Tipperary's Patrick Maher pictured battling with two Clare players on Sunday. Picture: Eamonn McGee
Tipperary's thirteen-point win (3-21 to 0-17) over Clare at Cusack Park, Ennis on Sunday in the third round of the Munster Senior Hurling Championship was hugely encouraging and, as you would expect, the performance generated plenty of comment in the national media.
Writing in the Irish Independent Vincent Hogan wrote: “Their confidence, their physical conditioning, the structural clarity of their hurling have all been too much for a Clare team now, suddenly, ambushed by worry. Tipp still have Limerick to play in two weeks now though. The All-Ireland champions rolling in to Thurles. Honestly think they'll get an equivocal welcome? Not a hope”.
“Fundamental to everything they did, though, was work-rate. This Tipp team's concept of defence starts with number 15, reaching all the way back to goalkeeper, Brian Hogan, who himself wasn't afraid to step outside his 'square' and make himself accessible to a back man under pressure. It was full-press, total hurling, a pitch-perfect display compressing so many simple but fundamental energies and convictions that, on the day, eluded their hosts”.
In The Times (London) Christy O’Connor wrote: “One of the main themes leading into this game was Cusack Park, and how difficult it was for away teams to win there. Clare had only lost two of their previous 20 league and championship games in Ennis but Tipperary did more than just sack Clare’s fortress yesterday; they effectively burned it to the ground”.
Former Clare captain Anthony Daly wrote in the Irish Examiner: “I was expecting a big performance from Clare but the disappointment was all the more acute given the expectation beforehand, especially at home in what we all expected to be our fortress again. Well Tipp didn’t just sack the place, they blew it to smithereens”.
Also in the Irish Examiner John Fogarty wrote: “Fortress Cusack Park was ransacked here, 18,316 souls treated to the kind of bludgeoning Clare haven’t experienced on their home soil for a considerably long time”.
“In this context and considering what has happened to Waterford since that opening win, Clare’s form looks decidedly dodgy. Tipperary, on the other hand, are only getting better, creating close to 40 scoring opportunities in difficult conditions yesterday”.
Meanwhile in the Irish Times Malachy Clerkin wrote: “They took about 20 minutes to size Clare up here but once they started squeezing, there was nothing the home side could do to wriggle free. The scoreline was gaudy by the end but it was nothing less than a numerical expression of their physical will. They tackled and chased Clare into submission. When they do that, their abundant scoring threat will generally take care of the rest. Tipp’s spread of scorers was positively socialist. They had five different players contribute at least five points to the overall total”.
“It’s Tipp’s world. The rest of Munster just live in it right now”.
And, Irish Times columnist Nicky English wrote: “While supporters will be delighted with the scoring rate that’s averaging 30 a game, I suspect they’ll be even more pleased with the strength and dynamism of the team at the back and the collective application”.
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