Tipperary camogie manager Bill Mullaney says his team need to be sharper in front of the posts
Manager Bill Mullaney cut a satisfied figure as his consistently improving Tipperary team produced one of their most rounded performances for some time to defeat Offaly by 12 points in Callan on Sunday and set up a Littlewoods Ireland National Camogie League Division 1 semi-final with Kilkenny at Nowlan Park this weekend.
Galway and Cork will complete a mouth-watering double-header.
Tipp have been best of the rest outside the top three for a number of years and Mullaney is pleased with the progress, but he knows that the curve will need to continue rising if his crew is to gatecrash the big three of Cork, Galway and Kilkenny.
With the defensive unit in which Mary Ryan and Sarah Fryday were largely solid, and Grace O’Brien providing the talismanic Cáit Devane with the type of scoring support she hasn’t always received by scoring 2-4 from play – Devane did supply 2-5 herself and was on hand to supply the assist for a number of other scores too - it is clear that Tipp are continuing to travel in the right direction.
“I’m very happy with the performance overall,” Mullaney stated on Sunday.
“We played well, especially when we lost Róisín (Howard, who was sent off).
“We knuckled down, played better, worked harder but it was a tough game. I know the scoreline looked one-sided but it was tough all over the field.
“Offaly caused us problems, ran through and put us under pressure but I’m delighted for the girls. From the starting 15 to the finishing 15 it was a great performance from them.
“I think we’re improving in every game but we have to.
“If we’re meeting the likes of Cork, Kilkenny, Galway, Offaly, Limerick, Waterford, we have to be improving every game, we have to be learning every time, learning lessons from every game and applying them the next day out.
“We can’t assume anything.
“We’re looking forward to next weekend and having another pop at it. We want to be playing every Sunday if we could. And winning. Everybody wants to win.
“I’m pleased everywhere because it was a good team performance and a good panel performance.
“The backs as a unit were very good. The subs that came on did well. Some of the scores and some of the link play was exceptional and we have to do it every week if we want to keep progressing.
“You have to have other forwards scoring. Cáit is a brilliant player.
“I always say I’d pay the money just to see her warming up, she’s fabulous but you can’t be a one-trick pony either. You have to have other options around the field.
“The girls are playing with confidence and able to take their scores. And Cáit is including them, giving them passes and taking the pressure off them by drawing a marker as well.
“I think we have spread the scoring a bit better and we need to, and we need to improve on that and be a bit sharper again taking our scores.”
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