When Tipperary last drew an All-Ireland Minor Hurling Final they went on to win the replay against Galway.
William Maher was the team captain and 16 years later the Ballingarry man, the manager of the current Tipp Minor team, is hoping that history can repeat itself as his side gets set to face Dublin in Sunday’s All-Ireland Final Replay.
Tipp’s performance in the drawn game on September 9th fell short of expectations but as far as the manager is concerned the slate is clean heading into the re-match at Croke Park.
“It’s a completely new game. Replays are usually very different to the drawn game so hopefully we’ll get a good performance”, he says.
He’s also aware of the form his team needs to show if they’re to capture the county’s 19th All-Ireland Minor crown.
“We’ll have to increase our performance significantly to turn Dublin over. They didn’t let us play (in the drawn game), they didn’t let us hurl. They set the tone and dictated the play.
I’ve said all along that they’re the best team we’ve played all year and they’re a fantastic team”.
The 33 year-old, a selector under manager Ken Hogan when Tipp won the Munster and All-Ireland U-21 titles in 2010, says his team now faces another massive occasion on All-Ireland Final Replay day.
“When you get another opportunity you have to take it and the lads are all looking forward to the game”.
He and selectors Brian Horgan, Martin Maher and Noel Morris have no injury worries heading to Dublin at the weekend.
“Everyone is okay, even though we had 20 players playing club matches at the weekend, which cut down on our preparation time”.
The team will be announced on Friday night.
As well as captaining the Tipp Minors to that All-Ireland win in 1996, William played minor and under 21 hurling and football, as well as senior hurling, for the county.
He won one Allianz League title, one Munster under 21 title, two Munster Minor titles and juvenile titles, as well as divisional and county championships.
He also won two Fitzgibbon Cups with Waterford IT in 1999 and 2000 and captained WIT to a Freshers title. A serious eye injury in 2001 ended his playing career.
In his hurling management and coaching career he has been involved with the UCD Fitzgibbon Cup senior hurling and Ashbourne Cup senior camogie teams.
He was a minor hurling selector with Dublin in 2008 when Dublin’s current manager, Shay Boland, was also manager. He has been involved in coaching and managing hurling teams at all levels with Ballingarry.
He works with Amgen Ireland, a company that provides drug therapies for patients with cancer and renal disease in hospital and in the community.
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