Ronan Maher pictured at Thurles Sarsfield GAA Club reminding all GAA clubs to enter the Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camps on-pack competition. GAA clubs all over the country are in with a chance of winning incredible prizes worth €40,000 as part of the Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camps competition. To nominate a GAA club to win, simply purchase a promotional box of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies or Bran Flakes. Using a unique on-pack code, log on to kelloggsculcamps.gaa.ie/competition and nominate a club of your choice.
Ronan Maher pictured at Thurles Sarsfield GAA Club reminding all GAA clubs to enter the Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camps on-pack competition. GAA clubs all over the country are in with a chance of winning incredible prizes worth €40,000 as part of the Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camps competition. To nominate a GAA club to win, simply purchase a promotional box of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies or Bran Flakes. Using a unique on-pack code, log on to kelloggsculcamps.gaa.ie/competition and nominate a club of your choice. 

Ronan Maher devastated by Tipperary's poor year


By John Harrington

Tipperary hurling captain, Ronan Maher, admits the Premier County’s Munster Championship campaign was ‘devastating’.

Maher feels a burden of guilt for losing four championship matches in a row, but hopes he and his team-mates can make amends in 2023.

“It was hugely disappointing as a player and being captain you feel like you've a bit more pressure on you as well,” Maher told GAA.ie.

“So you feel like you've let down the players and you feel like you've let down your family and your county as well.

“Listen, Munster is hugely competitive and the teams that are in at the minute are hugely competitive so you have to really be on top of your game and unfortunately we weren't. It was a tough year for us all.

“I suppose there was a lot of younger players coming through and we lost a lot of big players as well.

“So obviously hugely, hugely, hugely devastating and tough to take but we have to move on. Tipperary hurling is at the forefront of what we're thinking and we have to have that in our heart at all times and try and work on that to get back to being competitive in Munster and hopefully challenge in Munster next year.”

When you lose four matches out of four then the obvious conclusion is that you’re just not good enough, but Maher still feels like this year’s Munster campaign was an opportunity missed.

They got themselves into decent positions against Waterford and Limerick coming down the home-straight of those matches, and if they’d had a bit more self-belief the Thurles Sarsfields man feels like they could have won both.

“To be honest with you, I don't think anybody gave us a chance really going into those games and that hurt the dressing-room a lot," says Maher.

“I think maybe we lacked a small bit of belief on the day and, you know, maybe lads didn't believe that we could push on and win them because I believe we could have pushed on and won it. It was only a matter of executing a few shots and the year could have been totally different.

“Listen, there's always things to improve on. And as players we're the ones going onto the pitch so we have to take huge responsibility for the losses this year.

“It's not the place you want to be like, you don't want to be going down in history as the Tipperary team that lost all their Munster championship matches and never qualified. That does hurt. And so we have bottle that for next year and try to use it as a motivation.”

Ronan Maher of Tipperary shakes hands with Clare manager Brian Lohan after the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Round 2 match between Tipperary and Clare at FBD Semple Stadium in Thurles, Tipperary.
Ronan Maher of Tipperary shakes hands with Clare manager Brian Lohan after the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Round 2 match between Tipperary and Clare at FBD Semple Stadium in Thurles, Tipperary.

It seemed as though there was little belief in Tipperary that their team could challenge this year before a ball was even struck because from the first game against Waterford the number of Tipperary supporters at matches was much lower than in recent years.

Maher admits the players couldn’t help but notice that, and hopes that the support will return next year to back an emerging young team at a time when they need it most.

“It's easy to follow a team when they're winning,” says Maher. “It's when a team is going through a tough patch that you really see who your true supporters are. I suppose I know (my brother) Padraic commented on it throughout the year that the support was very poor.

“I was often stuck with one or two tickets that I couldn't get rid of to games. It's really important that we get that backing from supporters next year. Every one per cent counts and we need it all.

“When games are tight it does affect you because they do push you on. I don't know what the reasons behind not having big support. Tipperary is a traditional County and they obviously have huge, huge, huge interest in Tipperary hurling and that's at the forefront at all times.

“When things didn't go our way I don't know was it easy for them to pull away or to not follow us but obviously we do have our supporters that will follow us to the end of the earth.

“It does have an impact on the team. When we played Cork especially in Thurles, not that it mattered in the end, but it was nearly like a home game for Cork.

“It's really important that we get back to where we are next year and as players start getting that confidence back into the supporters that we can achieve something as a team and hopefully they'll support us going forward again throughout the year. We do need them.”

Kyle Hayes of Limerick is tackled by Ronan Maher of Tipperary during the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Round 3 match between Limerick and Tipperary at TUS Gaelic Grounds in Limerick.
Kyle Hayes of Limerick is tackled by Ronan Maher of Tipperary during the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Round 3 match between Limerick and Tipperary at TUS Gaelic Grounds in Limerick.

Maher has played against two of the remaining four teams left in the championship, Clare and Limerick, and believes the Shannon-siders are the better bet to go all the way this year to complete a historic three-in-a-row.

“It's very hard to call, but I think that Limerick have been setting the standards for hurling over the last couple years and I think this year they've really come back out again,” he says.

“People asked a lot of questions of them throughout the League and I'd say they were probably just training really hard throughout the League to be honest with you and it just shows that you have to be in your prime and peaking for the Championship. I think they've done exactly that.

“The Munster Final was an outstanding game and to get over Clare was an unbelievable result for them so they'll get huge belief out of that again going forward. They seem to be a hugely tight knit group and the belief in that county is just through the roof.

“They've been setting the standards in terms of physicality and they seem to be all on the same wavelength on the pitch and they never seem to panic. So I just feel like it's gonna take a really good team and really good performance to beat them.”