Sheedy says Rebel fans a “credit” after crowd spill


 By Michael Moynihan

TIPPERARY hurling manager Liam Sheedy paid tribute to the Cork supporters who watched last Sunday’s Munster SHC clash from the pitch perimeter last Sunday in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

Hundreds of spectators at the Cork-Tipperary Munster game last weekend had to be allowed out of the terraces by gardaí to sit behind the goal at the Blackrock End, due to overcrowding, and Sheedy gave them "full credit" yesterday for their behaviour.

"I can remember back to the Cork-Tipp games in 1987, when you had hundreds of people on the sidelines and behind the goals," said Sheedy.

"Paul Delaney got cramp at one stage and there were two supporters in holding his leg, while when Tipp got a goal at another point in the game and the crowd just came in around Ger Cunningham in the Cork goal.

"I was concerned we might have something like that last Sunday, but I have to give full credit to the Cork supporters, those who were sitting near the field of play. I’ve never seen behaviour like that, they just sat down and watched the match. Brendan (Cummins) was saying he had a bit of banter with the lads near his goal, but that’s all it was, good-natured banter.

"I was speaking to Barry Kelly at half-time about it, I said if we could just have people moved back behind the big nets behind the goal it’d help, but that would have been difficult. There wasn’t much he could do, in fairness, he was saying to me to speak to the gardaí, and I thought to be fair to them they handled it very well."

Sheedy also agreed with former GAA president and Irish Examiner columnist Sean Kelly, who asked if the posts were harder to pick out at the Blackrock End against the red jerseys of the Cork supporters.

"We had a lot of wides at that end, and so did Cork," said Sheedy. "I know at different times John Gardiner, Timmy McCarthy, Tom Kenny and Shane McGrath all took shots from in front of me into that goal, and as I watched the flight of the ball I was trying hard to pick out the posts.

"They can be difficult enough to pick out at times, and that was one reason we brought the lads down the week before to get used to the stadium."

Sheedy was speaking at the official launch of the partnership between Tipperary GAA and Avenir Sports analysis at the Horse and Jockey Hotel, in Tipperary.

Avenir provide sports analysis software and associated services, which have being used by the county hurlers in their league and championship campaign to date; the company owns the Irish rights to sell SportsCode, sports analysis software. The software is used by American university sports teams, the South African Rugby Union and the RFU in England.

The Tipperary hurlers’ software package is operated by former county player Damien Young, who completed a master’s degree on the physiological demands of hurling in Waterford Institute of Technology.

"It’s a valuable tool in preparation," said Sheedy of the new technology yesterday. "We’ve found it a big help in preparing the team for all our matches this season."

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