Saturday 21 September 2019

'They're in seriously rude health' - The Throw-In panel discuss Tipperary's well of hurling talent

Tipperary captain Craig Morgan and his team-mates celebrate with the James Nowlan Cup after the Bord Gáis Energy All-Ireland Hurling U20 Championship final win over Cork last Saturday
Tipperary captain Craig Morgan and his team-mates celebrate with the James Nowlan Cup after the Bord Gáis Energy All-Ireland Hurling U20 Championship final win over Cork last Saturday

Tony Considine

What had already been a huge week for Tipperary hurling following their capture of the Liam MacCarthy Cup eight days ago was given an extra gloss on Saturday as the Premier’s U20s retained the James Nowlan Cup.

A stunning four-goal blitz in the first eight minutes meant there was no way back for Cork as Tipp romped home 5-17 to 1-18.

In fact, there was a touch of deja vu in a number of ways about the victory. Not only was the high-octane hurling on view reminiscent of the senior team’s style, the five-goal haul delivered was identical to the last time they won both trophies in 2010.

Which of course was also the year that current boss Liam Sheedy won the first of his own two-in-a-row before his nine-year hiatus.

While a good chunk of the 2010 U21 team were already in situ with the seniors, and indeed remain so, the difference today is that Sheedy will still be in charge next season.

The Tipp boss now has the opportunity to develop his side with a particularly strong crop of young players ready to step in for some of those that may be at the other end of their careers, a point the Irish Independent's Michael Verney was keen to make on this week’s The Throw-In GAA podcast in association with Bord Gais Energy.

"It's the opposite to 2010 for Sheedy in a way. A lot of the U21s All-Ireland winners back then were already the backbone of the senior team. Whereas these boys are all ready to come in now," Verney said.

"What really struck me was the pace everywhere. If I was to pick out one player, then Jerome Cahill who was also on the senior panel was phenomenal. I think he’d have seen more Championship game time if he hadn’t been playing with the 20s.

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"You could pick out anywhere from seven to eight players that you think will play senior in the next three to four years.

"Three or four of them will probably play league next year and could play Championship. Craig Morgan, Billy Seymour, Paddy Cadell, Jake Morris Conor Bowe as well.

"And there’s Mark Keogh, Ger Browne and other guys from the 21s last year. There’s the nucleus of a new team ready to go.

"Jake Morris wasn’t playing particularly well before he got the goal in the U20 Munster final but since then he started coming on for the seniors and making a massive impact. He just looks a different player.

"So they have an awful lot of players who are going to make a big impact at senior. It’s a great position to be in, they’re in seriously rude health."

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In association with Bord Gáis Energy

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