Monday 18 February 2019

Never a bad time to beat Cats for Tipp

Noel McGrath, Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / Sportsfile
Noel McGrath, Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / Sportsfile

It was hard to avoid the image of Brian Cody referencing all those 'Fallen Empire' headlines that ignored both history and logic when penned a couple of weeks ago on the morning after yet another All-Ireland hurling final triumph in six months time.

Not that his team necessarily proved they were back to peak Kilkenny against Cork in Nowlan Park. Just that they were moving towards finding secure solutions to their late 2016/early 2017 problems.

Richie Hogan, Walter Walsh and Richie Leahy all looked much sharper in that 20 minute second-half burst when Kilkenny accelerated from a Cork team clearly unsure of themselves.

At the moment, Tipperary have no such problems. Indeed, Michael Ryan's more pressing issues at the moment must be striking the three-way balancing act of trying out new players, ensuring his squad members all get adequate game-time and simply allowing his main men to play as much as they feel their recent exertions deserve.

Against Clare, we saw again how a forward line featuring the in-form Noel McGrath (right), John McGrath and John 'Bubbles' O'Dywer is a thing of beauty.

Throw in a fully calibrated Seamus Callanan and it's not hard to see what the current Tipperary love-in is about.

They'll come fully-armed and mindful that there's no bad time to beat Kilkenny.

ODDS: Tipperary 1/2, Draw 9/1, Kilkenny 15/8

VERDICT: Tipperary

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