An afternoon of championship dry-runs and deliberations

My last game as an inter-county manager with Dublin was our 2014 All-Ireland quarter-final defeat to Tipperary. I drove from Clare, picked up Tommy Dunne in Nenagh and met the squad in the Curragh.

Ross Dunphy, our physical trainer, had a room prepared for us upstairs. We went through our tactics but we didn’t focus very long on gameplans or strategies because, after our collapse to Kilkenny in the Leinster final three weeks earlier, that match was all about fighting the fight.

I thought we fought the good fight that day, even if the final scoreline didn’t reflect as much. That Tipp team was on a roll at the time. They’d blitzed Galway and Offaly in their previous matches, while they hammered Cork in a semi-final before narrowly losing the final to Kilkenny after a replay.

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