Thursday 23 November 2017

'I said we'd as much chance of winning an All-Ireland as Carlow' - Cummins calls for Tipp repeat of 2010 meeting

21 May 2017; Noel McGrath of Tipperary in action against Mark Coleman of Cork during the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Tipperary and Cork at Semple Stadium in Thurles, Co Tipperary. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile
21 May 2017; Noel McGrath of Tipperary in action against Mark Coleman of Cork during the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Tipperary and Cork at Semple Stadium in Thurles, Co Tipperary. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Conor Neville

Seven years ago, Tipperary shipped a battering against Cork in the First Round of the Munster championship.

At one of those legendary clear-the-air meetings that are so often the prequel to great deeds - Enfield 2008 anyone? - in the Horse & Jockey pub (classic venue for a clear-the-air meeting), Brendan Cummins announced to his teammates that Tipp's chances of winning the 2010 All-Ireland were no greater than Carlow's.  

We humbly suggest that Brendan might have been over-egging it for effect on that one, but he can claim his words had the desired effect as Eoin Kelly ascended the steps of the Hogan Stand to collect the Liam MacCarthy a few months later. 

Cummins suggests that following the alarming losses to Galway and Cork, it's time for another such intervention.

"It's time for that," Cummins said on the Throw-In podcast on Independent.ie.

"I can only speak from my own experience in 2010, we had a meeting in the Horse & Jockey and it was hell for leather.

"The players had it out and it was fairly raw and emotional inside there. Because we were letting each other down. A lot of things were said that needed to be said.

"I know myself I said we had as much chance of winning the All-Ireland as Carlow. I know a lot of my teammates said I shouldn't be talking like that."

However, this time around, Cummins' biggest worry is the scantiness of the resources on the Tipp bench.

"Bonner Maher was named yesterday," he added.

"And I think when you name someone you obviously feel they're well enough to play. I found it unusual that Bonner didn't come in in the final 10 minutes when the game was in the melting pot because it was crying out for a figure like him because Mark Ellis was beginning to take over at centre back.

"When I look at the Tipperary substitutes along the line. We struggled with John O'Keeffe and we had no one to come in. Cathal Barrett looks like his cruciate ligament could be gone though it's certainly not confirmed yet and we're all in hope that it's not. So we're short.

"Michael Cahill, after the League final, everyone said he'd lost a yard of pace. He'll have to find it again if Tipp are going to progress. I don't think we have the strength in depth. We probably have 18 to 20 players.

"And after that we're struggling, It's simple as that. We'll probably see throughout the summer that that'll be the case. And it's a worry now."

As to the mood of Tipp supporters, Cummins relates a mixture of annoyance and bemusement.

"It was gas inside in the old stand in Thurles. We were standing looking down on the field full of Cork supporters. I looked around and there was a lot of Tipp people and they were standing just looking out on the pitch wondering, 'what in the name of God happened there?"

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