The season still have much to offer both.
For Drom-Inch it was a great fifteen points victory, winning the trophy with style and confidence, and in a manner which has people talking about them as the leading contender for the county title also.
But this is the kind of talk which can get to players and which Drom-Inch Manager, Teddy Kennedy, Coach Sean Prendergast, and their backroom team will be moving to stamp out immediately. Sure it was an excellent team performance which highlighted the many qualities in the side, but would anybody in the Drom-Inch camp dare to predict such an outcome if the sides were to meet again in the county championship?
The reality is that last Sunday’s final is done and dusted. The trophy rests where it most deservedly belongs but the future is all to play for. What happened in Boherlahan last Sunday is unlikely to have any bearing on the games that are to follow in the county championship.
The bonus for Drom-Inch is that their divisional final win sends them directly into the county quarter-finals . They avoid a potential banana skin in the fourth round. It gives them time to freshen up after last Sunday’s win and they will meet a team which have already suffered a championship defeat, which will give them a psychological edge.
For Loughmore-Castleiney the picture is very different. They will want to forget about this game because of the damage it could do to morale. This was their second year in succession taking a big hit in the final as they leaked goals to Sarsfields at an extraordinary rate last year. They will be anxious to write it off as a bad experience that can happen from time to time, and not a true reflection of their worth.
The challenge for both players and management is to cast aside doubts in their ability which the loss may generate, and to re-focus. They have lessons to learn but can take heart from the fact that few teams would have exploited their shortcomings so clincially and so rapidly as did Drom-Inch. The task facing them is to get back to doing what they do well, and to rekindle their self-belief in how they play. If they react properly, they can emerge a stronger team mentally, and can still have a big say in the destination of the top prize this year.
And that is where the focus is now. Winning the Dan Breen cup is the ultimate prize in Tipperary and while bookmakers will install Drom-Inch as warm favourites on the strength of this showing, a chastened Loughmore-Castleiney would dearly relish the opportunity to atone for the Boherlahan blitz.
What an intriguing pairing it would be if they are to cross swords again later this year!
Tribute to late Sam
Before Sunday’s Mid final a minute’s silence was observed as a tribute to the late Sam Melbourne Dublin and Moycarkey-Borris formerly. Sam will be fondly remembered for his extraordinary collection of GAA memorabilia, particularly his photos, scrapbooks, and collection of hurleys of the greats of the game, which was to form the basis of the GAA museum at Croke Park.
He was a committed Tipperary man who for decades followed the “Blue and Gold” with a boyish enthusiasm that was infectious. His passing in his 91st year was fittingly saluted at Sunday’s final.
Sincere sympathy to his wife, family and extended family of the loss of a great Tipperary GAA man.