Sheedy adamant Tipp can recover

Sheedy adamant Tipp can recover
By Jim O’Sullivan  

TIPPERARY hurling manager Liam Sheedy wouldn’t allow Sunday’s chastening defeat to All-Ireland champions Kilkenny deflect them from their bid to retain their League title.

However, a succession of injuries which has seen three players suffer from broken thumbs is expected to again leave them under-strength for next weekend’s game against Dublin.

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody is in a stronger position, even if the Cats started in Nowlan Park without six of the side which completed the county’s first-ever three-in-a-row last September.

They are away to Clare on Sunday and a week later they will be at home to Cork. Sheedy was philosophical after their heavy defeat on Sunday, noting that they have the same number of points as Kilkenny and have the opportunity to make up ground in the remaining three rounds.

"We’ll digest it and see where we got from here. We trained very hard, especially last Sunday and last Tuesday. We did a lot of work, maybe we might have taken a little bit of the edge off ourselves," he said.

"We are under no illusions. I don’t think anybody is under illusions in terms of where they have the bar set. But we’ll keep on trying. I’d be still happy with my group in terms of the effort I am getting and the work they are doing in training. We just have to go back and keep doing that work and come back again!”

Eoin Kelly and Lar Corbett are out with back and hamstring injuries respectively while Willie Ryan, Darragh Egan and Pat Kerwick are the three players who have broken thumbs.

Henry Shefflin, whose return to action was prevented by the flu, will be available for selection for Sunday’s game, as will Eoin Larkin, who came in as a substitute. The others missing from the All-Ireland team who were defenders JJ Delaney and Noel Hickey, along with the two midfielders, Cha Fitzpatrick and Derek Lyng.

Brian Cody made the point that every panel member has to fight for his place in the starting 15, saying: "’regular’ is a funny word! The way it works, you’re a regular if you are on the team from day to day.
Tipperary were short five-choice players, players they’d like to have in action as well. That’s par for the course at this time of the year.

"It’s great for all teams and for all managers to have players getting experience at this level. It’s serious hurling. The game-time they are getting and the experience – you couldn’t buy it anywhere else!”

The Kilkenny boss is eagerly looking forward to the Cork game on Sunday week. After having received a walk-over 12 months ago when the Rebels were on strike, the Kilkenny/Cork game takes on an added significance because of the ’08 squad having returned to action at the weekend – and having beaten the Banner.

"We’re looking forward to a great game. They had a win on Sunday, so it’s going to be a great battle.”

*Kilkenny were also the last team to score five goals against Tipp (when Brendan Cummins was again between the posts). That was in the 2003 League final in Croke Park, when they also conceded five goals. A late Henry Shefflin point was decisive in a 5-14 to 5-13 result in which he was one of the Kilkenny goal-scorers. The others came from Eddie Brennan, DJ Carey, Martin Comerford and Charlie Carter. The Tipp goal-scorers were John Carroll and Lar Corbett (two each) and Eoin Kelly.

Leave a Reply