Former captain Michael Cleary has described Tipperary’s tactics in last Sunday’s All-Ireland SHC semi-final as “farcical.”
Cleary, 46, admitted he was “very annoyed” leaving Croke Park following an 18-point humiliation for Tipp at the hands of arch rivals Kilkenny.
Cleary, who won All-Ireland SHC medals in 1989 and 1991, said: “To be honest, coming out of Croke Park I was very annoyed, if not angry, at the performance, or lack of it. And maybe with some of the tactics that worked or didn’t work. Disappointment, huge disappointment is the overriding feeling.”
Cleary, who scored a goal in the 1991 All-Ireland final victory over Kilkenny, insisted that the Tipperary tactic that saw Lar Corbett asked to mark Tommy Walsh should have been abandoned when it became clear it simply wasn’t working.
The Nenagh Éire Óg clubman said: “They wanted to get him (Corbett) on Tommy Walsh, to get him away from Jackie Tyrrell, who snuffed out Lar’s threat in last year’s All-Ireland final.
“That was obvious but it became blatantly obvious early on that it wasn’t working. Lar wasn’t in the game. The only plus from Tipp’s point of view, and it was being said at half-time, was that even though it was farcical, Walsh wasn’t in the game.
“The important thing when playing Kilkenny is to neutralise Tommy’s influence because he’s an inspiration for his teammates and the crowd.
“To an extent, you’d have to say that it was working up to half-time but Lar’s contribution, apart from tackling David Herity and setting up the goal for Pa Bourke, was nil.
“Then he came out late after half-time and it went pear-shaped for Tipp, so horribly wrong so quickly. It was farcical and whether it was Lar or Declan (Ryan) or whoever, it just didn’t work and should have been abandoned very early in the day.”
Cleary, skipper of Tipp in 1993, admitted Sunday’s defeat will come as a crushing blow to his former teammate and current Tipp boss Declan Ryan, who is expected to step down after two seasons in charge.
Cleary said: “The time involved is something that will rankle with Declan now. He’s got largely nothing but abuse out of it – the Munster championship this year will be largely forgotten.
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