Tipperary and Clare were both left reeling following losses to Cork, but Tipp look to have built momentum through the qualifiers.
The Premier looked like they got their mojo back against a poor Dublin team. But Tipp were well equipped to put them to the sword and their confidence is back up now. Bonner Maher was a huge addition to them at
Bonner Maher was a huge addition to them at centre forward. He’s a huge boost for Tipp because he does the donkey work, wins the dirty ball, and is able to throw it out to the scorers then. Overall, Michael Ryan should be pleased that his team looked solid the last day against Dublin. Belief should be high going into the Clare game now.
The back door suits Tipp. In 2010 and 2014, they knew their best players but they didn’t know where to position them. The few games probably suited them down to the ground, they were able to get a couple of big victories and the games do more than what training does.
That happens with a lot of teams, I think the Mayo footballers are the same, they are able to build a bit of momentum going forward and they are able to get their confidence high. It has been a real springboard for Tipp and they’ll be trying to use that again this year.
If Clare are to have any chance today, they have to hurl for two halves.
Tony Kelly wasn’t at the races in the Munster final. Their big players went missing. Conor McGrath only really came into it when he got the goal.
They never looked like beating Cork and they just don’t seem to be gelling as a team, but rather playing as individuals.
To beat a team like Tipperary, you need to be all rowing in the same direction and you need your big players playing very, very well. I think that’s what they’ll be hoping for most of all against Tipp, that their best players play well. That would give them a shout. You can never rule them out with the hurlers that they have in their side.
People are slowly but surely forgetting about 2013 and even going back before that, the Clare of old. Ger Loughnane said it a few weeks ago that 2013 was the biggest fluke of all-time and that’s what people are going to start thinking if Clare don’t start producing.
They have unbelievable hurlers that can make the ball talk but when you go out on championship days, you really have to get stuck in and perform. Clare are up against a serious challenge now in the defending All-Ireland champions, and they’re not going to want to give up that crown without a fight. But often a poor performance can spring you into digging deep and training hard for the two weeks that you need to go and offer a good performance.
I’m really looking forward to seeing what they do bring and if they bring the bottle for the fight.
you’d have to fancy Tipperary will win. It should be a close match if Clare can produce and their big players play well. If not, I can see it being a little bit of an embarrassment for The Banner. They did hang in there even though they weren’t playing well against Cork and they might do that again, but if they are to have any chance of winning, their big players have to play well.
Make sure to check out the latest episode of The 16th Man, where we look ahead to all the weekend’s action, and hear from Shane McGrath ahead of Clare vs Tipp.