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Tipperary's Colm Bonnar: 'We’re in shock. Our hearts are just sunk here'

The Premier boss was left devastated as they suffered a heavy defeat to Cork.

Colm Bonnar.
Colm Bonnar.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

TIPPERARY MANAGER COLM Bonnar was left reeling after his county suffered their fourth loss in the Munster round-robin today and conceded 3-30 at home to Cork.

The Premier boss saw his team finish bottom of the Munster table and pointless, their provincial campaign drawing to a close in dispiriting fashion.

“We’re in shock. Our hearts are just sunk here. We didn’t see that coming down the tracks. We thought we were building something. With the Limerick performance, we felt we put a big shift in there.

“The first 10 minutes went perfect. We got stuck into them and started well, scored 1-3 and seemed to be taking our chances. Cork came back with a few points but we were threatening with goals and got taken down for a penalty and were in a great place. The next thing, it hit the post, went up the field and it was a huge turnaround.

“I didn’t see what came from the next 20 minutes and that’s what’s so frustrating. Cork played a type of game that if you’re a yard off their little combinations… they’re probably at that two or three years. They have a huge confidence in terms of how they played it. They were full value. You could see why they were in the All-Ireland final. They are a team who have a bit of momentum going. As Tipp people, we’re devastated.”

noel-mcgrath-dejected A dejected Noel McGrath after the game. Source: Evan Treacy/INPHO

Bonnar refused to use the scale of change in the Tipperary squad as an excuse for their poor display.

“It’s very hard for us to understand. We felt we were getting a lot of positives. Yeah, we can talk about the six or seven players who have huge experience but we always felt that maybe six or seven lads got their debut, the likes of Mark Kehoe getting his first full year and one or two others.

“There was a big turnover but I always say that it doesn’t matter whether it’s your third or 13th year. If you’re given a Tipp jersey you should be well enough able to compete. As much as the turnover was, we still have 36 players who wanted to play for Tipperary and none of us wanted that result.”

Tipperary’s season is potentially not over. If Kerry win the Joe McDonagh Cup final, then the Premier will play the Kingdom on Saturday 25 June in a relegation play-off as they attempt to preserve their status in the Liam MacCarthy Cup for 2023.

“Yeah well look, we didn’t really discuss anything like that,” said Bonnar.

“We didn’t even mention that but I know that’s on the radar if Kerry can do something but that’s for another day. The Joe McDonagh will be played in a couple of weeks so we’ll have a better indication. At the moment, we haven’t made any plans. The players will need a rest, they’ve put in so much. They’ve given so much. They’re absolutely devastated inside there. It’s not the result we wanted.

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ronan-maher-receives-a-yellow-card-from-referee-sean-stack Tipperary defender Ronan Maher receives a yellow card. Source: Evan Treacy/INPHO

“When you talk to the likes of Noel McGrath, the likes of Ronan Maher, the likes of Cathal Barrett and look, have they been in dressing rooms like this before? It’s hard to think back, have they? Maybe 2018 didn’t go well for them but they came back with a big play in ‘19.

“You always have to keep believing but Munster has just gone hugely competitive. Brian Lohan, it’d probably be his third or fourth year there and they’re building a head of steam. Limerick are together four or five years, this Cork team is probably three or four years in the making and then you’ve Waterford, they’re devastated, they thought they were on a terrific run after the League final win and they’ve been building for the last three years.

“I said this thing could happen very quickly and I still believe that when a Tipp player puts on a jersey, they should be good enough to compete well but to go down like we did today, we’re shell-shocked.

“But I think it’s important that the general public don’t…they’ve given so much, they’ve trained so hard. We need to back each other up. We can’t take any positives out of today. We can take positives out of a lot of other days, but today, no, we can’t take anything from today and that’s why it’s so hard.”

About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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