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When You Consider All That Tipp Have Lost, Their Historic Victory Is Even More Impressive

When You Consider All That Tipp Have Lost, Their Historic Victory Is Even More Impressive
By PJ Browne
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It was a weekend for landmark victories in Irish sport.

On Saturday, the Irish U20s rugby team became the first men's side from this island to defeat their New Zealand counterparts. Hours later, Ireland - despite being reduced to 14 with the sending off of CJ Stander - would record their first ever win against the Springboks on South African soil.

The momentous wins were not reserved for just rugby. Seven point underdogs with the bookmakers, the Tipperary footballers claimed a famous win against Cork in the Munster Championship. Their last victory against the Rebels had been in 1944.

In a thrilling game, Tipp built up a substantial lead before Cork began to decrease the deficit, drawing level late on. Cork's efforts would be in vain as Tipp eventually won by two points.

It was a thoroughly deserved win for Tipperary and their manager Liam Kearns and all the more impressive when the players they have haemorrhaged over the last seven or so months are taken into consideration.


In October, it was announced that Colin O'Riordan - one of the best young players in the country, not just Tipperary - would be leaving GAA for Aussie Rules. The 20-year-old, 2014's Young Footballer of the Year, joined Sydney Swans on a two-year rookie deal.

This was followed two months later as Steven O'Brien decided to drop Gaelic football and instead make hurling his priority. O'Riordan and O'Brien had formed a fierce midfield partnership as Tipperary made it to last year's All-Ireland U21 final which they lost narrowly to Tyrone.


The bad news for Liam Kearns did not stop there.

Last month, Kearns was shorn of three more young players. Liam Casey, Jason Lonergan and Kevin Fahey decided they would be spending the summer in the US.

The trio had all played in that U21 final defeat to Tyrone last year.


After today's game, speaking to RTE, Kearns acknowledged the loss of the five influential players, though he also recognised the magnificent performance of the players who took to the Semple Stadium pitch against Cork.

It's been a very difficult year. We've lost an awful lot of players.

Blows like Colin O'Riordan going to Australia, Stephen O'Brien and others going to hurling and three or four fellas going to America... it says an awful lot for the group of players that went out there today that they absorbed all those blows and still came up with this fantastic victory.

I'm just thrilled for the players. They've been a great group. They've taken all kinds of stick but worked really hard.

Picture credit: SPORTSFILE

Read: Westmeath's Kieran Martin Left With Possible Broken Nose By 'Altercation' After Offaly Match

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