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Tipp's minor motivation - 'They would have known the legend Jimmy Doyle was'

Premier County minors honoured Jimmy Doyle’s passing with a four-point victory over Clare last night.

Image: INPHO

LAST EVENING WAS one of poignant emotion at Semple Stadium as Tipperary booked their place in the Electric Ireland Munster minor hurling championship final, with a four-point victory over Clare.

On the Field of Legends that Doyle graced so many times during his glittering career, Liam Cahill’s young guns set up a clash with Cork or Limerick on 12 July.

And Cahill admitted that honouring the memory of the late Thurles Sarsfields hero was uppermost in the minds of his charges before they delivered a performance good enough to advance.

Jimmy Doyle carrys the torch Tipperary's minors honoured Jimmy Doyle's memory with victory last night. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

When Doyle was a minor in the late 1950s, he won three All-Ireland minor medals and Tipp’s victory last night has put them within touching distance of a first provincial title since 2012.

A minute’s silence preceded the game as flags flew at half-mast above the Town End scoreboard at Semple Stadium.

Cahill agreed that his players were conscious of the significance of last night’s fixture, coming on the day that GAA fans from far and wide bade a fond farewell to Doyle.

“It definitely had a bearing. All them guys were very conscious of it – they would have known the legend that Jimmy Doyle was. You can be sure that it had a bit of a bearing on guys.

Tipp led by ten points early in the second half but allowed Clare to get within three before Mikey Connors shot over the insurance score in stoppage time.

A number of Tipp’s senior stars hailed the efforts of the minors, as they ensured that the Premier County will have two provincial finals to look forward to on the same day at Semple Stadium next month.

 

 

 

Cahill is demanding a more consistent performance from his players as he attempts to get to grips with Tipp’s second half fadeout.

“Our energy levels seemed to drop again, I don’t know what it is,” the former Allstar forward reflected.

“We seem to look a really decent team at times and then in a ten-minute spell we seem to fall away.

“It’s a concern. When it’s all unfolding in front of you there it’s hard to know what to do but we’ll go back and see what needs to be looked at for the next day.”

Liam Cahill celebrates scoring a goal Liam Cahill celebrates his goal against Clare in the 1997 All-Ireland final. Source: INPHO

And Cahill wasn’t using the fact that ten of his players had Leaving Certificate commitments to contend with as an excuse for a patchy second half.

Let’s be honest, it’s the same for every other team. Our run-in mightn’t have been ideal but it was the same for Clare. We won’t use that as an excuse but with exams out of the way I’d imagine guys will be able to focus that little bit better.

“We showed flashes of what we’re capable of. It’s about trying to get that little bit of consistency into us.

Liam Cahill celebrates Liam Cahill celebrates county senior hurling championship glory for Thurles Sarsfields in 2009. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

“It’s frustrating stuff at times. I know they’re hurling well within themselves but we’re in the championship now into the All-Ireland quarter-finals at the worst so we have plenty of time to work on it.”

Captain and dual star Stephen Quirke will undergo a scan at Santry’s Sports Surgery Clinic tomorrow to determine the extent of a knee injury that saw him stretchered off after just 18 minutes.

Originally published at 09.11

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