Tommy Walsh has spoken on his edition of Laochra Gael on TG4 about the infamous All-Ireland semi-final of 2012 between Kilkenny and Tipperary, addressing what became a sideshow to the main event that afternoon when Lar Corbett chased him around the Croke Park pitch with no intention of playing the ball.
In a game which Kilkenny prevailed 4-24 to 1-15 winners after a second half masterclass aided by a Tipperary capitulation, the main talking point after the game was what the Tipperary tactics tried to achieve.
Completely detracting from his own threat and usual game, Corbett persisted in following Walsh everywhere he went for the duration of the game. Not affording the Kilkenny wing-back a blade of grass to himself, the tactic was so unorthodox that spectators couldn’t quite grasp what the Tipp management and Corbett were trying to do.
The scene of Jackie Tyrell man-marking the 2010 hurler of the year, who in turn seemed to be man-marking Walsh, who in turn was marking Pa Bourke marred the occasion as there was as much going on off the ball with the four-man circus as there was happening in the actual game. Corbett and the Tipp manager, Declan Ryan came in for heavy criticism in the aftermath of the hammering for deploying such a strange tactic. Why was Lar Corbett, one of the finest finishers in hurling at the time, trying to hinder a defender from playing his game when it should have been the other way around?
The nine-time All-Ireland winner and Tullaroan clubman gives his take on the incident on Laochra Gael, claiming he was just as baffled as to what Tipp were trying to achieve that day as anyone else was. Admitting that The Premier got the call massively wrong, he also states that there was not a lot of agro between the four-man sideshow throughout the game – something that didn’t seem so apparent at first glance – and also acknowledges the Thurles Sarsfields star’s lethal ability, when used efficiently.
The 33-year-old said:
“I was marking Pa Bourke and I was obviously following him and Lar was following myself trying to stop me hurling and it was just a massive mistake, I felt, for Tipperary.
“He couldn’t get on the ball with the tactics that Tipperary was employing so it was frustrating but there were no real verbals. The only verbals that were going on were between me and Jackie. He just kept telling me to look at the scoreboard and forget about it.
“They should have backed Lar Corbett that, whether it was Jackie Tyrrell marking, whether it was JJ (Delaney), whether it was Paul Murphy, he would bring them into the edge of the square, man-on-man, and took him on because Lar could destroy you in a second.”
Tommy Walsh’s edition of Laochra Gael will be on TG4 tonight at 9.30pm.
— Laochra Gael (@Laochra_Gael) April 12, 2017
Via Irish Examiner.
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