Tipp dismiss ball-winning ‘myth’

Tipp dismiss ball-winning ‘myth’

Thursday, August 07, 2014

By John Fogarty
GAA Correspondent
Tipperary selector Michael Ryan says claims the team have a ball-winning problem in their forward line is “a bit of a myth”.

The county has regularly been charged with not having enough primary ball winners but Ryan has disputed that theory.

“This whole ball-winning thing is a bit of a myth. Outside of Kilkenny, you’d imagine nobody else can win a ball but that’s not the truth.

“The game is being played at a very fast pace now. Very few balls are won now directly from puckouts to half forwards.

“I think it’s part of the game, you’d like to have it, but it’s not the be-all and end-all.”

The reintroduction of dual playing teenager Colin O’Riordan to the panel last week after being part of the group during the league will add to Tipperary’s half-forward options.

Ryan agrees he’s a strong aerial ball winner but said: “Could he play? Absolutely. He’ll really have to be shooting the lights out or whatever he brings will have to be of a very high standard to force out the guys who are playing. That’s just the law of the jungle.

“He’s one of them (ball winners). We’ve other guys as well — Denis Maher is a very strong ball-winner for us. We chose how we use these guys. I’m sure you (media) guys look and wonder do we use them at all but we like to think we use them carefully and properly in given situations.”

Of Tipperary’s injury concerns, two-time All Star Conor O’Mahony has not fully trained since returning last Thursday, while Michael Cahill (knee) was expected to return to action in Thurles last night.

“Conor O’Mahony is being closely monitored to see how he progresses. It’s a bulging disc issue and it’s not helped when with his occupation he drives a lot.

“It’s debilitating and he hasn’t got a full range of movement. It has improved but just how much it has improved we need to find out and we need to find out quickly. He didn’t train Monday, he was sick, so we haven’t seen him since last Thursday. Hopefully, there’s a bit of improvement.”

Niall O’Meara played 40 minutes for Kilruane McDonaghs at the weekend although Sunday week’s game is likely to come too early for Liam McGrath who is recovering from an ankle ligament sprain.

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