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28/09/2021

Tipperary ready to go dancing with the Deise

Liam Sheedy and Liam Cahill will meet again on Saturday

Liam Sheedy and Liam Cahill will meet again on Saturday

Build-up to the All-Ireland senior hurling quarter final on Saturday

The contrast between the two men could hardly be more different.


One was a teak tough corner back; the other a crafty and neat corner forward.


One hails from the north division in a club which does not dine at the top table too regularly; the other from a south Tipperary club which has multiple divisional titles to its name.


One has an All-Ireland minor and senior titles to his credit as coach; the other has All-Ireland minor, u20 and u21 titles on his account, but not senior - yet.


Yes, Saturday's clash of Tipperary and Waterford in the All-Ireland senior hurling quarter final is being billed as the battle of the two Liams, but the reality is that neither Tipp Manager Sheedy, nor Waterford Manager, Cahill, will be too fussed about all that media malarky. This is just another game of hurling - albeit a massive one for both counties and both managers.


The stars aligned to pave the way for this clash with Cahill steering Waterford over the winning line against Galway on Saturday last in Thurles in a nail biting encounter - they had a massive lead, but short a man following the dismissal of Conor Gleeson at half time, they had to use all their craft to keep their heads above water as the Tribesmen came in search of redemption.


That Waterford emerged from that game intact will give them huge confidence as they face up to a Tipp side whose confidence was floored in the Munster Final against Limerick. After playing a sublime first half of hurling, they too had a huge lead, but were reeled in by the champions, who also should have been down to fourteen men had referee Paud O'Dwyer applied strict adherence to the rules of the game, as Sean Stack did in the Waterford/Galway tie - it would have been a different game had Limerick been down to fourteen men.


The challenges for Sheedy and Cahill are different now. Sheedy needs to lift his men off the floor following that Munster Final defeat; Cahill needs to ground his charges following their stirring victory over Galway.


In terms of Tipperary, a number of decisions will have to be made ahead of this game. As they did in the Allianz National Hurling League tie in Walsh Park only a few weeks ago, Waterford will apply a pressure game, full of running and energy against Tipp. They will attempt to rout the side as they did on that day in Waterford when they ran up a massive score. Tipperary know this now and the question will be: what will Tipp do differently to try and prevent it?


Will Liam Sheedy start the game with youthful, fresh legs capable of competing with the Deise dash for fifty minutes, and then bring on the tried and trusted to see the ship home? Or, will he and his management team stick with the experienced hands and trust them to put Tipperary in a position to get the job done?


It's a real conundrum for Tipperary as they ready themselves for the Waterford challenge - a battle of wits ensues. Inside and outside the tramlines.

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