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'He had a nice mark on his head' -- Darren Gleeson revisits Pádraic Maher's bloodbath

Just a scratch in hurling terms.

DARREN GLEESON REVISITED Pádraic Maher’s Braveheart moment in Thurles yesterday.

The Tipperary goalkeeper sat beside Maher on the bus home from Clare on Sunday evening – after the centre back’s bloody antics went viral. The images of Maher with the red stuff gushing from a head wound have now become the stuff of legend.

And Gleeson laughed: “I was sitting beside him on the bus on the way home and he had a nice mark on the head!”

That’s putting it mildly as Maher spilled buckets for the Premier County cause at Cusack Park.

Gleeson said: “He went off the first time with his hand bleeding and he was busting blood then. Paudie got a nice cut, however he got it!”

Gleeson was in hurl-wielding mood himself in Ennis as Tipp adopted a ‘thou shalt not pass’ approach to proceedings.

At one stage in the second half, the 33-year-old Allstar shotstopper was seen swinging one-handed as the Tipp rearguard swatted away another Clare attack.

Gleeson smiled: “I think Conor O’Mahony said, ‘Pull!’ But yeah there was a good appetite for work.

“The Kilkenny lads bring a lot of it, their forwards are working as hard as their backs and that was there last week. We just need to bring it to this week.”

Tipp face Kilkenny at Semple Stadium on Sunday, knowing that a victory will plunge their arch-rivals deeper into the relegation mire.

And Gleeson is demanding more of the same work-rate that was in evidence against Davy Fitzgerald’s Banner County last weekend.

He added: “I think that’s the way our lads like to be judged. That’s a good attitude.

They like to be judged on how many hooks and blocks they’re getting in. That’s good. There’s good turnovers there as well. Young John (McGrath) turned over a few balls.”

Gleeson’s also operating with a new hurley – after his favourite stick met its maker against Dublin at Parnell Park on the opening day of the League campaign.

The Portroe man revealed: “I was pucking around before the Dublin match and Darragh (Egan) took a shot and my good hurley broke in two.

“I was never hitting the ball as well as I was the morning of the Dublin match during the warm up.

Darren Gleeson

“Next thing I have to go back for another hurley, the exact weight, everything done the same on the hurley.

“Just wasn’t the same in the hand. It’s like if you play golf, you get a morning where it all clicks and some days in hurling it’s the same.

“You can see from where the Dublin goal came that day, I hit a ball about three foot over Shane McGrath’s head, straight into Peter Kelly. He puts it into Liam Rushe, an un-defendable ball, goal comes out of it.”

But Gleeson quickly got the problem sorted and normal service resumed against Galway and Clare in Tipp’s last two fixtures.

He confirmed: “I had a good few visits to [hurley maker] Joe Sexton since!”

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Jackie Cahill

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