herald

Tuesday 16 October 2018

babs calls on corbett to hang up his hurl

THE Tipperary fallout to yesterday's shock 18-point reversal to Kilkenny went nuclear today with former Premier boss 'Babs' Keating branding Lar Corbett's contribution to the result "despicable" and called on the former Hurler of the Year to retire immediately from county service.

"If I see Lar Corbett back in a Tipperary jersey next year, I won't be going to watch the team play," he insisted today after Corbett's part in a bizarre man-marking attempt on Tommy Walsh.

The player himself, however, hinted that he would prefer to end his involvement with Tipp on a higher note than yesterday's debacle.

"No-one wants to go out like that," he conceded afterwards, although he stopped short of making any commitment. "It's hard to know what to do. Look, we'll just have to deal with today."

Keating, who similarly admonished several of Tipp's older charges after last year's All-Ireland final, again heaped all the blame upon their players for the county's worst Championship defeat since 1897, leaving manager Declan Ryan free from blame.

"I have the greatest of sympathy for Declan Ryan as someone who's also been let down by this group of Tipperary hurlers in the past," he blasted. "The blame for this crushing defeat lies totally with the players themselves. Their biggest problem seems to be that they think they're better than they actually are."

Defender Pádraic Maher today apologised to the team's supporters via Twitter although he also referenced some of the criticism which was being heaped upon them in the short time since yesterday's collapse.

"Would like to apologise to Tipp supporters yesterday. In saying that, some of our players dnt deserve the treatment there (sic) getting at moment," the Tweet read, although there is likely to be a major fallout after such a defeat.

Ryan himself wouldn't be drawn on the subject of his managerial future but it remains to be seen how much support his continued tenure would garner.

His term of office is officially up and he would need further ratification if he was inclined to stay on for the inevitable rebuilding job now required.

He insisted that no players had made any major announcements over their own playing futures, revealing: "it would not be a good time. They have been fabulous warriors for the blue and gold jersey and we're all very proud of them in Tipperary. It wouldn't be a good time for anyone to make any rash decisions."

There will, however, be inevitable speculation over the futures of the likes of Brendan Cummins (37), Eoin Kelly (30), John O'Brien (30) and Corbett (31).

Kelly didn't tog yesterday after injuring his groin in the recent South Tipp final while O'Brien was praised by his manager for playing yesterday despite the death of his brother Thomas earlier in the week.

"He had a very, very difficult week and he just showed the warrior he is the way he turned out for Tipp today and played a fine, fine game," said Ryan.

"I suppose it's going to be a very difficult couple of weeks for us all now but the Tipp boys have to get back to their clubs now."

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