Sheedy wary of Waterford Momentum

From Independant.ie

By Colm Keys

Tuesday August 12 2008

LIAM SHEEDY fears Tipperary could be ‘sitting ducks’ against a resurgent Waterford side in Sunday’s second All-Ireland hurling semi-final.

Sheedy, whose Tipp team remains unbeaten in competitive games in 2008, watched how Kilkenny made light of a six-week break from competitive action to storm past Cork last Sunday.

And he hopes that Tipperary — back in an All-Ireland semi-final for the first time since 2003, when he was a selector to Michael Doyle — can steer a safe path to the final against a Waterford team that has picked up momentum in the qualifiers.

"Coming through (the qualifiers) can be a benefit because you are getting all the competitive matches whereas we are sitting waiting, in some ways we are sitting ducks," he noted.

"But at the same time we’ve been helped by the fact that we have had similar gaps between league final to Munster semi-final, Munster semi-final to Munster final and now Munster final to All-Ireland semi-final," Sheedy reasoned.

Advantage

"Knock-out hurling brings it to a new level so it is an advantage but would we rather have lost in the Munster final and come in and tried and get back in through a qualifier system? No we wouldn’t.

"The system is what it is, we are where we are. We are happy with our preparations. We’ve faced plenty of massive challenges this year and the players have come through each time, so fingers crossed."

Sheedy feels Tipperary are facing the most formidable set of attackers in the game, even more devastating than Kilkenny perhaps.

"They have the talent and they have the hurlers. I think on their day they are the best forward line in the country and I don’t think many would disagree with that.

Meanwhile, Deise boss Davy Fitzgerald must decide if Waterford are to stick with Ken McGrath at full-back for Sunday’s game.

Fitzgerald has opted to site McGrath at full-back for Waterford’s last two games despite his preference and prowess at centre-back.

Tony Browne impressed at centre-back against Wexford the last day but many in Waterford feel a move back out for McGrath would benefit the team.

Fitzgerald will be unable to call upon Aidan Kearney to return to the team because of injuries. Sheedy has no injury worries however.

– Colm Keys

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