Eighteen points separated Cork from Limerick on Saturday and the margin was just one less between Kerry and Tipperary yesterday: all in all then not the greatest of weekends for the much-maligned Munster SFC.
Kerry and Cork have long drawn envious glances from counties in Leinster and, in particular, Ulster where double-digit victories are about as rare as hen’s teeth, but it is hard to say whether anyone benefits from the landslides seen this weekend.
Munster may be the most frequent transgressor but Tipp manager Peter Creedon believes there is a wider pattern developing in football and one that requires a cultural shift in how we structure and see the entire All-Ireland.
“Well, sure Mayo did a nice number on Galway last week and sure Dublin might do similar to certain teams. I still think let us play our Munster championship, but there should be a top 16 going into a senior championship and a senior B, whatever.
“Club football is like senior, intermediate, junior so why should we all be playing for the same competition? But my aim is to try and build a team over the next two or three years that can come down here and rattle them.
“But everything has to fall into place. The likes of Michael Quinlivan has to be available to us, Brian Fox, all the young lads that might be dual players have to commit to football. All the ducks must be in a row to make sure you can push on against the top teams.”
That wasn’t the case here.
Tipp ran Kerry to six points on home turf last year, but Creedon shooed away the relevance of such a scoreline and insisted some of his side’s football yesterday was actually superior to that played 12 months earlier.
That is debatable.
“We were basically trying to play with four across the half-back line to attack Kerry as fast as we possibly can but the Kerry tackling was excellent and we found it hard to get the ball up to the inside forwards,” said Creedon.
“Kerry took a few clean catches and got a few scores off them. We are playing against a quality team and there is no point saying otherwise. We are Division 4, they are Division 1. We have to get back to a place where we can beat these guys and that’s going to take two or three years.”
The road ahead looks unforgiving, but then Tipp engineered some momentum through the qualifiers last time round and will be hoping the back door draw is kinder than the one which paired them with Kerry for a fourth straight Munster quarter-final yesterday.
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