GAA: Padraic Maher says Tipperary's performance against Cork had been coming
Last Updated: 19/08/14 4:31pm
Tipperary defender Padraic Maher beats Seamus Harnedy to the ball
Eamon O’Shea stopped himself just short of telling us on Sunday what the score was between his A team and B team in their final in-house game the week before they met Cork – but by the puff of his cheeks and the shake of his head, it was something to see.
“If I was to tell you the score after 10 minutes, you wouldn’t believe me,” he said. “But I’m not going to tell you! But you knew the A team were on their game.”
Padraic Maher was also asked about it and while he wouldn’t give up what the scoreline looked like, he did give the sort of smile that explained where their confidence before Sunday had come from.
ALL-IRELAND SHC FINAL
Kilkenny v Tipperary
Sunday, September 7
Live on Sky Sports
“We try not to let it go too high because that’s where games can fall asunder,” he said. “Yeah, we played a game last Saturday and it was good. But those games, you’re playing against lads that are fighting for your jersey so you have to keep putting in the hard work in training.
“It’s been great, we have a magnificent panel of players. I know a lot of lads say that over the years but I can honestly say it.
“When you see the likes of Michael Cahill coming on you know there is something good happening. So hopefully we will keep the competition going over the next few weeks and set ourselves up for the final.”
To be a Tipperary hurler is very often to spend a bit of time dodging the slings and arrows. They’ve been telling us all year that a performance is in them, with O’Shea especially vehement.
Maher was asked if they felt it coming into the Cork game; his answer was that they felt it long before that.
"You could sense it in training, we knew we were capable of a big performance. We had to keep the pressure on Cork because they can get a run on you."
“Yeah, look, to be honest with you and I’m not messing here – that was coming the whole time. Ever since Clare in the league semi-final, we’ve been training very well.
“Unfortunately things didn’t go our way in the last few minutes against Limerick. But we kept doing what we were doing. Training was great, the matches were great and we just kept doing it.
“Thankfully we started getting the results and reaping the rewards. But we have to up it again somehow over the next few weeks. There’s no point getting this far and putting in all the hard work unless we get the result.
“You could sense it in training, we knew we were capable of a big performance. We had to keep the pressure on Cork because they can get a run on you. With the quality of the forwards they have, they will punish you.
“It was a good thing from us that we kept our foot on the pedal. It was very disappointing to give away the goal near the end but if that’s all we are giving out about it’s not too bad.”
Rob O’Shea’s late goal on Sunday was the only stone in Darren Gleeson’s shoe, even though there was nothing he could have done about it.
It was Gleeson’s best performance in a Tipp jersey, with his puck-outs a particular feature. Maher was picked out several times during the game and he paid tribute to Gleeson afterwards.
“Well, you always have to be on your toes anyway because your man might only be a couple of yards away from you and he might still give it to you! But that’s the confidence he has and it feeds up through the team.
“I said it to him that he pulled off a nice few saves. Some people might tune out when they are so far ahead but he kept tuned in and pulled off a few vital saves.
“I was absolutely delighted for him. He has been waiting in the wings over the last few years with Brendan Cummins in front of him but he has got his chance this year and he has taken it.”