Sheedy says Tipp will still have 'big say' in championship
By John Harrington
Tipperary manager, Liam Sheedy, believes his players can bounce back from the disappointment of Sunday’s dramatic Munster SHC Final defeat to Limerick.
The Premier County looked on course for a famous victory when they led by 10 points at half-time, but Limerick overwhelmed them in the second half before eventually winning on a scoreline of 2-29 to 3-21.
“Overall, we can still have a big say in this championship,” said Sheedy after Sunday’s match.
“We still have a really, really strong panel. We’ll go back training Tuesday night, we get a two-week chance now to prepare for the All-Ireland series and that’s a new series. If we play like we did that in that first-half, we’ll have a chance against any opposition. But if we play like we did in the second-half, we’ll be out. It is that simple.
“These boys, we have been here before. These boys are a very committed bunch. They set very high standards for themselves and unfortunately we didn’t reach that standard in the second-half. Full credit to Limerick, they are champions for a reason.”
The match turned emphatically in the third quarter when Limerick outscored Tipp by 1-10 to just a single point. Sheedy admits his team couldn’t regain the momentum once Limerick got some wind in their sails at the start of the second-half.
“We lost the initiative. All the momentum shifted in that quarter. We just couldn’t get it back. We only got one point from play. We put such of an effort into that first half, we were going in at half-time in a really good place.
“In fairness to the lads, I thought they did fight to the finish. We got a goal late on, a great strike from Mark Kehoe. But overall that third quarter is ultimately where we were just destroyed.
“We knew how important it was to go and keep that momentum in that second half. Unfortunately we couldn’t. We made some really bad unforced errors on our side. We couldn’t get our hands on the ball. Really we just lost our structure, especially from midfield up. We went long a lot and Limerick were coming out in droves. They were working that triangle and getting relief from the ball away.
“We knew there was going to be a kick in Limerick. They’re not Munster and All-Ireland champions for no reason. We died with our boots on there. As Tipperary manager I’m very proud for the effort that went in, for the guys that started, the guys that came in.
“Our first 35 minutes of play was as good as we’ve ever played. I thought we were outstanding. Unfortunately Limerick got the momentum, the crowd got behind them and we really had no answer to them in the second half.”