Liam Sheedy has hailed his Tipperary team for correcting their first-half mistakes on-field before blowing away Kilkenny in the All-Ireland SHC final.
However, the now two-time All-Ireland winning manager was honest in his assessment that the sending off of Richie Hogan close to half-time had “a huge bearing on the game.”
Kilkenny led by five points at one stage as they dominated the early proceedings, however, Niall O’Meara’s goal followed by Hogan’s red card swung the momentum in Tipperary’s favour just before the break. After half-time, Tipperary came out a new team and blitzed their opponents en route to a 3-25 to 0-20 victory in Croke Park.
“Obviously to play a man down for such a long period was always going to be a difficult assignment. You know, for long periods of that first half we were gasping for air to be honest with you. We needed a goal when we got it. An individual piece of brilliance by Niall (O’Meara) and a great finish because (Eoin) Murphy is a hard man to pass.
“At half-time we probably felt we didn’t find our flow in that first half, you know, we never really got to the pitch of it and we spoke about what we wanted to achieve in the second half and the level of performance we wanted to find and that’s such an honest group, they self-correct.
“Honestly, I had to say very little, this all comes from inside the white lines this all comes from this wonderful, wonderful group of players. They showed maturity way beyond their years and they went out and probably the goal after half-time settled us and once we got settled we got a bit of a foothold in the game. Like, whatever about playing a man down when you start chasing it at seven or eight down it’s very very difficult to claw back and look it had a huge bearing on the game no question, no question.”
Meanwhile, one of their goalscoring heroes, John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer hailed the impact of Sheedy’s extended backroom following Tipperary’s 28th All-Ireland triumph.
“Just Liam (Sheedy) returning is no good, he’s only as good as his backroom team. He came back with a backroom team that was different class so he got the people that he wanted and without them, Liam is no good, he’ll tell you that himself.
“The whole professionalism and the way they go about their business. Our S&C, our nutritionists, our coaches, there’s everything that you look for, it’s given to you on a plate and there’s no stone unturned and we got our just reward at the end of the day.”