

And they stood a defeat to Galway away from ruination.

Now though, would you back against them winning an All-Ireland?

"It's great to be in an All-Ireland semi-final with the chance," said Eamon O'Shea afterwards.

"We won't have much of a chance if we keep hurling like that!

"I was happy enough with the win but I don't think both teams will be happy with the way they played.

"I don't know what sort of 
match it was from your perspective but it didn't look great to me.

"I think both teams were guilty of sloppiness at times.

Important

"It was a win, and a really good win, and a really important win for Tipp, but we're trying to look at what we do all the time on the pitch."

Tipp won the toss, played with the wind and worked up a seven point half-time lead.

In Thurles, there little chance of Dublin making it back, even if O'Shea didn't stop worrying until the end.

"We are going in with a little bit of confidence, I wouldn't call this win 'going in with momentum,' that's how I would assess it," said O'Shea.

"It's a win where you are going in with the win but certainly we would have to go back to the 
training pitch and figure out why we weren't moving the ball quicker."

And as was his right, O'Shea also called for a rethink of some of the more critical comment Tipp have attracted.

"I'd also ask you to reassess the last 12 weeks since the Galway game in Pearse Stadium. I think we have played eight times, we have won six.

"So I just think there needs to be some reassessment of that from commentators," he added.

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