2008 Hurler of the Year and Pundit Arena columnist Eoin Larkin gives his thoughts after yesterday’s League semi-final between Wexford and Tipperary.
First things first, there’s no place in the game for a manager running onto the field. Davy brings passion, but he needs to reel it in a bit.
He can’t be coming onto the pitch, shouting and pushing players.
I know he was frustrated with the decision, but the players also get frustrated.
It was certainly should have been a free out. That’s why Davy got so animated on the sideline and made his way out onto the field.
There really is no place for it in the GAA.
He should get a ban. If the GAA let him away with it, who’s to say that more managers, selectors and mentors aren’t going to come onto the field and thinking they can get away with it?
I don’t think it should be a big ban, but he should be punished for it at the very least.
Now to the hurling. It’s hard to see anyone stopping Tipperary this year. They looked comfortable the whole way throughout the game yesterday.
Wexford were fighting to get back into it, but Tipp just looked comfortable. There was a sense that they could lift it at any stage, and they did.
Scoring three goals in the last ten minutes kills a team. Wexford felt they were in that game, but in the blink of an eye it was over.
For the Yellowbellies, it must be disheartening. They hurled well, but still conceded 5-18.
They fought right to the end, but Tipp were just keeping them at an arm’s length for 60 minutes, before pulling away.
Two years ago, the Premier lost a semi-final because they were too reliant on Seamus Callanan. They now have six dangerous forwards, with more to come off the bench.
John McGrath was a huge find for them. Niall O’Meara is coming into his own, lifting it this year and he’ll really be pushing for a Championship start.
Dan McCormack has been another huge addition. The work-rate he got through was crazy. He’s unselfish, takes the punishment, draws in defenders and then paws it off.
John and Noel McGrath are very good at feeding off him. They scored 2-2 apiece yesterday. A lot of that was thanks to McCormack.
Looking at Wexford over the last couple of years, and looking at them this year, you’d have to question whether they have another gear for the Championship, or if they’re at their peak performance levels now.
I can’t for the life of me figure out why they’re playing a sweeper.
You’re either trying to win games or you’re not.
You’re just keeping down the score by playing a sweeper. I know they beat Kilkenny, but it will only get you so far.
Maybe that’s what Davy’s doing – he wants to get their confidence up, but going into the Championship, he just has to go for it. Going into the Championship, he needs to go 15 vs 15. Perhaps he can look at other tactics, to maybe clog up the backline, but still have your six forwards down the other end of the field.
It’s hard to get scores when you have six forwards. It’s even harder when you only have five.
If you concede a goal or two, you’re on the back foot straight away.
I think you just have to go away from that in the Championship, and trust the players.
If they’re good enough, we’ll soon find out. If they’re not, he’ll have another year to work at it.
Eoin Larkin, Pundit Arena