BRIDGESTONE AWARD "Best in Ireland 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Tipperary GAA Scene
by PRO Joe Bracken.
ALL-IRELAND SENIOR HURLING FINAL
One of the greatest days in the modern era for Tipperary GAA was witnessed in Croke Park on Sunday last as both the senior and minor hurling teams led the county to respective All-Ireland success on a scale so unimaginable that it took more than a pinch to realise that it was in fact a magnificent reality.
The Tipperary Senior Hurling Team led by Captain Brendan Maher (Borris Ileigh) and the management of manager Michael Ryan (Upperchurch-Drombane), coach - Declan Fanning (Killenaule), selectors - John Madden (Lorrha-Dorrha) and Conor Stakelum (Borris-Ileigh) are All-Ireland Champions for the 27th time following their 2-29 to 2-20 defeat of Kilkenny in the final in Croke Park last Sunday before an attendance of 82,016.
Cue scenes of mass celebration as six years of hurt and hunger were buried in the Croke Park sod when Brendan Maher hoisted aloft the Liam McCarthy Cup to rapturous cheering and applause as golden tape descended from above to confirm a royal status on the kings of hurling for 2016. Not a Tipp soul departed the arena as each and every one stood to salute and greet the men on hurling's throne who delivered on the greatest stage of all, creating a carnival atmosphere which scorched its way rapidly down to the Premier County as the festivities kicked off in earnest.
This win was no accident it was borne out of selfless belief and desire from a fantastic group of players, all thirty four of them who applied themselves to the task with ruthless determination and attitude. Preparations for the day couldn't have been better and while nervousness was palpable around the county in the week leading into the final there was also a sense that maybe something special might unfold too and that was it. Nobody dared speak to out of turn for fear of jinxing what was hoped for. For that Tipperary Supporters take a bow, when asked for restraint you delivered too as the team was allowed prepare without any interruption to their training, a foundation surely set for the challenges that lie ahead when this year is done.
What a team performance on Sunday, it was magical and at times sublime as the Kilkenny team, worthy champions, yielded to the greater Tipperary force on the day. Tipperary players hunted in packs particularly the complete back unit and put body and limb on the line in pursuit of achieving their end goal. In doing so the forward line were in devastating form and apart from a small bit of errant shooting nailed scores to the board as they pushed on and on. With the half forwards dominating too the profit from the inside trio was stunningly spectacular as their yield for the day delivered 2-21 of Tipp's 2-29, the goals coming courtesy of John O'Dwyer and John McGrath.
That inside line also delivered a Man of the Match performance by Seamus Callanan whose nine points from play out a thirteen point tally was testament to a worthy winner of the accolade. Though Seamie walked away with the award he had at least four more breathing down his neck for it that his hair must have been singed such was Tipp's domination on the day.
Left is Sunday Game presenter Michael Lyster, Seamus Callanan Man of the Match and Aogán Ó Fearghaíl, President of Cumann Lúthchleas Gael.
Congratulations to all the players, management and backroom personnel on the All-Ireland victory, it was certainly a whole team performance and everyone is thanked enormously for the efforts in ensuring Tipperary is back on top of the hurling ladder for 2016 at least.
Finally for now, a special word of praise and enormous thanks to Mick Ryan, Declan Fanning, John Madden and Conor Stakelum for your guiding and preparation of the team this year, all the hard work of you and the players on often long and cold miserable nights has been converted into the greatest prize of all and for that we thank you. Time to rest, reflect and above all else enjoy this moment in time, you certainly deserve it.
Thanks to An Garda Síochána for providing escorts to our senior and minor teams on Sunday as they made the journey to Croke Park, as always it is very much appreciated and of huge valuable assistance in getting teams to the venue on time, míle buíochas.
ALL-IRELAND MINOR HURLING FINAL
Tipperary are the All-Ireland Minor Hurling Champions for 2016 following their 1-21 to 0-17 victory over Limerick in the opening match in Croke Park last Sunday.
That hard earned win against what was expected to be a resolute Limerick side was the perfect recipe to the Tipperary cake upon which the seniors would lay the topping a few hours later.
With emphatic wins in their last two outings, Tipp management knew the potential for a Limerick backlash from their Munster Final defeat was real and so set the task for manager Liam Cahill and his team of Michael Bevans, John Sheedy, TJ Ryan and Sean Corbett to counteract the plot, one they successfully and deservedly managed.
Tense and tough Cahill's side stood tall and took on the Treaty challenge where it mattered most, on the score board. Nip and tuck in the first half Tipp were one ahead at the break and when Jake Morris goaled for Tipp it gave his side the cushion they required and they held out to secure the Irish Press Cup for the first time since 2012.
To wild and ecstatic cheers from his team mates Brian McGrath walked the steps of the Hogan Stand to receive the cup and in doing so started off what would be a wonderful day for Tipperary.
Congratulations to the team, manager Liam Cahill, his fellow selectors and all his backroom staff on your wonderful achievement. Pipped at the post last year, redemption is yours and you deserve every bit of praise and acclaim that comes your way.
Monday night's homecoming celebrations in Semple Stadium were absolutely outstanding. The crowd in excess of thirty thousand was the most wonderful sight for players to witness as they walked out on the stage to the rapturous cheering, applause and jubilation of the magnificent Tipperary Supporters, thank you all, you were fantastic, wow what a night and occasion you created.
The tremendous night would not have happened without the wonderful work of the organising homecoming committee led by its chairman John Devane, event manager Con Hogan and Semple Stadium Manager David Morgan and all Stadium staff. Thanks to those who erected the stage and sound and helped in any way.
A special word of thanks to the wonderful people from Tipp FM who got the show on the road with fantastic entertainment and music to create the brilliant atmosphere for a most wonderful and special night for Tipperary. Thanks to everyone who played a part no matter how big or small it all worked a dream for Team Tipperary.
ALL-IRELAND SENIOR / MINOR PAIRINGS
A long time in the waiting but wasn't it worth waiting for all the same. It always feels that much better and sweeter when it's in your own era. 2016 heralds a new chapter in Tipperary and sees Brendan Maher (Borris-Ileigh) along with Brian McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney) being the latest winning pairing to share success on All-Ireland Final Sunday. They join the most recent 1949 pairing of Pat Stakelum (Holycross-Ballycahill) who captained the seniors and John O'Grady (Moycarkey-Borris) who captained the minors that year.
CRUMLIN HOSPITAL VISIT
Monday was a special day for the Tipperary senior players as they got the chance to visit the sick children in the traditional visit to Our Lady's' Children Hospital in Crumlin. It was a most special occasion and was one that the players were eagerly waiting for once they arrived back at the hotel on Sunday night. It has to be acknowledged and made known that the only question on the players lips on Sunday night was "what time is the bus heading to Crumlin at in the morning" as they were genuinely looking forward to bringing the Liam McCarthy Cup with them on the visit. It was fitting too that the minor team were represented by Cian Flanagan on the visit as well. Right is Darren Gleeson in the driving seat to Crumlin.
TIPPERARY JUBILEE TEAM
Congratulations to the jubilee All-Ireland winning Tipperary team of 1991 that were honoured in Croke Park, last Sunday; it was great to see so many former legends line out either side of legends in the making.
For a full round up of all fixtures and results across the Premier County please view the county website at http://tipperary.gaa.ie
COUNTY BOARD DRAW
The next County Board Draw will be held this Friday, September 9th in the Old Mill Bar, Carrick-On-Suir hosted by Carrick Swan GAA Club.
Local grand prize winner in July Bridget Fitzpatrick will be presented with the keys of her new Renault Megane, sponsored by Cleary Motors, Thurles.
ALL-IRELAND POST MATCH BANQUET
The All-Ireland post-match banquet in honour of the Tipperary Senior and Minor hurling teams was a great success and many thanks to all that attended.
ALL IRELAND HURLING FINALS GOLF CLASSIC
The winners in the Tipperary Supporters Club Golf Classic at Castlewarden Golf Course, Co Kildare last Saturday were as follows; 1st - UStoreit on 98pts - Seamus Lonergan, Dick Lonergan, Peter Smith and Sean Fitzpatrick. 2nd - Declan Maher Financial Services on 96pts - Declan Maher, Declan Corcoran, Seamus Troy and Liam Troy. 3rd - Dundrum Maps on 92pts - Don O'Mahony, Domhnall O'Mahony, Declan Moloney and Benny Crookes. 4th - TSS/Noel Lacey on 91pts - Noel Lacey, Tom Tuohy, Jimmy Nolan and Declan Keaty. 5th - Coolmore on 90pts - Helena Ryan, Liam Ryan, John Ryan and Peter Hayes. 6th - Garrabridge on 89pts - Declan Walsh, Michelle Keating, Julie Connolly and Emma Keating.
ALL IRELAND HURLING FINALS NIGHT AT THE DOGS
The final Tipperary Supporters Club fundraising event took place in Shelbourne Park last Saturday night and rounded off a wonderful day's events for the Supporters Club. In the star prize draw the luck winners were as follows; 1st prize went to Damien Gleeson, Templetuohy. 2nd prize went to Jim Mulcahy, Burncourt. 3rd prize went to Rosegreen GAA Club and finally 4th prize went to Pat Foy c/o Joe Tuohy. Congratulations to all the winners and many thanks indeed to all who contributed to the prize draw.
TIPPERARY SUPPORTERS CLUB
Without the magnificent, dedicated and consistent support of the Tipperary Supporters Club successes achieved like last weekend may not happen as smoothly as they did.
The huge financial contribution generated by the Supporters Club fundraising efforts are an overriding factor in helping our hurling teams prepare properly which enables them to perform at the best of their ability each time they take to the field.
On behalf of our hurling teams we thank the Tipperary Supporters Club led by Chairman John Tierney and Secretary Eamon Buckley and all the team for their wonderful efforts throughout the year again. Please God with the success of the county this year the Supporters Club membership will grow hugely buoyed on by the success of 2016.
ST. JUDES ALL-IRELAND JUNIOR SEVENS
The All-Ireland weekend got off to the perfect start on Saturday last with the success of Shannon Rovers in the Volkswagen St. Jude’s All-Ireland Junior Hurling Sevens title, defeating Naas of Kildare in the final. Shannon Rovers are no strangers to the 7 a side version of hurling and captured this title in 2009 and 2010.
In fact, Tipperary Senior Football stalwart George Hannigan was one of five players from the club to capture their third All-Ireland title in this grade along with his brother Alan Hannigan, Derek Horan, Alan Byrne and Padraic O’Meara. The other members of the successful Shannon Rovers 2016 panel were Eanna McLoughney, Andrew Byrne, Austin Tierney, Tom Hogan, Julian O’Halloran, Cathal Whelan and Jack O’Sullivan. Well done to all concerned.
KILMACUD CROKES ALL-IRELAND SENIOR SEVENS
Over in Kilmacud, the Applegreen Kilmacud Crokes All-Ireland Senior Hurling 7s also took place on Saturday with no fewer than six Tipperary clubs taking part, Ballingarry, Templederry Kenyons, Portroe, Toomevara and Upperchurch-Drombane. In all, 5 Tipperary clubs qualified for the Quarter-Finals. Templederry Kenyons bowed out at this stage to Adare of Limerick on a scoreline of 3-11 to 1-6. Portroe also had to give second best to the host club Kilmacud Crokes in the Quarter-Finals. Toomevara were successful in their Quarter-Final, defeating Galway’s Tynagh Abbey Duniry before losing out to Kilmacud Crokes in the Semi-Final by 2-15 to 3-6. Tipperary’s best performers on the day were Upperchurch-Drombane. Having qualified for the knockout stages, they defeated Borris-Ileigh in the Quarter-Final before proving too strong for Adare in the Semi-Final, winning by 7-11 to 3-6. In an absorbing final, Upperchurch-Drombane and Kilmacud Crokes served up a high scoring thriller with the host club backboned by a number of Dublin Senior stars eventually coming out on top. Kilmacud led by 3-11 to 2-4 at the interval only to see Upperchurch-Drombane rattle in eight second half goals to storm right back in to the contest before losing out narrowly on a scoreline of 7-19 to 10-7. The Upperchurch-Drombane panel on the day included Pat Shortt, Eoin Shortt, Paul Shanahan, Loughlin Ryan, Padraic Greene, James Greene, Colm Stapleton, Colm Ryan, Padraig Stapleton and Jack Butler. Congratulations to all the Tipperary clubs for playing their part in an exciting Saturday of hurling at both Senior and Junior grades.
TIPPERARY GAA SCENE
Information concerning all areas in the GAA will appear in this section in the future. If you wish to include any item of interest in future articles, please e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org on or before 3.00pm on Monday. Visit the Tipperary GAA web site at http://tipperary.gaa.ie to keep up to date with all the latest news in Tipperary GAA circles.