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Tipp captain Ronan Maher spies trouble in ‘tunnel-vision’ approach

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Ronan Maher at Thurles Sarsfields GAA Club as he reminds all clubs to enter the Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camps on-pack competition. GAA clubs all over the country are in with a chance of winning incredible prizes worth €40,000. To nominate a GAA club to win, simply purchase a promotional box of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies or Bran Flakes. Using a unique on-pack code, log on to kelloggsculcamps.gaa.ie/competition and nominate a club of your choice. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Ronan Maher at Thurles Sarsfields GAA Club as he reminds all clubs to enter the Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camps on-pack competition. GAA clubs all over the country are in with a chance of winning incredible prizes worth €40,000. To nominate a GAA club to win, simply purchase a promotional box of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies or Bran Flakes. Using a unique on-pack code, log on to kelloggsculcamps.gaa.ie/competition and nominate a club of your choice. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Ronan Maher at Thurles Sarsfields GAA Club as he reminds all clubs to enter the Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camps on-pack competition. GAA clubs all over the country are in with a chance of winning incredible prizes worth €40,000. To nominate a GAA club to win, simply purchase a promotional box of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies or Bran Flakes. Using a unique on-pack code, log on to kelloggsculcamps.gaa.ie/competition and nominate a club of your choice. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

It was, as Ronan Maher suggests, a recipe for trouble. Two tightly coiled teams heading for the same narrow tunnel after a spiky second half had ended in deadlock.

The question to ask is why both teams were going down to the same stand on the same side. I don’t think that was ever going to end well,” says the Tipperary hurling captain, reflecting on the ugly melee that marred Sunday’s All-Ireland football quarter-final collision of Galway and Armagh.

“There were officials there, plenty of people, but there were players involved who weren’t on the ‘26’ and how they got onto the pitch to get involved as well is another question.

“You’re in the heat of battle, and something could have happened on the field before and it could be just taken down the tunnel.

“The game itself made for huge entertainment, and everybody was tuning into extra-time after that. But there were a few things highlighted after which weren’t good,” he underlines. “We don’t really want to see that side of the game, and it’s sad really that we’re talking about that rather than the good game on before it.”

Maher has never been dragged into one of these ‘tunnel vision’ melees. “I don’t know if it’s a lack of officials, or the football lads are a bit rowdier than the hurling lads, I’m not sure!” he half-quips.

“I suppose those Armagh lads are tough cookies, as it is, and they probably weren’t going to go down too soft. But it’s not what we want to see going on and, like I said, it took over from a great game.”

Maher has more time to watch football these days because Tipp have long departed the championship stage, having finished bottom of the Munster SHC round-robin group.

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There has been “no debrief” to date with manager Colm Bonnar. “We’ve been chatting over and back on the phone,” says his 2022 captain, speaking at an event to promote the Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camps on-pack competition. “He’s just giving players some time to get their heads around the last year. A lot of players made their championship debut and they’ll learn a lot from this year. It’s about thinking about what we want as players and having a good look at ourselves, and ultimately it comes to us as the 15 players going out onto the pitch.

“It’s about regrouping after the club finishes up, trying our best to get back to being competitive in Munster and seeing where it takes us. It’s obviously not where Tipperary are used to being. We’ve got high standards in Tipperary and people ask a lot of questions when things aren’t going right.

“We know that there’s huge pressure and huge responsibility in that Tipp jersey and, after this year, the players and maybe the younger players might realise there is a massive pressure on Tipperary when you are wearing that jersey.”


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