Tuesday 17 September 2019

'Now he'll feel he's in bonus territory' - Brendan Cummins says John McGrath's Wexford red card can influence final

Tipperary's John McGrath. Photo: Sportsfile
Tipperary's John McGrath. Photo: Sportsfile

When Tipperary’s John McGrath saw red on the 45-minute mark in this year’s All-Ireland semi-final and then saw a Rory O’Connor point and a Lee Chin goal put the Model county five points clear, most present probably thought that was it for McGrath and for his county.

Yet, as it transpired, the opposite happened with even Wexford boss Davy Fitzgerald admitting he didn’t "think the sending off actually helped us. It allowed a bit more space on our side of the field".

That extra space was vital as the Premier overhauled Wexford’s lead to secure their spot in today’s final against old rivals Killkenny. And former Tipp goalkeeper Brendan Cummins believes that McGrath’s sending off could prove to be a turning point in the player’s season as well as in the semi-final.

"From a Tipp point of view I think John McGrath will hurl with way more freedom," the 2010 All-Ireland winner told The Throw-In Live, Independent.ie's All-Ireland final special broadcast from Croke Park last night, when asked who he thought could swing the game.

"When he was on his backside out there and slashed across the Wexford player, I’d say he thought 'My year is over'."

"And when you sit down and realise it’s only been two yellows and you’'e a chance of redemption, I think at that stage the shackles come off you as a player.

"You’re saying to yourself, 'Right, I was worried for the previous 45 minutes of that game as to would I get on a ball or wouldn't I. I was second-guessing myself'."

"He was looking sluggish to me for the last two or three games but I think he’ll play with a freedom now because it was all taken away. He got to see what the world was like without hurling and he mightn't have got to another final.

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"Now he'll feel he’s in bonus territory so I think John McGrath for me will be the one for Tipp."   

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