Hogan praises goal-hungry Tipperary

Hogan praises goal-hungry Tipperary

Tipperary Under-21 manager Ken Hogan praised his sharpshooting troops after they hammered Galway by 25 points last night to claim the Premier County's first All-Ireland Under-21 Hurling Championship title since 1995.

Tipp ran out comprehensive 5-22 to 0-12 winners at Semple Stadium, with Brian O'Meara, John O'Dwyer, Sean Carey, Patrick Maher and Noel McGrath all finding the Galway net.

Having lost two All-Ireland Under-21 finals as a player, it was third time lucky for Hogan who was delighted his side prevailed in such a memorable week for Tipperary hurling.

"It is great to win really, because we worked so hard during the week," he said.

"I was really unfair to the boys because we demanded so much of them during the week. They sheltered themselves from the (senior) celebrations and they trained on Tuesday night when the Liam MacCarthy Cup was in Eoin Kelly's parish of Mullinahone.

"Again it was with Liam (Sheedy) on Thursday night in Portroe, but the lads stayed away and they trained with us. That's the mark of their commitment.

"Our goal from day one was to win an All-Ireland title this year and thankfully we achieved that.

"We were under severe pressure coming in tonight, because if the party was spoiled tonight it would have been a pity particularly for the eight guys involved (on both senior and Under-21 teams).

"They had worked as hard as anyone else over the year, and it was an important six days for us.

"The lads showed great maturity, the drive came from within the panel itself.

"We have achieved our goal now and I hope Tipperary continue to bring consistency into our play and be near the top for the next few years."

Hogan's thoughts were echoed by man-of-the-match Brian O'Meara who said his team could not afford to be complacent. The pressure had been heaped on his side in the lead-up to this game, after their semi-final hammering of Antrim and last Sunday's senior success.

"We knew coming into this game we couldn't be complacent," he said.

"We were right up there after the (senior) All-Ireland and coming back down here, with Galway right up for doing it. We just gave it everything and thankfully we've done it."

Wing forward O'Meara claimed the first Tipperary goal after just 34 seconds. He said that Tipperary's game-plan was to get going right from the start.

"Tommy (Dunne) said as soon as the ball was thrown in we had to get started. The ball came in and I caught it and thankfully I stuck it in the net. I'm just delighted.

"This is a serious Tipp team and from the start we gave it everything. We never gave Galway a chance to get into it. It was an unreal performance from everyone."

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