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Dublin: 2 °C Tuesday 22 January, 2019

'To see them celebrating at the final whistle, that feeling in your stomach was absolutely sickening'

Conor Sweeney hit 2-5 as Tipperary gained revenge on Louth.

Conor Sweeney hit 2-5 for Tipperary against Louth yesterday.
Conor Sweeney hit 2-5 for Tipperary against Louth yesterday.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

TIPPERARY’S CELEBRATIONS IN Croke Park last night stemmed from the contrast in their post-match emotions two weeks ago.

Defeat on their home patch to Louth in Semple Stadium looked to have derailed Tipperary’s league promotion hopes.

They rescued themselves last Sunday in Armagh and then applied the finishing touches to their spring last night in Croke Park to claim silverware.

“If you hadn’t the bit between your teeth today, I don’t know when you’d have,” remarked forward Conor Sweeney afterwards.

“That fair hurt us two weeks ago. To see them celebrating at the final whistle, that feeling in your stomach was absolutely sickening.

“Especially then because nobody would give you a shot going up to Armagh, ‘ah Jaysus, your chance is gone.’ There was an extra bit of incentive there because we knew we under performed in that second half, the first day against Louth.”

Tipperary celebrate after the game Tipperary players celebrate their victory over Louth. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

They made amends in style, claiming a 3-19 to 0-19 victory on their first trip back to Croke Park since last August’s All-Ireland semi-final loss to Mayo.

“I think every footballer wants to be here, that’s what it’s all about and I don’t think teams get here often enough,” says Sweeney.

“When I was a young fella years ago, the Division 3 and 4 were never played here. It’s a good opportunity to get to play here.

“Like Liam said, it kind of suits us, I wouldn’t be getting carried away either but it’s a bigger field, a better surface, conditions suit us down to a tee.

“I know one half of the stadium was empty today but it was still an incredible feeling, such a good cauldron. The more times we can get here, the better.”

Brian Fox lifts the trophy Tipperary captain Brian Fox lifts the trophy. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Sweeney was in clinical form in front of goal as he bagged 2-5 but he feels a greater depth to their panel is more significant.

“(It’s) something we haven’t had over the last few years and we paid a price. You saw there last year, come the business end of the season, we suffered a bit against Mayo.

“We just didn’t have the strength in depth but we certainly have that this year and hopefully we can keep lads fit now. Two or three lads came off the bench last Sunday and that was the difference between getting promoted and not.

“And today, again, you saw the difference. Liam McGrath and Liam Boland kicked two points when they came on – the bench is making an impact, which is something we haven’t had before, so it’s brilliant.”

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