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‘The spirit of '95 was pouring out of him’ – Brendan Cummins sounds warning for Tipp after Clare roll back years

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Clare manager Brian Lohan during the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Quarter-Final win over Waterford. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Clare manager Brian Lohan during the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Quarter-Final win over Waterford. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Clare manager Brian Lohan during the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Quarter-Final win over Waterford. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Tipperary great Brendan Cummins has sounded a warning to his fellow countymen after Clare upset the Waterford applecart last weekend to set up a Munster semi-final clash with the Premier next Sunday.

Having had a poor start to the league and become embroiled in an unseemly Covid row with Wexford after two of Clare players were deemed close contacts with a positive case in the Wexford camp, it’s not that long since Clare looked in disarray.

Despite consecutive wins over Laois, Dublin and Kilkenny to finish out the league, the Banner still came into last Sunday as underdogs against a Waterford team fresh from a winter’s run to the All-ireland final and who’d gained a modicum of revenge for that final defeat with a league win over Limerick in their own campaign.

But with almost half of last year’s side missing, Waterford had no answer to an opening onslaught from Brian Lohan’s men and it was only a strong final quarter that put a veneer of respectability on the scoreboard.

And looking on, Cummins saw a throw-back to Lohan’s own glory-days on the field in what unfolded.

“That win makes them dangerous. There's no doubt about that. Clare are a team full of confidence after the weekend,” the two-time All-Ireland winner told The Throw-In, in association with Bord Gais Energy.

“I mean you look at Brian Lohan at the end of the third quarter. He was spitting fire about the wides and the expletives were coming out but you could see the passion and the spirit of '95 was what was pouring out of him.

“That's what Clare supporters would have wanted. That ferocious, vicious attitude towards the game, never say die.

“Yes, they made mistakes but you're going to make that when you're trying as hard as Clare were trying.

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“I was impressed with the hunger and enthusiasm they showed around the pitch. I mean they disrupted what Waterford wanted to do, Waterford got punch-drunk for the first two and a half quarters of the game.

“Fair play to Clare, they fully deserved it and should have won by an awful lot more. And again, Tipperary are on fair notice after last weekend now as to what's coming down the tracks next Sunday.”

For Tipp, their first Championship outing comes off the back of a mix and match league campaign with two wins, two draws and a solitary defeat to a Waterford side they probably expected to face again this weekend.

Instead, it’s a battle with the Banner they’re looking forward to who Cummins believes will have to move up another level to come away with anything from the 2019 Liam MacCarthy winners.

“It’ll be the same thing at the weekend but they will have to be more economical when they're shooting. They can't hit any more than 10 or 11 wides against Tipperary,” he explained..

“The other thing they can't do is let Ronan Maher stand 80 or 90 yards from their goals looking in at Seamie Callanan or John McGrath in the full-forward line like they let the Waterford full-back line and half-back line do.

“Tipperary will deliver the ball way more efficiently, in a more dangerous area. And if Tipp can get the ball inside John Conlon's screen there, I think they'll have enough for that Clare full-back line.

“But that will be the interesting one - can Clare push up now on Tipperary to stop them delivering the ball in.”


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