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Maher says ‘composed’ Tipp responded well to wake-up call

posted 21 Jun 2011, 01:56 by Unknown user

Maher says ‘composed’ Tipp responded well to wake-up call

By Michael Moynihan

Monday, June 20, 2011

IN THE flesh Pádraic Maher of Tipperary incarnates purpose and intent, even after a Munster senior hurling semi-final.


That isn’t to say he ducks any questions; the big Thurles Sars man freely admits that he and his colleagues "weren’t awake" in the first quarter yesterday against Clare.

"It was a battle. The first 20 minutes we weren’t awake. We were expecting that from Clare; it was always going to be a battle and no-one was giving them a chance. "Thankfully we showed a bit of character and the boys had a few goals to take the pressure off and we pulled through."

Maher indicated that faith in the attack is a source of strength for the Tipp defenders.

"We were under fierce pressure in the first few minutes but we knew we had the forward line capable of doing damage if we got the ball into them.

"We were sluggish but after a while we eventually got the ball in and with the likes of Séamie, Lar, Eoin and Noel we’ve got the forwards to tuck the goals away.

"Thankfully they did that and we’re glad to be in the Munster final."

Maher himself chipped in with two points, though he was keen to let the attacking sextet take the credit for the scoreline.

"It’s always nice to get scores but we do our bit defending and leave the boys to do the scoring. We have to give Clare great credit. The scoreline at the end didn’t reflect the game; Séamie’s goal at the end put a bit of a gap on it. We’d have taken a one-point win.

Crediting the team with composure, Maher acknowledged that Clare’s forwards had him and his colleagues under pressure from early on.

"That’s a good sign in the team – we didn’t panic and the forwards got on top for a while and swung the game around for us. They (Clare) were always going to try different things and no-one was giving them a chance but they knew themselves they would give us a battle. Clare always give Tipp a good battle.

"Even two years ago they could have beaten us at the end so we knew what to expect today and we got through the battle today.

And the Munster final? "Waterford got a good battle against Limerick last week. Clare gave us one today. We knew what they were capable of from U21 teams we’ve played in the last few years and senior as well."

Seconds out next month, then.

 

This appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Monday, June 20, 2011

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