By Brian McDonnell
LAR Corbett and Eoin Kelly belted home six goals and seven points from play on Sunday.
The Thurles Sarsfields star scorched the Waterford defence for four goals with his first arriving as early as the fourth minute when, with one of his patented spring-heeled breaks, Corbett found some room in behind Jerome Maher and Pádraic Maher picked out his club colleague with an inch-perfect delivery.
Such deliveries were the first thing on Lar Corbett’s mind after this one-sided Munster hurling final.
“It’s all about the team,” Lar Corbett said.
“The supply of ball coming from midfield, half-back - you don’t need me standing here to tell you 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.
“When 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.”
Corbett, playing in the blue and gold since 2001, has suffered plenty of harrowing defeats with Tipperary and the 2010 hurler of the year is guarding against over-confidence.
“We’re under no illusions. Waterford were not up to the pace and they’d accept that themselves. So there’s a huge hole there for Tipperary to fall into if we’re going to get complacent and think we’re going to get a soft game the next day.
“We’re in an All-Ireland semi-final, but we’re under no illusions and we can’t let minds soften. We have to drive on to the next level. If we stay at this level we’ll pay for it next day.”
It’s hard to imagine another level, especially after scoring 7-19 against a Waterford team who had genuine aspirations of winning this Munster final. But, according to Lar Corbett, there is always another level.
“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.
“In your jobs you’re being challenged every day, remember that. There’s papers going bust. So, ask the right questions,” he said with a grin.
“There’s another level in everyone. Thank God we’ve a panel and management there that are prepared to drive on and to avoid complacency.”
Corbett also credited the management team of Declan Ryan, Michael Gleeson and Tommy Dunne for the mental well-being of the Tipperary players.
“Team confidence is down to Declan, Michael and Tommy. They picked up where the lads left off last year. There’s fierce confidence there, but that comes from somebody or something and they’re the ones giving it to us. We’re feeding off them.
“You never know what’s going to happen and all you can do is deal with what’s in front of you. The boys coming in drove on.
“One big thing with them was to see if we would go soft after winning an All-Ireland; that we might take the foot off the gas, but they pushed us on and that’s what it’s about. They brought us on and we had to step up.”
Four goals on Sunday brought Lar Corbett’s Tipperary tally to 25 forcing him three clear of his old friend Eoin Kelly who had nothing, but good things to say about the Thurles man.
“Look you would have to be in the dressing-room and you’d have to be in at training just to see the way that Lar works for the team,” Eoin Kelly said.
“Lar is playing for the team and when you do that you will get your own chances. The message we get going out as individuals is to create for other lads. If you have that in your mind-set everything else will fall into place. Lar would tell you that himself.”
Eoin Kelly also revealed that even though Tipperary led by a whopping 17 points at half time that a new set of challenges were set for the second half.
“The most pleasing thing is we met those challenges head on,” explained Eoin Kelly.
“If you don’t play as a team at this level you’re going nowhere.
“In the second half against Clare we had lads shooting wides from 60 and 70 yards out and we didn’t want that happening again.
“Listen, that’s only Brendan Cummins’ fourth Munster medal and he’s given 15 or 16 years.
“It’s only Tipp’s ninth title in 40 years. This cup is important to us,” added a proud Tipperary captain.