Performance is key…

Kilkenny are in situ and waiting, waiting for Tipp! The vast majority of hurling followers will predict a Tipperary victory next Sunday against Limerick, but how confident can one be, its still a two horse race? Tipp haven’t won in Croker since 2001, Limerick won there in 2007. But people will rightly look at this years form and basing things on that then Tipp are rightly favourites.

Limerick are perfectly positioned, they have absolutely nothing to loose, everybody is wondering will Tipp give the cats a game on the first Sunday of September. Limerick will not fear Tipp, they will throw everything at the favourites. Limerick will be physical, thats to be expected and with justin McCarthy’s influence their hurling will be on the upward curve. You can already see Justin’s influence, or at least his intentions; he has picked two big men at 11 and 14, similar to what he done with Waterford with Seamus Prendergast. But he needs more time with these players to make them really effective.  Its a work in progress for him, but this run in the championship will be very beneficial for the development of this Limerick team.

What of Tipp, what about their up and down form during games, will they hurl for the full seventy minutes? Every cloud has a silver lining and their inconsistancy in games could be just that; people are questioning them, which from Liam Sheedy’s perspective is no harm, he now as a motivational tool which he can use with the players. Tipp also have to get the win they need in Croker, thats vital if they are to eventually go on to win an All Ireland. Their defeat to Waterford last year should also be a major driving force. But for Tipp, they need a big performance in every sense, not that Limerick are so strong, but for their own confidence and development. They need to bring the intensity of the League Final, the pace of their good spells against Clare and Waterford, they need to package all that and present it next Sunday. They can be no holding anything back this Sunday, supposedly keeping it in reserve for early September, they need to empty the tanks, to build their own confidence as much as to beat the Shannonsiders. A half hearted, tepid performance, even if they win will, in this authors opinion be a disaster.

So in short its a Tipp win, but its their attitude and performance which will be the interesting thing. That does not mean they must win by 7 points plus, no its means that they play intense, fast hurling, with a very high work rate while relishing the physical exchanges which Limerick will undoubtly throw at them. If they achieve this in Croker, then they will be going in the right direction. Here’s hoping!

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