Sunday 25 February 2018

Quinlivan cites top Cats as the example to follow as Premier bid to build on 2016

Michael Quinlivan competes for the high ball with Mayo’s Patrick Durcan (L) and Donal Vaughan on Sunday. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Michael Quinlivan competes for the high ball with Mayo’s Patrick Durcan (L) and Donal Vaughan on Sunday. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

The adventure had scarcely finished but Michael Quinlivan was already plotting another ride on the roller-coaster.

How could they get back to this place? How could they ensure the excellence they showed this summer was more than a once-in-a-lifetime run?

Quinlivan cited the example of the Kilkenny hurlers and how their standards rarely dropped no matter how much success they tasted.

"It always intrigues me how the Kilkenny hurlers keep coming back," Quinlivan said. "You don't really understand it really until you play in a game like that yourself; how much it actually means and the experience itself," he continued.

"It does stand to you as a person and a player. There's a lot of hurt in that dressing room after that game. Hopefully we can bottle that and come back.

"We have a Munster semi-final to look forward to in June, we want to get back to a Munster final as well so there's things to build on and hopefully we can do that next year."

"We have been making strides over the last few years and it's another step today. I don't know how many other teams would be applauded off the field in Croke Park after losing by five points by both sets of supporters.

"We must be doing something right and maybe we are giving hope to a new generation of footballers that might come behind us and hopefully that's what we can do."

Mayo did a huge amount of damage in the period before half-time but for large swathes of the game Tipperary more than held their own.

In fact, they outscored Mayo in the second half by 0-7 to 1-3 with Mayo's goal having a large slice of good fortune about it.

"They got a run on us for about 15 minutes, but they are a quality side so it can be hard to stem the tide," Quinlivan said.

"When they got the goal they really did go for the kill then. We probably do have to learn to maybe slow it down in that sort of situation, but we really did enjoy our experience. We really are disappointed so it is what it is.

"We didn't feel we were playing too badly in the first half, they got on a run on us and we were killing ourselves so it was back to basics.

"We never thought it was away from us at any stage, and I think everyone in the stadium could see that we always have that belief.

"When they were six points up with two minutes to go we were still going at it so it was just back to basics.

"Look, I don't really know how to analyse a game like that when you are after losing it but we'll take a few weeks and look back on it maybe in October or November and see what we can improve on for next year."

For the next couple of months, Quinlivan and Co can reflect on an extraordinary year for football in the Premier County.

However, the Clonmel Commercials man will be back in Croke Park in a matter of weeks to cheer on clubmate Seamus Kennedy in the All-Ireland hurling final.

"Yeah, definitely with Seamus (Kennedy) playing I'll be here alright.

"I wouldn't miss that for the world so I'll try and get a bus from Electric Picnic or something like that!"

Irish Independent

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