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Tipperary underline why they are the team to beat

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Date Published: 01-Jun-2011

TIPPERARY may not have retained the All-Ireland senior hurling title since 1965, but the odds against the Premier county finally emulating that feat this year have tightened after their hard earned victory over Cork in the provincial quarter-final at Thurles last Sunday. The reigning champions didn’t perform consistently over the course of a high tempo match, but still had eight points to spare at the finish.

The crisis time came for Tipperary with about 14 minutes remaining after Cork had drawn level in retrieving an eight point deficit. The momentum and the wind were with the Rebels but, significantly, the title holders responded to the challenge in a clinical and unflustered style. Lar Corbett, the Hurler of the Year in 2010, displayed his leadership with a critical point, while half-forwards Noel McGrath and Seamus Callanan burst back into life again.

The outcome, however, still wasn’t settled until Patrick Maher robbed Cork full back Eoin Cadogan before releasing substitute Benny Dunne for his team’s third goal in the 66th minute. Undoubtedly, the margin of victory flattered Tipperary in the end and their backline wasn’t entirely convincing, but nothing happened in Thurles last Sunday to suggest that Declan Ryan’s squad still aren’t the team to beat this summer.

Having been ambushed by Cork 12 months ago, Tipperary had a score to settle with their great provincial rivals and despite stretching into an early lead, it was already clear that the men in red were not daunted in the slightest by the task ahead. Denis Walsh and his mentors fielded a largely young team, backboned by the likes of the long serving John Gardiner, Niall McCarthy and Ben O’Connor, with the latter pair picking off six points from play between them.

In fact, Cork could have raised two green flags in the opening minutes, Firstly, Paudie O’Sullivan was bravely denied by Brendan Cummins before the excellent Pat Horgan whizzed his effort just wide of the opposition ‘keeper’s left hand post. Still, Tipperary had eked out a 0-5 to 0-2 lead by the 15th minute with the revitalised Callanan picking off two of those, including a glorious effort from the sideline on the old stand side of the field.

But Cork hadn’t come to Thurles to genuflect to the champions as they reeled off five of the next six points with McCarthy, O’Connor, Horgan (two) and Cian McCarthy all finding the range. By the 21st minute, the teams had been level for the fifth time only for Tipperary to make the decisive break on the approach to half-time. Two goals in the space of three minutes from that deadly duo of Eoin Kelly and Corbett help to power the home team into a comfortable 2-11 to 0-10 advantage.

They were far from out the gap, however, as Cork would have the advantage of the strong wind on the resumption. Tipperary did hit early second-half points from Callanan and John O’Brien, but the Rebels gradually built up a head of steam as Gardiner, Horgan, O’Connor and Niall McCarthy landed some wonderful points. Pa Cronin was also winning a lot of primary possession around midfield and by the 56th minute, Cork was level, their players were visibly animated and the team’s supporters could sense an upset.

Tipperary should have been well rattled, but they didn’t look it. Instead, in a calm and nearly methodical fashion, they regained their grip on the exchanges in impressively outscoring Cork by 1-7 to 0-2 over the remaining 15 minutes. The introduction of Conor O’Mahony helped to shore up their defence as well with Dunne’s opportunist strike the highlight of Tipp’s strong finish. At the other end, the Cork full forward line played too far out the field as Cummins fielded a number of wasteful long range efforts with not a red jersey in sight.

Overall, however, this was an encouraging effort from Cork. Walsh was justified in going with the youth even if the decision to replace Horgan near the end of the match was baffling. They weren’t overawed at facing Tipperary and while the personnel may have changed, Cork still strung together some excellently crafted team points which were a hallmark of their successful outfit in 2004 and ’05. They will be dangerous opposition in the qualifiers.

Naturally, Declan Ryan will be relieved that his squad have surmounted this difficult opening summer hurdle. It’s not easy to take over a team which are All-Ireland champions, but the new Tipperary management aren’t lacking in either ambition or organisation. Some of their defenders were occasionally caught out by Cork’s traditional craft and support play, but they will surely get better as the campaign drags on. Clare are up next for Tipperary and that should prove a relatively routine challenge for the title holders.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

 

Galway Bay FM News Archives

Retail industry trade body welcomes B&Q announcement

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Date Published: 07-May-2013

Retail Excellence Ireland, the country’s largest retail industry trade body, has welcomed the news that 60 jobs have been saved at the city branch of B&Q.

It’s after the home improvements store successfully exited examinership.

Under the scheme, 2.4 million euro is to be invested by parent company Kingfisher plc, and B and Q will continue to trade at eight stores

This means 640 jobs have been saved nationwide, including 60 at the outlet in Knocknacarra.

However, David Fitzsimons of Retail Excellence Ireland says landlords need to be willing to help out smaller retailers too.

 

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Galway Bay FM News Archives

Foundation reports nine Galway heart deaths each week

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Date Published: 09-May-2013

Nine people die in Galway every week from heart disease and stroke.

That’s according to the Irish Heart Foundation, which is launching its Happy Hearts Appeal today. (9/5)

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, launched the appeal today to help raise funds for the charity, which has seen increasing demand on its patient services.

The Foundation says it needs to raise at least half a million euro to maintain existing information services.

 

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Galway Bay FM News Archives

Call to tackle delays at Oranmore rail crossing

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Date Published: 13-May-2013

Concerns have been raised over traffic delays at the railway crossing in Oranmore.

Councillor Jim Cuddy says he has received many representations from local motorists who have been experiencing extended delays.

He says the closed barrier can sometimes cause a traffic tailback as far as the roundabout near the Maldron hotel.

Cllr Cuddy has brought the matter to the attention of Iarnrod Eireann and has asked for an explanation as to why the crossing is closed for so long.

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