LAR Corbett produced another sensational individual display in last Sunday’s Munster senior hurling final, finishing with a personal haul of 4-4.
Last September’s All-Ireland final hat-trick hero was at his magical best again at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, hitting three goals in the first half before adding a fourth in the second period.
But the 30-year-old Thurles Sarsfields man was typically humble after the game, paying tribute to the quality of ball being delivered to a lethal Tipp full-forward line.
Gearóid Ryan provided three assists, Patrick ‘Bonnar’ Maher two, with Padraic Maher and Conor O’Mahony also directly involved in Tipperary goals.
Corbett, Tipp’s all-time leading championship goalscorer, took his tally to 25 last Sunday, now four clear of Eoin Kelly, who moved into second place on 21 ahead of Nicky English.
And Corbett, in bullish form when speaking to reporters afterwards, reflected: “It was great to get the win – it’s all about the team.
“The supply of ball was coming in from midfield, half-back. You don’t need me standing here to tell ye the boys are getting the ball in nice and quick. That’s a forward’s dream and that was the difference on the day. We all got chances.”
Tipp’s hurling was quite simple – get the ball in long and often on top of the Waterford full-back line, which was obliterated.
And Corbett believes that finally, Tipperary are now learning the ruthlessness that marked Kilkenny out as a killing machine when they won four-in-a-row.
He added: “You look at Kilkenny over the last decade – they’re getting the ball in quick. It’s not a tactic – it’s just about getting it in.
“But we’re under no illusions – Waterford weren’t up to the pace and they’d accept that themselves. There’s a huge hole for Tipp to fall into – to get complacent. We’re in an All-Ireland semi-final but we’re under no illusions. We can’t let minds soften. We have to drive on to the next level.”
Tipp were majestic but defensively, Waterford were like rabbits caught in blue and gold headlights, bullied physically and cruelly exposed by movement that at times must have seemed like a blur.
But, chillingly, Corbett believes that there is more to come from this Tipperary team, stating: “Isn’t that sport – that there’s always another level? If you ever think you’re at the top of anything, it’s the biggest mistake you could make.”
Warming to the conversation, the Allstar smiled: “In your jobs you’re being challenged every day, remember that – there are papers going bust, ask the right questions!
“But there’s another level in everyone. Thank God we have a panel and management that are prepared to drive on, and to avoid complacency.”
Tipp got off to a sluggish start in 2011, with a natural period of adjustment following the handover of managerial reins from Liam Sheedy to Declan Ryan.
And Corbett admitted: “You never know what’s going to happen – all you can do is deal with what’s in front of you, and the boys coming in drove us on. One big thing with them was to see if we’d go soft after winning an All-Ireland, that we might take the foot off the gas. But they pushed us on – that’s what it’s about.”