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Semi-final Countdown

Close encounters: Tipp ready for another tight contest with JBM’s Rebels

Noel McGrath says there’ll be nothing to choose between the sides when Tipperary and Cork clash in the Division 1A semi-finals this afternoon.

NOEL MCGRATH KNOWS exactly what to expect when Tipperary come up against Cork and the Jimmy Barry-Murphy revolution again in Semple Stadium this afternoon.

Three weeks ago, knowing that a draw would be good enough to see both of them through to the Division 1A semi-finals, the old Munster rivals served up an alluring appetiser ahead of today’s winner-take-all main course.

The prize of a league final against either Kilkenny or Clare might fade from the memory once the championship rolls around later this summer, but for now, both counties are single-minded in their focus. It’s all set up for another tight and tense afternoon, McGrath tells

“We’ve already played Cork and it was a draw so we know there’s going to be nothing in it. Any day you come up against Cork is going to be huge challenge and that’s going to be no different.

Over the years between Tipp and Cork, there’s been nothing in it. We’ve seen over the last few years when we’ve played them that there’s nothing in it.

Cork have been going well in the league so far and they’ve got some very good results. They’ve got things back in order down there. They’ve got new players coming in and doing very well, so we’ll have to be ready for them.

Tipp begin the defence of their Munster title on 27 May with a home quarter-final against Limerick.

After an up-and-down league campaign, McGrath feels that this afternoon will set the bar that the rest of their championship preparations are measured by.

At the moment, we’ve been focusing on the league but at the same time, you’re always preparing for championship. We’re going to do our best to win the league like every other team that’s there putting in the big effort. Hopefully we’ll be ready come May.

You always want to be playing matches, big matches, so the league semi-final will be great preparation for us. Hopefully we’ll get the result and move on another step.

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