'We have struggled to win these type of games' - Tipperary boss Michael Ryan
Published 14/08/2016 | 18:33
Tipperary manager Michael Ryan has hailed the importance of his team's All-Ireland semi-final win in the context of their history of losing tight games in the recent past.
Tipperary were on the wrong side of a one-point defeat to Galway in the corresponding game last year but showed nerve to come from behind with two goals in the last quarter to book a fifth All-Ireland final with Kilkenny in eight years.
"I think it’s an important win, I wouldn’t underestimate it. It’s well documented that we’ve struggled to win those kinds of games," acknowledged Ryan.
"Whether you like being associated with that or not, it’s a fact. To turn one around and win a tight one is nice because the prize is great.
"We have a very strong panel, they compete for everything and other than we had a good strong bench to come in and make a contribution, we’d have been in trouble out there," he conceded.
Tipperary are the first Munster champions since their own 2011 team to win an All-Ireland semi-final and he admitted it remains an issue.
"I could give you the glib answer and say no, we won, but putting more thought into it, I didn’t think we got to the pace of it, that Galway were quicker out of the blocks and caused us all sorts of issues in certain places.
"But that’s what you’d expect, All-Ireland semi-final day, we were a bit slower than we’d like and we have plenty to work on. But work on it we will. It’s a great incentive in three weeks time to come back up here and have a go at Kilkenny, the recognised best team of our generation and many generations."
Ryan admitted the interception by Joseph Cooney who cut out an intended pass from Brendan Maher to Seamus Kennedy is something that could have given them "sleepless nights" if they had lost.
"Mistakes happen and it could have been so costly, you have sleepless nights over those kinds of things, but those are the moments games hinge on."
Galway manager Michael Donoghue, who confirmed that midfielder Adrian Tuohy had a suspected dislocated elbow and Joe Canning had a hamstring injury, said he had come from a "bitterly disappointed" dressing-room.
"Coming into the game, the chat was it was going to be a shoot-out. From a manager's perspective and I'm sure Mick (Ryan) was the same, we didn't want it to turn out that way.
"Inevitably it did and the game ebbed and lowed. The way it was going, obviously just bitterly disappointed we didn't get something out of it."