Ryan seeks further improvements from Tipp

A second Munster SHC title in as many years was the Tipperary hurlers' reward yesterday, but their manager Declan Ryan is still looking for more from his players.

Tipp captured their 40th provincial crown thanks to a seven-point win over Waterford although Ryan was critical of their first half performance.

"I don’t think we played as well as we could have in the first half. The guys battled well and we were delighted to go in level at half-time," he said after his side continued their 100% record in Munster under his stewardship.

"We finished very strongly and that’s always pleasing. We’ve done that in the last couple of games. We can be very happy with our finish anyway."

While much of the focus was on Lar Corbett, Ryan was keen to shift the limelight towards the rest of the players in his attack.

"He (Lar) ghosts around the place there and he got on to some lovely ball. He uses it very well. I suppose he could have taken a couple of his own scores there but that’s him, he’s always been a team player.

"That might be something we work on in training - his shooting. When you’re able to bring on the likes of Eoin Kelly, Shane Bourke, Seamie Callanan and these guys you’re always going to be dangerous up front if you can get enough good ball in around that area."

Ryan was particularly pleased for young substitute Shane Bourke, who netted the second goal for the Premier County swooping onto a breaking ball in the 55th minute.

"I’m delighted for Shane Bourke the way he netted one. I think Eoin (Kelly) steadied us down there when the game was in the balance.

"I’m just delighted at the way our guys finished out the game and we can be very positive going into the All Ireland semi-final. We have a good bit to work on at the same time."

One of Tipp's wily veterans, goalkeeper Brendan Cummins, pulled off a series of important saves especially in the second half as the game slipped away from Déise.

He earned some praise from the Tipp boss as did a hard-working full-back line comprised of Conor O'Brien, captain Paul Curran and point scorer Michael Cahill.

"Brendan (Cummins) was crucial today. At vital times, he made those saves. If Waterford had got the couple of goals that he saved, it might have been a different result," admitted Ryan.

"Our full-back line probably got a bit of criticism the last day. We have a very solid half-back line but our full-back line took a bit of criticism after the last game. They’ve worked very hard on their game in the mean-time and I’m delighted with the way they all played today."


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