Thoughts turn to summer ahead of Galway trip

Eamonn Wynne

Eamonn Wynne

Tipperary head to Salthill for Sunday’s National Hurling League game against Galway at Pearse Stadium (2.30) with a slim chance of reaching the final on May 1st.

They must beat Galway, and Wexford at home in their final game on April 17th, and hope that other results go their way. However that’s an unlikely scenario and manager Declan Ryan already seems resigned to the fact that his team won’t be gracing this year’s League Final. Speaking after his team drew with Cork last weekend he said this Sunday’s match would be used as preparation for the championship.

“It will be a good game for us again, these games are much better than training”, he said.

Galway are hoping to welcome Damien Hayes back to their panel on Sunday. The Portumna player hasn’t played for six months because of a knee ligament problem and has been recovering from an operation that he underwent before Christmas.

Galway, the League champions, go into the game at the top of the table and their latest victory came against Dublin in Parnell Park last Sunday, thanks to a 73rd minute goal from Eanna Ryan.

The referee on Sunday will be James Owens of Wexford and the game will be shown live on TG4.

Managers agree draw was a fair result

Both managers agreed that a draw was the fairest outcome to Sunday’s National League game at Pairc Ui Chaoimh.

Tipp’s Declan Ryan said that while it didn’t do either side any favours in the competition it didn’t do them any harm for May 29th, when they’ll meet in the championship in Thurles.

“Paddy Stapleton was taken to hospital, a provisional examination showed he might have rib damage but we don’t know the extent of it yet. The injuries are piling up”, said the Tipp boss.

“We can be happy enough overall with the way our guys stuck to the task, even when they were reduced to 14 men when John O’Brien was sent off”, he added.

He said that Benny Dunne got a great goal, and it was very important from the management’s point of view to see that response from the team when Cork went 4 points ahead early in the second half. “We were very happy with that”.

Meanwhile, Cork manager Denis Walsh said his players were a little bit disappointed they didn’t win and he was sure the Tipp dressing room was the same. Both teams had played well enough to win.

He was disappointed his side didn’t kick on at the start of the second half, when they went 4 points clear. “It was great to get a goal and a point like that but Tipp are too good a team and they have such lively forwards to say you’re going to be defending that for a half an hour”, he said.