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'Newcomer' Gleeson gets high praise

DONAL Óg Cusack called it the greatest display he'd seen. Ever.

And he's a fairly solid judge of matters pertaining to puckouts. Eamon O'Shea wasn't remotely surprised.

Anyone who had seen Darren Gleeson in action for Portroe shrugged, knew his repertoire was both vast a varied. "I was delighted for him," said Pádraic Maher (pictured, below), one of Tipperary's other top performers in Croke Park on Sunday in their surprisingly easy 
All-Ireland semi-final win over Cork.

"I said it to him that he pulled off a nice few saves. Some might tune out when they are so far ahead but he kept tuned in and pulled off a few vital saves.

"I was delighted for him."

To call Gleeson a newcomer would be to err. He's 33 and made his debut during the 2008 National League.

permanency

But such was the permanency of Brendan Cummins's hold on the Tipperary goalkeeper's jersey, it looked like Gleeson might never get a shot.

"He has been waiting in the wings over the last few years with Brendan Cummins in front of him but he has got his chance this year and he has taken it," agreed Maher.

"Some people have been critical of him over the last few weeks for conceding the goals but he didn't have a hope with any of them so it was great to see him produce that sort of performance today.

"You always have to be on your toes because your man might only be a couple of yards away from you and he might still give it to you.

"That's the confidence he has and it feeds up through the team."

For Maher, this late-bloomer of a season is starting to feel just like 2010.

"You could say we are going along the same route but it definitely tougher this time round to what compared to what we went through before," he explained. "It's all well and good but we have to go on and win it now.

"We know the team we are playing against and they know us as well so we are going to have to bring a performance."


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