Tough lesson for Tipp and Galway could be facing one

This was a mad game of Gaelic football.

It reminded me of an under-age game at times, with players running around chasing the ball in groups without a thought in the world of positions.

At one stage near the end there was no player in the Tipperary half, except their goalkeeper Paul Fitzgerald.

Then the ball was hoofed forward and a gang of players tore up after it before Seán Armstrong kicked an insurance point for Galway.

It was a throw-back to a different era and the watching Kerry pair of Eamonn Fitzmaurice and Diarmuid Murphy must have nudged each other at stages in the last 15 minutes and smiled with bemusement.

Despite the massive score-line (4-17 to 4-12), the standard was poor and the defending from both teams was shocking.

Tipp lost this game when they went to sleep and allowed Galway in for two goals before half-time from mobile midfielders Fiontán Ó Curraoin and Tom Flynn, and then they did not switch on after half-time, and Michael Lundy and Danny Cummins rattled in two more.

At 4-10 to 0-8, everyone in the stadium thought the game was well and truly over, especially the Galway team who switched off and with some calamitous defending allowed Peter Creedon’s men to get in for four green flags and almost snatch something from the game.

If Galway go out and play like that next weekend in the wide open spaces of Croke Park, God knows how much the likes of James O’ Donoghue, Declan O’Sullivan, Donnchadh Walsh and company would rack up.

O’Donoghue notched 2-3 last year against Dublin in the All-Ireland semi-final and the question for Galway fans leaving O’ Connor park on Saturday night was — “who the hell is going to mark him?”

The positive for Alan Mulholland is that he has his team back to the All-Ireland quarter-finals and they can measure themselves against a top tier side.

The team has a very mobile midfield and the likes of Michael Lundy and Danny Cummins have real pace, although both don’t seem to be fully sure where they are going at times.

Cummins in particular can take some very wild shots. Despite that, he is a handful to contain.

Team captain Paul Conroy uses the ball well and Shane Walsh is an outrageous talent. However, he is very unpredictable and lacks real workrate from a defensive perspective.

But you have to love his skill levels, which has made him a youtube sensation after one incredible score on Saturday night.

A quick word on Tipp.

They have had a good season and I thought Colin O’ Riordan was brilliant all through the game.

He scored 1-2 and never gave up. They could have led by a few points at half time, but they kicked some terrible wides and allowed Galway in for two soft goals.

It was a tough lesson, but it must be taken on board to move one. Galway may learn one themselves in seven days too.


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