/ GAA

Muchael Duignan: A brilliant team performance from Tipp

Updated: Monday, 18 Aug 2014 18:25 | Comments

Cork's Daniel Kearney is under pressure to clear the ball as the Tipperary duo of Kieran Bergin and Shane McGrath advance
Cork's Daniel Kearney is under pressure to clear the ball as the Tipperary duo of Kieran Bergin and Shane McGrath advance

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In his preview of the Cork v Tipperary All-Ireland hurling semi-final, RTÉ analyst Michael Duignan felt that the Cork midfield duo of Daniel Kearney and Aidan Walsh would have the upper hand in that sector and that that advantage would propel the Rebels to victory.

What happened on the Croke Park pitch on Sunday was the complete opposite, however, as Tipperary's Shane McGrath and James Woodlock dictated affairs around the middle in a match where the Premier County ran out comfortable 2-18 to 1-11 winners.

The victory sets up another meeting of Kilkenny and Tipperary in the All-Ireland final on 7 September, the counties' fourth meeting at that stage in six years.

Unsurprisingly, Duignan was surprised that the Cork challenge was so meek against their neighbours, but was full of praise for the way Eamon O’Shea’s side went about their task.

Speaking to RTÉ Sport, Duignan said: “Cork never turned up for the game. We were waiting for a surge from them that never came.

"They were only two points down at half-time and you were thinking they are going to come out now and improve. They didn’t. There was no conviction in their shooting; they were just lobbing balls harmlessly wide.

“You can’t take away from the Tipperary performance. It was an absolutely brilliant team performance from 1-9 in particular. Cathal Barrett in the full-back line and Paudie Maher in the half-back line really drove the team on." 

"I think there is more room for improvement from Tipp" - Michael Duignan 

As for the midfield battle, the former Offaly star said it was a non-contest right from the off.

“The Tipperary midfielders gave an absolutely brilliant display of athleticism and shooting,” he added.

“Between them, they scored six points and they completely out- hurled Cork in the middle of the field right from the start.

"Seamus Callanan and John O’Dwyer were the pick of the forwards up front."

Duignan also singled out key decisions that were made by the Tipperary management.

“The move at half-time of Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher to the full-forward line was crucial as he was able to win a huge amount of ball. Noel McGrath moved to centre-forward where he picked off a couple of points.

"Afterwards, Eamon O’Shea said he was not happy with his forwards, stating that there was more room for improvement. That just shows you the standard they are setting after scoring 2-17 from play.

"I think there is more room for improvement from Tipp but at least they are now back to somewhere near the level they were at in 2009/10. I’m looking forward to a fantastic final."

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