Flattering was how Michael Ryan described this 11-point win for Tipperary, which may have been more but for Liam Ryan’s late consolation goal.
The scoreboard may have disguised how close this encounter was for 60 minutes but Ryan was painting a more sombre picture of this victory confirming their first league final since 2014.
“Yeah, I think it flattered us. I think the goals flattered us. Don’t get me wrong, we were delighted to get them and they were well engineered and well-taken but they game was a lot closer around the middle third than that would have suggested.
“If you watch the end of it, those guys kept coming and coming and they got a goal but thankfully we had enough of a cushion at that stage.”
Ryan did take satisfaction from the fact all but one of Tipperary’s scores came from open play. “Absolutely. It’s a big driver. The guys themselves, it’s probably the biggest driver of satisfaction, that they’re putting up a decent score from play and, needless to say, the goals are like manna from heaven for these guys, they really love to engineer these goals.
“But, equally, I would have taken 22-24 points. Once you’re keeping the scoreboard moving and there’s a result out of the process we’re happy.”
On the prospect of facing Galway next Sunday, Ryan said: “We never fail to have but a good game with Galway. It’s super preparation for us – four weeks out from next Sunday to championship. But look, for the time we’re in, there’s a national title to be played for.
“We’re delighted to be in that final, we set it out really early in the year that we wanted to have a real go at this league and try and win it. That story hasn’t changed.”
James Barry was limping following the game after he was replaced by Tomás Hamill but Ryan is hopeful of him playing against Galway, saying “I believe it’s not anything beyond a belt of a hurley”.
Donagh Maher is rated by Ryan as doubtful after a hamstring injury ruled him out of yesterday’s clash.
“I think Sunday might come too soon, we’ll have to wait and see.”
Patrick “Bonner” Maher could be considered as he gets up to speed after his army duties abroad. “He’s working away, he’s in great shape. Obviously, he needs to get some hurling time into him, and the only place he can do that is on our training field, as often as he can. He’s champing at the bit, he’ll stand out, he’ll be tanned, and the girls will love him when they see him!”
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