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'Clearly Wexford are a super-clean team and we've a lot of work to do on our discipline'

Michael Ryan wasn’t happy with the award of just three frees to Tipperary yesterday, but also has sympathy for his opposite number Davy Fitzgerald.

Tipperary manager Michael Ryan (right) with Wexford boss Davy Fitzgerald after yesterday's Allianz Hurling League semi-final.
Tipperary manager Michael Ryan (right) with Wexford boss Davy Fitzgerald after yesterday's Allianz Hurling League semi-final.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

ONE OF THE stand-out statistics to emerge from yesterday’s Allianz Hurling League semi-final was the awarding of just three frees to Tipperary in the entire game.

Tipp’s winning tally of 5-18 was made up of all but one point, a Seamus Callanan ’65, from play.

Manager Michael Ryan smiled when the numbers were put to him by reporters afterwards, asking the assembled press corps: “Yeah, what did you think about that?”

When asked for his own views, Ryan delivered a tongue-in-cheek response.

Yeah, and I think none inside the 65. So clearly Wexford are a super-clean team and we’ve a lot of work to do on our discipline!

“But look, that’s the game, that’s the game.”

Ryan admitted that, for spells, Wexford made life “highly uncomfortable” for Tipperary.

But it was a devastating late scoring burst that helped to see off the Slaneysiders, as Tipp registered 2-4 without reply to turn a two-point lead into a 12-point advantage within minutes.

“(We) came to try and get through and get ourselves into a League final so mission accomplished on that regard but it was a great game,” said Ryan.

“Jesus, it was highly uncomfortable there for a very, very long time.

“Only in the second half did we get the couple of scores to give us some daylight, that we could actually relax a little.

“Wexford were full value for it now, we knew what they’d bring and they did bring it. I thought they were very well organised.

Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“The couple of goals that we got in the first half stood to us. We were trailing them on points so that would suggest that they were doing the bulk of the work, the bulk of the scoring.”

And Ryan said that an 11-point winning margin for Tipp “flattered” his charges.

Yeah, I think it flattered us. I think the goals flattered us. Don’t get me wrong, we were delighted to get them and they were well engineered and well taken but they game was a lot closer around the middle third than that would have suggested.

“If you watch the end of it, those guys kept coming and coming and they got a goal but thankfully we had enough of a cushion at that stage.”

And Ryan had sympathy for his opposite number Davy Fitzgerald, who raced onto the pitch after Tipp’s second goal to protest. 

“To be fair, from what I saw, I can understand the frustration,” Ryan said.

There was certainly a high hand or a high looking tackle and we turned over the ball, whether there was a foul in the middle of it, I’d need to see it again and I fully understand that.

“I’d have had our frustrations at the other end but that’s the game, it ebbs and flows like that. But it was a big deposit for us, getting goal number two out of it.”

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