Liam Kearns: We must win at home

Liam Kearns has told his players victory over Antrim will count for nothing if maximum points are not secured when Sligo visit Semple Stadium next Sunday. 

Tipp got off to a winning start with a five-point victory over the Saffrons in Thurles but last year’s All-Ireland semi-finalists took their time before clicking into gear in the second half.

Overall, it was a good weekend for Tipp as Sligo and Armagh drew in Division 3 of the Allianz League, while promotion hopefuls Laois were comprehensively beaten by Louth on Saturday night.

The first round results have left Tipp level at the head of affairs alongside Louth and Longford – and with three further home games to come, Kearns’ charges are fancied to gain promotion if they can win them all, and pick up a victory on their travels.

And manager Kearns noted: “When you think Clare were promoted last year on points difference, you must win your home matches, we have four home matches. This (Antrim) game won’t be any good unless we take Sligo again next Sunday, we have them at home and must win that too.” Tipp will be boosted by the return, injury permitting, of Bill Maher, who was suspended following the red card he picked up in last year’s All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Mayo. But Kearns confirmed that regular first-team players George Hannigan, Colm O’Shaughnessy and Ciaran McDonald will be ruled out again through injury.

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