The road to Croker – Mayo News football podcast 2020 E37

It’s not just because of the Covid-19 pandemic that this is turning out to be a football Championship like no other. Seismic shocks in both Munster and Ulster at the weekend have seen both Tipperary and Cavan advance to the final four, their provincial successes marking 2020 as a year to remember for both counties, no matter how they fare from here. The Dublin juggernaut, meanwhile, continues to roll on remorselessly, while Mayo – for the ninth time in ten seasons – are back in the semi-finals too.

To mark this unique Championship and the luxury we’ve been afforded of a decent gap before Mayo next take the field, we’re delighted to unveil a new, short Mayo News football podcast series, which we’re calling The Road to Croker. Between now and the county’s meeting with Tipperary just under two weeks from now we’ll be releasing new podcast episodes at regular intervals as the build-up to the All-Ireland semi-final gathers pace.

In this first episode of The Road to Croker series, host Rob Murphy catches up with Mayo News columnist Billy Joe Padden to discuss the weekend’s shock results and to survey the football landscape ahead of the All-Ireland semi-finals. Billy Joe gives us his take on the challenge that the newly-crowned Munster champions will pose for Mayo on Sunday week and he also considers Dublin and the invincible tag they now carry.

This latest episode of the Mayo News football podcast is now online and is available to listen to on iTunes, SoundCloud, Spotify and Podomatic. You can also listen to it directly on the Mayo News website as well as here on the blog using the SoundCloud player below or the one on the panel on the right.

The Mayo News football podcast has its own Twitter presence, @MayoPodcast, so if you’re a Twitter user you should follow us there to make sure you get the latest podcast-related updates, including new episodes.

The Mayo News football podcast is proudly sponsored by GRG, Game Ready Gear – sportswear designed by players for players. Check out their website at GRG-Sports.com.

44 thoughts on “The road to Croker – Mayo News football podcast 2020 E37

  1. Billy Joe makes some good points but I completely disagree with his notion that lower tiered teams in a tiered competition lose interest. They haven’t lost interest in 100+ years of getting hammered nearly every year and having no realistic chance of actually winning the competition they have entered, so they are hardly going to lose interest when they are playing teams of their own ability with a realistic chance of winning and improving themselves. Hurling has a tiered championship competition and the sport is growing in counties like Mayo, Donegal, Kerry, Kildare. That argument is bogus.

  2. Is it growing though, GBXI? Mayo is down to four hurling clubs and places like Belmullet and Ballina which won county titles in the past are now defunct. Our own Cathal Freeman talked very honestly earlier year about the lack of progress that hurling is making in our county and abroad.

    https://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/gaa/arid-30973478.html

    Maybe there needs to be more of an outlet for the weaker footballing counties to play teams at their own level, but a lot of them have come out and rejected being excluded from the All-Ireland football championship as it stands, and we should listen to them rather than make plans on their behalf.

  3. That’s a great read, It Means Nothing to Me, and Cathal seems like a great guy. I maintain he would have played a lot more for the Mayo seniors (footballers) if it wasn’t for that leg break in Charlestown, he was never the same player after. Just keeping hurling alive in Mayo is a struggle because as Cathal says himself, it’s a football mad county (like don’t for a second tell me that if Boland and Higgins were playing for the hurlers yesterday they wouldn’t have won that tournament). But when one of your 4 clubs has won the intermediate provincial title twice in 4 years, then you are producing some very good talent. Sounds a bit facetious but they just have to stick at it and you will produce talented groups from time to time.

    Anyway, the growth comment is probably not the right phrase but the point still stands that games against teams of your own standard is only way to go – which I think Freeman agrees with in the article. The carrot he is searching for is promotion, in my opinion. So that they can then challenge themselves against bigger and bigger hurling counties. The main thing stopping a tiered competition is the provincial councils who are too scared of what they see is a potential loss of revenue if they are removed. More likely they’d make more money if done properly but it needs strong leadership.

  4. Just watching the news there this evening and saw that Tipp were not allowed bring the Munster cup home with them. Central council take all inter county cups back after the presentation to avoid mass gatherings and pictures with trophies…so IF we manage to finally end the famine this year…Sam won’t be coming home to Mayo.

  5. Cathal is a good friend of mine and I have to agree the leg break definitely set him back, I remember in school how good he was at every sport. He was the best soccer player I have ever seen as a child

  6. @Yew_tree, I wonder is the another ploy by the Gaa, ie no Cup can’t be brought home, think about it, Sam maguire is already home in Dublin, ah sure make sure the Dubs win again, it wont have to leave the County.
    Pure rubbish, it’s nearly giving Mayo a reason to not win it.

  7. Lol , re sam Maguire cup , what age are ye ?

    B championship is the only way forward totally disagree with bj there .

  8. Definitely lessons to be learned in cavans use of Thomas galligan.
    Cavans use of galligan exactly what I want to see out of aos

    We have AOS in there and he has been totally peripheral in every game so far, cavan took risks and every now and again would pump it long into the ballwinners galligan and Madden, there was nearly always joy out of it for them.

    Cillian and AOS are decent ballwinners so might as well stick a few in on them, we are brilliant at running game as always but would b good if we could mix it up a bit and go direct

  9. Peter Cavavan has called for Cavan V Dublin All Ireland semifinal to be played at a neutral venue, eg Armagh..It would be very interesting if it were to happen, with no crowd, no excuses for the GAA…Both match’s played outside of Croke Park were ding ding battles, with the result in the balance until the final whistle was blown by the Ref… Great stuff, very enjoyable for the neutral…In comparison to the embarrassment of yet another humiliation dished out by the pampered Dubs to yet another Leinster team on Saturday evening last…Ex Westmeath player wrote an excellent piece on the advantage bestowed on the Mighty Dubs by a GAA that should be for All… Com’on the GAA level the playing field just a little and give Cavan a real neutral venue.

  10. Just want to layout a bit more clearly why tiered championships in Gaelic football is such a bad idea.
    Firstly let’s look at hurling. There are over 30 intercounty hurling teams and several tiers. However, just 9 can be called recognised hurling counties. It’s been that way for a long time and won’t change anytime soon.
    Galway
    Limerick
    Tipperary
    Clare
    Waterford
    Cork
    Kilkenny
    Wexford
    Dublin
    Laois are probably the closest to this bunch. The 10th best team but still a hurling minnow in relative terms.
    Offaly used to punch above their weight in the 80s and 90s but are really now a minnow too. Antrim have a lot of hurlers but seem to have poor structures.
    After that, hurling is an extreme minority sport. It is something similar to cricket in terms of popularity and playing numbers.
    Every now and again a side like Carlow will pop up with a bunch of decent players and maybe give one of the established counties a game for 50 min. But Carlow have just 4 clubs and they will inevitably retract back (as they have already done since 2018) to the lower tiers.
    The game of hurling is virtually dead beyond the counties I’ve mentioned. Someone said mayo are improving?! News to me. There are less hurling clubs than ever before in mayo GAA. Belmullet are now defunct. Apart from enthusiasts around Tooreen the game is totally stagnant in mayo.
    The difference between the 7th best hurling team (Cork?) and the say, 12th (Kerry/Carlow?), is LIGHT YEARS. If they played 100 championship games in a row Cork would win every single time. So tiers make sense in hurling for that reason. The relative gap between the counties from 1 to 32 is enormous, and will never be bridged.
    Now onto football. Firstly, UNLIKE HURLING, Gaelic football is the national sport of this country. It is played in every single corner of Ireland. You can even play football in Kilkenny! (Let’s leave out Kilkenny as an outlier here though).
    I think fermanagh is the smallest county by clubs. 19 clubs or something like that. Even Leitrim would have 19 or 20 clubs. That’s a long way more than the 4 clubs the mayo hurlers are selecting from, or even Carlow (the 12th best hurling team in Ireland).
    Every football county in Ireland has produced a couple of recognised stars in Gaelic football over the years. Even if most didn’t win much.
    Let’s theoretically rank the 33 football counties. Mayo might be anywhere from 2nd to 5th depending on who you ask. Now think about the likes of Longford, Derry, Armagh, Roscommon, Down, Fermanagh, Clare etc. None of these teams are top 12 (maybe Ross?). Yet they have all given mayo their fill of it in league and championship in the last 12 years and often beaten us. Jesus Christ – we even drew with London in 2011 (the 32nd best team).
    The point I’m making is the relative difference between the 5th best team in football and the 25th is not wide enough to justify tiered competition. Both Cavan and Tipp could reasonable be considered in the 20-30 rank of teams a month ago. In fact the real problem is at the top of the order. Dublin are now gone so far ahead of everyone it’s becoming a joke. There is much bigger difference between 1st v 8th in football (Dublin v Meath) than say, 8th v 28th (Meath v Longford or a similar side of that standard).
    Longford (Just using them as an example) could beat Meath next year if they played them.
    Because Gaelic football is so widely played in Ireland and an established, traditional sport, a team can resurface and rebuild very quickly. Limerick for example would have thousands of Gaelic Football players to Pick their county team from but are probably in the bottom 5 sides in ireland right now. A couple of years of good management and focus could have them back in Div 1 like they were in the 2000s, beating Cork etc regularly.
    Mayo would be a top 20 hurling team in the country but probably have about 70 hurlers in the entire county to pick a team from. They will never bear a clare or a cork in hurling because the gap is so wide and always has been.
    The solution for football lies not in making tiers which will only allow players to not improve because they won’t be exposed to the higher levels. Instead – invest in counties outside Dublin properly and rebuild these teams to be competitive. Monaghan and Roscommon have shown that is possible with pretty small picks of players in recent years. If tiers are brought into Gaelic football the national game will start to die within 10 years in many middle to lower ranked counties.

  11. @Larry Duff.

    Well explained and laid out. I also think that breaking the football championship up would hurt counties greatly if it was tiered out.

    Could you really tell the likes of for example Offaly that they were playing in a different championship than Mayo. Offaly having won Sam in the 80’s while you have to go back over 30 years further for our last triumph.

    If Tipp had been playing in a lower tiered competition would they have been able to keep interest in football and achieve what they did on Sunday. I don’t think so.

    After suffering a 22 point mauling on Saturday should Meath be automatically moved to a lower tier because they were so far out of their depth. No. Meath will improve over time but maybe not if they were thrown in to a different competition.

    There is one football championship and even the weaker teams that routinely end up losing, those players are as proud as any Dublin or Mayo player to pull on their jersey and play for their county.

    What makes them so proud is that they are playing for Sam in THE championship not a championship.

    We already have our league where similar quality teams play each other and that’s fair enough. Everyone deserves their shot at Sam.

    Can you imagine if in England they decided to only allow Premiership and Championship teams play for the FA Cup. There would be hell to pay. The minnows know they don’t have a chance to win the FA cup but for them it’s not about winning it. It’s about playing in it. Occasionally a tiny club will cause an upset and that’s where they say the magic of the competition comes from.

    If the football championship is ever tiered it will totally devalue everything it is supposed to stand for.

  12. The Hype machine is going full swing with Tipp.
    O riordain gets permission from the Australia employer to play.

    Mayo, keep the head down
    We will do the business.

  13. Let them hype tipp to the last and push both that and Dublin cant be beat too . For once in our lifetimes stfu and no mayo 4 sam shite .

  14. Noticed the Tipp hype machine cranking up alright. Their manager at the wheel of said machine. Great for us is right. Heads down an say nothing.

    Completely disagree with a second tier championship. Every footballer in the Island should have the chance of winning Sam, end of. Just because the GAA financially doped one County to the tune of 16 million more than anyone else, doesn’t mean that weak Counties should have to pay for this monumental mistake. 3 provinces are reasonably competitive, 1 is absolutely dead in the water! Why is that I wonder??? Hmmm………

  15. Carraig Dubh & Sean Burke in fairness to Tipp they have just won their 1st Munster title in 85 years so why wouldn’t they enjoy it. MayoDunphy the Manager David Power has won a All Ireland minor and now senior Munster he deserves to hype himself and the team up. It’s an amazing achievement for county like Tipp where football is the poor relation.
    I hope Cavan and Tipp fans enjoy the next few weeks.

  16. I wonder whats the story with Josh Keane, Tipps number 10. Dont think he played in the munster final. He’s another that would really add to their attacking threat and could provide nice ball in to Quinlivan and Sweeney.

  17. Mixed views from Dubs up here as they see a potential battle with Mayo, some are delighted but most are that bit worried. They dont like Mayo, I guess they fear them.
    Can Mayo get to them if they reach the final, I hope JH is listening in, please don’t set up like we did in 2016 and 2017, don’t put your best attacking player as a man marker.
    Going forward it needs to be all out attack, sure Tipp and Dubs well get some good scores this will happen but fortune favours the attacking brave.
    Anybody got any ideas of getting in to see the next 2 big games ?

  18. What 2 big games Mayo88? As far as im aware, this is knockout football, and we have a massive game in 12 days time. Only 1 game that matters and that Tipperary.

  19. A lot of people Down here in donegal are going on about tipperary this tipperary that you would think tipperary are better than Dublin I just hope mayo are keeping there heads down and bring there a game because tipperary will be up for it donegal over looked cavan look what happened there I think if mayo play the way they can we will win by 3 or 4

  20. Just remember that the long high kick into the full forward on the edge of the square helped Cork beat Kerry and again the same won the Ulster Title for Cavan last Sunday Time to pump a few on top of Aiden on the edge of the square.

  21. We have only one game coming up – if we lose – like Kerry, Cork and Donegal did – then we are finished for the year.
    Guaranteed Tipp will kick in plenty of high ball to Seeeney on the edge of our square to test our full back line. We need to be ready for it.
    Agree we should try the same with Aidan and Cillian inside – test them out and put their full back line under pressure.

  22. Larry Duff, the relative differences between hurling and football as you pointed out is not just popularity but also the skill level involved. And it’s hard to compare them because as you rightly point out, outside the top 10 counties, hurling is only played in small pockets around the country (Tooreen/Ballyhaunis a perfect example in Mayo). Yes, Roscommon, Longford, and Derry (the 15+ ranked teams) have beaten Mayo (Top 8 ranked team) in the last 15 years and that would never happen in hurling, but as someone already pointed out, these once every 15 year wins do not justify the current format. Tipp have won one Munster title in the last 85 years, 85!!! As they say, hard cases make bad law.

    Your comment that the game will die in low to middle rank tiers is completely untrue, in my opinion. I mean they get hammered by Kerry, Cork, Dublin, Mayo, Galway, Donegal, Tyrone year in, year out and yet they keep playing. Anyway, I’m taking about county football here – club football is already organised in tiers, as it should be, so the club player isn’t going to drop out regardless, given that they already play tiered competitions for their club.

    My point is literally the exact opposite of yours, playing in tiers will allow weaker teams to improve. Giving them one (or two as is the back-door format) chance at playing the big teams every year, and inevitably getting well beaten does not improve a team. If we had tiers, it would work like the league with relegation and promotion so if, as you say, a lower ranked team can organise themselves then there is nothing stopping them making their way to the top tier and competing. Also, tiered competitions (like in every half decent run sport in the world!) gives you more games where the top teams are playing each other more often, which is what generates interest, which is what generates revenue. No one wants to see Mayo hammer Sligo/Leitrim, or Kerry do the same to Waterford/Clare/Limerick, or Dublin (everyone in Leinster at the minute), or Donegal/Tyrone to Antrim/Fermanagh.

    Tiers have to come, and I think the GAA are moving that direction (very slowly) with the Super 8s an example of this.

  23. never got the ‘taboo’ around a tier 2 championship. Happens in the premier competitions of basically every sport and even within gaelic football itself it works very effectively at club level. Easily my fondest day as a club player/supporter was winning an intermediate county title

    Its only delaying the inevitable anyway, it’ll come in eventually. To be honest i expect it would have happened well before now only for the provincial structure

  24. Having a tiered system dosn’t have to mean that you are out of the running for Sam even before you start. Billie Joe mentioned it himself in that like American Football you could have a wildcard weekend. Lets say the winner of division four gets to play the runner up in division three etc and advance to a tilt at Sam.. There are ways and means of doing this where every county gets to play competitive games, win silverware at the level they are playing at in that particular year and still be able to have a tilt at Sam. However this can only be done on an All-Ireland basis like the league and the provincials would have to go in their current format. The winner of a province would have be on the basis of who progress furthest in the All-Ireland Series. In a scenario where Mayo and Galway got knocked out of the All-Ireland Semi Finals on the same weekend then they would play off at a later date to see who is the Connaught Champion. In a nutshell the league and championship need to be wrapped into one competition condensing the season to free up a dedicated club window like we had this year which was simply the best and has to be preserved.

  25. I think the faffing around with the structures is gone beyond a joke now. The provincial championships do carry a lot of respect in a number of counties – you only have to see how Tipp and Cavan reacted for proof of that. Just because it’s been turned into a turkey shoot in one province doesn’t mean the other 3 need to be scrapped.

    The Super 8’s is the greatest con of all and should be scrapped immediately, in my view. It only serves to strengthen the stronger counties, and the same can be said for the qualifiers.
    As for the qualifiers, I think that’s run its course too. It did throw up some unique match ups which made it interesting but it pretty much destroyed the knockout element of the overall competition.
    Can you imagine if you were from Cavan, having won the Ulster Final knowing that you might likely still face Donegal or Monaghan again having already beaten them?.

    Plus if you look at how things were run last year and lay it out, you see how ridiculous it seems.

    Provincial Championship – Knockout competition, if you lose you go into another knockout competition.
    If you go into the other Knockout competition you get a chance of entering into a league format, 2 leagues of 4 where the winners of the losers knockout competition are pitched against the winners of their Provincial competition that didn’t get knocked out of theirs. The 2 top teams from each of the leagues then go back into a knockout competition.
    its a bit farcical, really.

    If there was to be a second tier, then make it a second tier from the qualifiers, have that run off as a secondary competition and perhaps, if you still have to faff around with the championship structures, have it so that the last 4 in that competition are given a place in the following years quarter finals if they don’t win their province or some such. I realise that is flawed as you then have complexities of who is selected in the event that these teams win their province the following year and who is left over etc, but given how the GAA have managed to structure the Provincial, qualifiers, super 8s and Championship as a single competition i’m sure it can be figured out. Other option is just to have that as your second tier competition.

  26. Do people really think that Dublin will be the slightest bit worried about where they play?

    Do Cavan want to be hockeyed in Armagh rather than Dublin? What happened to the ambition of players to play on the sacred soil of Croker? All the more so given what the Bloody Sunday commemoration has brought back.

    There may well be an argument in Leinster, but Mayo should be doing everything in their power to ensure our games go ahead at Croke Park.

  27. Agree with you there Catcol, particularly in relation to our semi.
    If you ask all of the players from Mayo and Tipp, I’m sure they’d all rather play in Croke Park. Particularly Tipp, a they don’t get to play there every year like some counties.
    It has the best surface, best facilities (Hawkeye) and better protection from the elements than any other ground.
    The other main point is, the winner of the Mayo Tipp semi will have a game in Croker under their belts before (almost certainly) facing Dublin.
    I see the thinking behind taking Dublin out of Croker, but not our semi. Although it’s hard to see them doing it for one and not the other.

  28. On the championship structure, teams need games so any solution which gives teams games would be best. Combining league and championship by sending teams who do well in the league seems best for me. Could still have provincial finals to bump seedings.
    Also, the Jim McGuinness solution sounded good to me at the time.

  29. @Catcol.

    I don’t think Dublin have to worry where they play. That’s been sorted for them I’m thinking at a higher level. If they should have to play outside Croke park that should happen in the Leinster championship like every other team in the country has to do in their respective provinces.

    Gbx11. I go back to our good neighbours and the FA cup, widely regarded as the best domestic cup competition in soccer anywhere in the world. Limit that to top tier teams and it becomes just another league cup competition.

    For weaker counties it is those players proudest days to line up opposite the Paddy Durkans and Cillian O’Connor’s of the football world.

    Mayo hammer Sligo / Leitrim ??

    Leitrim were very respectable when we played them a few weeks ago and won Connacht in the 90’s. Sligo knocked out the big guns in Connacht not too many moons ago only to lose to Roscommon in the Connacht final when they were on fact favourites to win.

    Spain beat Germany 6 – 0 last week. A thrashing. Good luck moving Germany down a tier or two.

    You mention Tipp and 85 years but don’t forget we did play them in an all Ireland semi a few years ago.

    I hope every county gets the chance to line out every year in their bid for Sam.

  30. Cavan asking for neutral venue in semi for dublin, great to see. Hope they stick to their guns on it. Absolute joke that croker has become Dublins home pitch.

    Tipp v mayo could still go ahead in croker imo thought as its a neutral venue (and we are defo a croker team :-p)

  31. @catcol you are doing the cavan players a disservice there. They are not giddy schoolchildren giddylooking for a day out in croker, they are looking to be competetive and get any advantage they can. Most of those players have played in croker in league finals anyway so the novelty is done.
    I think its great to see somebody stand up to dublin, they have enough advantages as it is without adopting croker for all their games, its only worth a few points but its undoubtedly an advantage. How could it not be when you play there all the time.

    Dublin are going to walk it anyway by 15+ points, but why bend over and give them every advantage.

  32. Good podcast and well worth a listen.

    Croke park is an advantage to the Dubs. No doubt.
    I think we should all be supporting and pushing the neutral venue idea. It will set another precedent, in addition to that day in Newbridge and is the fairest thing to do.
    The average football fan will see it as the fairest thing to do and that is good for the game.

  33. A lot of negativity on here, ah sure the Dubs will trash Cavan and then win the final easily, I would’nt like to be going to war with those type of people. I went to the replayed All Ireland final last year and not for one minute did I see Kerry winning, they just did’nt have that fight.
    All logic tells us the Dublin will beat Cavan but I am looking just to see can Cavan put up a good fight, it would be great to witness, they have nothing to lose.
    It seems there are a few Hotels open here in Dublin after all as I witnessed yesterday evening.
    If Mayo get through Tipp, I am convinced they will, I for one would love to see a new approach, its never over till the final whistle sounds, basically I am praying that ALL will be unleashed in the final whether is Tipp or Mayo v the Dubs, no bullshit of sitting back, minding one or two guys closely, every man for himself, and what more can we ask for.

  34. I don’t see any issue with the pitch. Croke Park is hosting semi finals for as long as I can remember and finals. Nobody had an issue with this when the dubs were losing to Laois/Meath etc. This is manna from heaven for Dessie Farrell, takes the attention away from the hammering of meath and let’s them develop a them against us mentality.

  35. Do people seriously think moving the Cavan Dublin semifinal will make a blind bit of difference? If anything, all this talk will probably put more fire in Dublin’s belly.

  36. Thank you Rob, Willie Joe, Billy Joe and team for the podcast. I LOVE your Road to Croker series of podcasts idea. It is just what we football nerds need right now. I feel spoiled.
    I was struck by the strength and adaptability of Brian Fenton again the other night. We have I think at least one fast, athletic, agile midfielder that could match him. But there I’m getting away too far ahead of myself. I was in Thurles for the Mayo v Tipp qualifier game in 2018 and Tipp were on course to win that game but for James Durcan’s chanced goal. Quinlavin and others were running up and down the wing with ease. Mayo were exhausted towards the end. As Billy Joe said in the podcast, maybe our pace around the middle can offset that situation this time but we underestimate Tipp at our peril.

  37. Agreed, forcing Dublin to play outside Croke Park probably will put more fire in their belly for the Cavan game but there needs to be at least a perception of fairness in the competition.

    As it currently stands Dublin get home advantage in every semi final and final. The challenger makes the 2 to 3 hour journey by car or coach.

    Just because it has been happening for years doesn’t make it fair.

  38. Any word on if Colin O’Riordan is available for this game. He was immense with his fielding at the weekend, in fact between him Liam Casey and stephen o brien there are some big tipp men in that middle section

  39. I watched a good bit of the Cork v Tipp match and Tipp were wide open in defence loads of times. Cork just were not clinical. So many times there was a parting of the sea in Tipps defence where you could stick a plane through. If they do that against Mayo i expect Mayo to get 2/3 goals and 14/15 points. Bookies have Mayo as -4 on the handicap, I think that is pretty generous to Tipp. Mayo’s running game will flourish in Croke Park. Conroy will run riot in the open spaces.

  40. Well expressed Larry Duff. Case well made. Do I detect a little arrogance from some Mayo people talking about Dublin in the final when we have not beaten Tipp yet. Hope they are not the same people who reckon Kerry were arrogant when playing Cork or Donegal arrogant when playing Cavan. those two were accused of taking their eye off the ball instead of treating their immediate opponents with the respect they deserve. We should be the last county to be arrogant. Not an A I title since 1951. Give Tipp the respect and credit they deserve. They are entitled to their day in the sun and have every reason to celebrate. Don’t forget that in Tipp the really good young lads have to opt to choose either hurling or football at 15 when representing their county as the whole dual player thing is not allowed anymore. Needless to say the vast majority of their top young lads opt for hurling. Their manager, a really humble man referenced that on Sunday. And then they produce O Riordan, their best footballer since Declan Browne. and he heads off to Australia. Despite all of that and with little support from the Co Board and even less from the Tipp public they have won a minor A I football title in 2011, were robbed by Tyrone in U21 in 2015, whacked Galway and gave Mayo a run for their money in 2016 and now have a Munster Senior title. And all of this in a province that contains Cork and Kerry. They have some really good footballers but their bench is not strong and while we should be capable of beating them, they have the hand of history on their shoulders and I expect a really good game. Maigh Eo Abu.

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