Ryan slams Deise’s lack of focus after Tipperary run riot

WATERFORD manager Michael Ryan didn’t mince his words following yesterday’s 10-point defeat against rampant Tipperary at Semple Stadium.

A third successive defeat leaves the Deise on course for a relegation play-off and embattled Ryan insisted the performance of his side was simply “not good enough”.

Ryan has enjoyed great success as a manager in Ladies Football and at club level with De La Salle, but the step up to inter-county hurling has been a real baptism of fire. Tipperary were in no mood to be charitable on their home turf yesterday and racked up an astonishing winning tally in front of 4,021 spectators.

The statistics from a Waterford perspective make for grim reading as 43 Tipp efforts on goal yielded 31 points, 11 wides and a save from Waterford goalkeeper Stephen O’Keeffe.

In last year’s Munster final, Tipp slammed seven goals past Waterford en route to a 21-point victory and while the Deise net did not bulge yesterday, O’Keeffe watched point after point sail over his head.

And, as Tipp manager Declan Ryan acknowledged afterwards, the Premier County have found their feet following that disappointing opening-round defeat to Kilkenny at Nowlan Park.

A tally of 2-20 was scored against Galway eight days ago and a move towards better, lower delivery into the forward line is paying rich dividends.

Remarkably, 11 home players were on the scoresheet as man-of-the-match Noel McGrath and Pa Bourke helped themselves to seven points each. And a sparkling return to form has propelled the home side right back into contention for a semi-final place.

Tipp led by 0-15 to 1-7 at half-time before they piled on the misery for Waterford in the second half.

Stephen Molumphy’s 29th-minute goal brought the visitors back into contention, trailing by 1-6 to 0-14, but Maurice Shanahan’s penalty with 11 minutes remaining proved to be a mere consolation.

Satisfied Tipp boss Declan Ryan reflected: “Waterford wouldn’t be happy with their display but maybe they are at a different stage of pre-season training. But our guys looked sharper today and seem to be improving with every game.”

His Waterford counterpart pulled no punches in his assessment of an abysmal display from the visitors.

Michael Ryan said: “The biggest worry I have is that we are not playing well all over the field. We’re just not up to the pace of the game. We don’t look sharp, we don’t look fit and we don’t look mentally focused. And that’s something the management must sort out.”

Boost

All Star forward John Mullane will boost the Deise when he returns to training tomorrow night, but Ryan admitted: “You can’t expect John Mullane to sort out all our problems. We have problems in a lot of areas all over the field.”

Waterford travel to Galway next Sunday in desperate need of points while Tipp will fancy their chances against deflated Dublin under lights at Croke Park on Saturday.

And in talisman McGrath, Tipp have a player in superb form, while Brian O’Meara’s development at full-forward continued with a fine display.

Man of the Match: Noel McGrath

Scorers — Tipperary: N McGrath (1f), P Bourke (4f) 0-7 each, B O’Meara 0-3, P Maher, B Maher, J Woodlock, J O’Neill, S Bourke, S McGrath 0-2 each, J Ryan, T Stapleton 0-1 each. Waterford: M Shanahan 1-4 (1-0 pen, 1f), M O’Neill 0-4 (4f), S Molumphy 1-0, S O’Sullivan 0-2, K Moran, J Nagle, S Walsh, G O’Brien, E McGrath 0-1 each.

TIPPERARY — D Gleeson 7; D Maher 7, P Curran 7, M Cahill 7; J O’Keeffe 6, C O’Mahony 7, P Maher 8; B Maher 8, J Woodlock 8; J Ryan 7, N McGrath 9, P Bourke 8; J O’Neill 6, B O’Meara 8, S Bourke 7.

Subs: S Maher 6 for O’Keeffe (h-t), J O’Brien 6 for O’Neill (55), S Curran 6 for Ryan (60) T Stapleton for P Maher (64), S McGrath for Woodlock (67).

WATERFORD — S O’Keeffe 7; D Fives 6, L Lawlor 6, Philip Mahony 6; T Browne 6, K Moran 7, J Nagle 6; M Walsh 6, S Molumphy 7; S O’Sullivan 7, S Walsh 6, G O’Brien 6; M Shanahan 7, M O’Neill 6, P O’Brien 6. Subs: J Dillon 6 for O’Neill (h-t), E McGrath 6 for P O’Brien (55), T Ryan for S Walsh (68).

Ref — J McGrath (Westmeath).

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