Wednesday 23 May 2018

Davy will still influence Sunday's game no doubt: Cummins

Tipp’s Brendan Cummins. Pic: Sportsfile
Tipp’s Brendan Cummins. Pic: Sportsfile
Clare’s Davy FItzgerald. Pic: Sportsfile

Such is the force of Davy Fitzgerald's presence, it's difficult to imagine Clare in Thurles without him on the line on Sunday.

Which must make it a strange prospect for the Clare players to consider a big Sunday in Semple without their dervish of mad energy, drawing the whole stadium's attention to his many mini eruptions.

"Davy is a really organised man and I'd said now whether the man was in a coma, knocked out, whatever the case may be, he'll be getting messages into his group inside and keeping the fire lit under them," reckons former Tipperary great, Brendan Cummins.

"They'll be fine and hopefully he'll back on the line again at the weekend.

"When you're inside in there you just want to win the match and that's it so I'm sure they have other plans in place.


"They know there's no excuses if they lose Sunday evening the fact that Davy was in or out of the hospital."

Cummins knows Fitzgerald better than most, as goalkeeping rivals in the 1990s and early 2000s and also, as he recalled yesterday, at his first Poc Fáda event in 2000 when Davy "was like God going around the mountain, running the whole show".

"I remember driving home," Cummins recalls, "we're all competitive beings, whether it's down there on the pitch or above in the mountain with no-one looking, you want to win whatever you're in, simple as that.

"I remember driving home in the car going, 'I can do better than that'.

"Plus, Davy beat me! He was real Davy, real competitive, and I said, 'Jesus, you know, that's something I'd like to win'.

Galway have their problems, too. As Cummins points out: "Everyone and their mother has had an opinion on them."


Such is the boom/bust nature of the Championship they're only one decent win away from acclaim.

"We've got as much stick in Tipp but at least we win an All-Ireland every ten years or so which kind of takes the pressure off a small bit like whereas Galway have been different," Cummins surmises.

"But I do find it surprising that the last two matches that they played Kilkenny in Croke Park they didn't absolutely cut loose."

Particularly after beating Tipperary in the All-Ireland semi-final.

Cummins recalls leaving Croke Park that day and thinking: "Maybe Galway have arrived and something good for all the world has come out of all the heartache Tipp are feeling today.

"I was twice as angry leaving the stadium after the All-Ireland final when I thought like 'we would have done better than that'.

"They beat us, they showed passion, they were hugging each other after the game, it looked like a real moment.

"Then it just petered out after half-time. You'd players standing waiting for others to do it and you just felt 'let's bust through those glass ceilings for yourselves lads' and I think that's a frustration for all hurling people looking at this Galway team.

"It must be real hard for them inside but they're the only ones that can fix it," concludes the former Tipperary keeper.

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