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Friday 20 September 2019

'Bubbles' revels in second Liam win

John O'Dwyer. Pic: Sportsfile
John O'Dwyer. Pic: Sportsfile

There may not be a more scrutinised anatomical feature of the hurling year than John 'Bubbles' O'Dwyer's backside.

The Killenaule man (above), whose wrists have long been admired, has whipped himself into notably lean shape this year.

Indeed on the day he crucified Cork in the opening round of the Munster SHC in Páirc Uí Chaoimh in what ranks as perhaps the best individual performance of the entire Championship, his reduction in 'timber' drew as much comment as his movement and stickwork.

Yesterday, he made a late play for assist of the year in that second half in which it looked like an awful lot of fun to be a Tipperary forward, shimmying inside two tackles and drilling a ball across the Kilkenny 20-metre line for Jason Forde's 49th minute point.

"I had an operation at the start of the year," O'Dwyer recalled yesterday after winning his second All-Ireland.

Uncertainty

It came just three years after his first but he has gone through as many periods of uncertainty and dips in form as Tipperary did in that space of time.

"It kind of held me back last year a small bit, but that's not an excuse. I just wasn't good enough to get onto the team," he admitted.

"Liam (Sheedy) came back and he told me a few home truths at the start of the year and I worked a lot with the S&C (Strength and Conditioning).

"It was just about getting that base fitness, that was basically it.

"It's not just a personal thing, the team as a whole, we all did it together, we went through thick and thin together and that was the most pleasing part.

"Last year wasn't a great year for us," he admitted, "and it's something that we said when we got back together at the start of the year that, you know, we'll try and hit the Munster Championship hard.

"We did it in two phases," he concluded, "a Munster Championship phase and an All-Ireland phase."

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