Dubs boss Boland is full of praise for All-Ireland MHC final rivals Tipperary
IF Dublin were under any illusions as to the challenge that awaits them in next month’s Electric Ireland All-Ireland MHC Final, then Sunday’s events in Croke Park left a stark reminder as to the severity of their task ahead.
Galway’s reign may have ended but Dublin’s chances will not have been made any easier given the display that Tipperary produced in dethroning last year’s champions.
That view is supported by Dublin manager Shay Boland, who was effusive in his praise of the Premier County following their well-merited 2-16 to 1-14 victory against an admittedly 14-man Galway.
“I thought Tipperary were very good for the duration of the game. They are an exceptionally mobile team and their ability to find a team-mate gave them a decisive edge over Galway.
“Their touch and movement was equally good and they bounced back well from their poor start although that is as good a time to concede a goal as any other,” said Boland.
Whether Boland and the Dubs would have preferred to face Galway, after falling to the Westeners in last year’s decider is an irrelevancy now and Dublin can now focus on getting the better of what is an accomplished Tipperary outfit.
Given that Tipp’s footballing counterparts have already exited the championship, the issue of dual status will not affect their preparations, unlike a Dublin team that boasts four pivotal players in both panels.
Confirming the difficulties the Dubs endured regarding this issue at the tail-end of last year’s campaign, Boland has acknowledged that his panel’s preparations will be tweaked slightly to address this perennial problem.
“I suppose Tipperary, given that they had between eight and ten players training with both panels, will be able to focus fully on what they’re doing and concentrate on hurling alone. It is a bit different for us but it hasn’t really been a problem for us so far this year and after a meeting with Dessie (Farrell, Dublin minor football manager), we’re going to try things a little bit differently in the build-up to the final,” said the St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh clubman.
That improvement is required from their semi-final win over Clare is something Boland is acutely aware of and despite progressing to a second successive All-Ireland Final, there was a general sense of disappointment with how his charges had fared.
“To be brutally honest, I thought at the time that Clare played better hurling on the day and I still believe that now.
“We were disappointed with how we played on the day and a few fellas didn’t produce what we would generally expect from them.
“We were below par and we would need to give a truer reflection of our capabilities if we’re to have any chance in three weeks’ time,” he concluded.
– Ronan Mac Lochlainn- Evening Herald