Seamus Callanan won't return before Championship
By John Harrington
The Tipperary hurlers are resigned to being without Seamus Callanan for the remainder of the Allianz League campaign even if they make it all the way to the Final.
The Drom-Inch clubman’s rehabilitation from the surgery he had on a bulging disc in his back last January is going well.
But Tipp manager Michael Ryan confirmed yesterday that Callanan won’t be available for selection between now and the start of their Munster Senior Hurling Championship campaign against Limerick on May 20.
“Seamie is making progress, he's very much in a controlled environment with our medics, they're doing a good job with him,” said Ryan after Tipperary’s Allianz Hurling League victory over Cork.
“He's had his reviews and everything is as it should be. I suspect this League will conclude before we have Seamie back though.”
John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer hasn’t played a minute of League hurling yet either this year because of an ankle injury, while Noel McGrath was a late injury withdrawal from the Tipperary panel yesterday.
“Noel McGrath had to step out," said Ryan. "He's got an issue with a thumb that he picked up a couple of weeks ago.
“Look if you play the games and train, you pick up the injuries and you're going to need your squad. Thankfully the competition is healthy in the squad and that's what we want.”
Even without Callanan, O’Dwyer, and McGrath, Tipperary had too much firepower for Cork yesterday with Jason Forde impressing once again with a haul of five points from play and some very accurate free-taking.
Tipperary were also guilty of some poor shooting too, though, racking up a tally of 20 wides.
Ryan admitted afterwards it’s an area they need to improve on as they prepare for a League Quarter-Final clash with Dublin this weekend, but in general he’s pleased with how his panel has performed so far this year.
“Yeah, the wides are disappointing, that's down to your decision on the ball,” he said.
“Poor execution, I think we'll have plenty to work on. I'm not surprised at that, you know it is only March.
“We've played five rounds of this League and it's been really good for us, we've used lots and lots of players.
“Our initial stated ambition was to keep it competitive in that squad, that we'd use as many as we could looking into what it is an unprecedented year for us all.
“We're where we wanted to be after five rounds. Division 1A is a roller-coaster, but it's a really, really good early season competition for us all.”
Cork manager John Meyler admitted after the match that the concession of a 55th minute goal proved fatal to his team’s hopes of victory.
But he still believes they have plenty of positives to reflect on as they ready themselves for a Division 1A relegation play-off with Waterford this weekend.
“It was touch and go but then Tipp got that goal down the bottom end, and that really killed it at that stage, it put them six or seven up,” said Meyler.
“We were going well, we were in the game and turning around to play with the wind. But sometimes that happens, with the wind you think you have the game won when you probably have to work harder than you did in the first half.
“But I was delighted with the overall performance, it’s just that little bit of composure.
“The subs - Daniel Kearney got a point, Luke Meade got two, that’s what the league has given us, more strength in depth.
“We need to break down the puck outs and fouls, I don’t know how many frees Tipp got but that has to be addressed.
“We’re playing Waterford next week in Pairc Ui Rinn, that’s another competitive game having played them two weeks ago. It’ll be much more competitive this time.”