Monday 19 August 2019

'It has been questioned what these boys can bring' - Liam Sheedy hits back at critics after Tipp power into final

Tipperary manager Liam Sheedy during the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi Final match between Wexford and Tipperary at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Tipperary manager Liam Sheedy during the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi Final match between Wexford and Tipperary at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Liam Sheedy hailed the character of his players after Tipperary pipped Wexford in a thrilling All-Ireland semi-final.

Despite conceding two second half goals, the Premier county battled back to claim a narrow 1-28 to 3-20 win, which sets up yet another All-Ireland final against Kilkenny.

Tipperary came into the game with a few question marks after a comprehensive Munster final loss to Limerick and a disappointing display against Laois in the All-Ireland quarter-final.

Wexford were on top for long periods in the semi-final but the free-taking of Jason Forde kept Sheedy's side in touch before they found their form in the second half.

Speaking to RTÉ after the game, Sheedy paid tribute to his charges and hit back at those who questioned his players.

"Huge character from my lads," he said.

"Over the course of the last month, maybe it has been questioned a little bit about what these boys can bring. To see what they brought there today, a few decisions that did not go our way. We had the ball in the back of the net and it didn't count.

"The way we came back from five points down and a man down, the way we used the ball, the way we put our bodies on the line. I've a very small job to do, it's those players. They way they went about their business with their backs to the wall was monumental and I'm so proud for them."

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Sheedy was adamant that the key period of the game was how Tipperary responded to Lee Chin's second half goal, which put Davy Fitzgerald's side five points up with 20 minutes left.

"Without question," Sheedy said.

"Our movement up front, some of our striking, the way we found space when we were a man down. We always said we had really good players but there have been a lot of questions about their character and what they can bring when they don't have the ball. But the way we went at that game with 14 men was very pleasing."

A key aspect of Tipperary's win was the contribution of the bench, with substitutes hitting four points down the home stretch. Sheedy was particularly pleased with how his replacements changed the game.

"We feel we have a really strong panel," Sheedy added.

"We have some really strong players who didn't tog out today. The 11 guys on the bench really represent that group. They made a solemn promise to me that they would represent that group. They gave us loads of energy, got the vital scores and when it is a one-point game you need your bench contributing."

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