Tipperary defender Alan Flynn says a trip to Australia is not an incentive as the county look to claim a first Division 1 title in 10 years.
That season also marked the last time the county beat Kilkenny in a competitive game in Nowlan Park, which they must do next Sunday if they are to bridge the gap to that 2008 NHL final victory over Galway.
It’s Galway who the Division 1 champions will be invited to play in Sydney this November but Flynn has dismissed the trip as a factor going into this weekend’s game, having lost to Kilkenny in the 2009, ’13 and ’14 finals.
“I haven’t even thought of it. It would be nice to go to Australia but we need to win a league - it’s been a long time. I think only Seamie Callanan has a league medal. I’d like to start the year with a league medal and I know the rest of us would. You see Galway last year, they drove it on after they won the league so that’s the way we want to go.”
The record against the Cats in their lair is also one Flynn wants to correct. “It would be nice to get down to Nowlan Park and play Kilkenny. We haven’t beaten them (there) in a long time. We didn’t do ourselves justice down there the last time; we kind of let the foot off the pedal” (they lost 2-22 to 2-21 to Kilkenny there in February).
Kildangan man Flynn has impressed at corner-back and he doesn’t intend giving up his starting place any time soon. “If you get the jersey, it’s up to you to hold it down. You’re not a bad hurler if you’re in there with Tipperary — that’s the way we look at it. Every day we go up to Dr Morris (Park), we put in the hard work. It’s good to have competition.”
Meanwhile, Limerick’s Tom Morrissey is enthused by the character his team has shown in their recent games against Galway, Clare and Tipperary. Despite their league campaign finishing with Saturday’s defeat to Tipperary, he knows there is substance to the team.
“We showed it in the last two games, even three games. Against Galway, we went behind as well and we showed unreal resilience and character that we have in this team.
“Even though we gave them (Tipperary) some soft three or four-point leads, we stuck to our guns and always edged it back. Just couldn’t there at the very end.
“You can’t keep doing it, keep edging your way back, but it does, as we say, shows there’s resilience in this group, which is always a good characteristic to have.”
Morrissey also believes the new round-robin structure will assist Limerick. “We have under-performed at senior level the last few years. The more games this year will give us a chance to get going. With the other format if you lost your first game in Munster, going back training was tough. But at least you have a week’s turn around now and you’re back into it again. I think that could suit us a lot this year and we’re just looking forward to it.”
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