Kieran Bergin is glad Tipperary have proven their own fans wrong. James Crombie/INPHO
Long way for Tipperary

'Even our own supporters said we were useless, we’d win nothing' - Tipp's Kieran Bergin

Despite low expectations, Tipperary are just 70 minutes from a league title.

WHEN EVEN YOUR own fans are doubting your ability to get the job done, any success is worth celebrating.

But, as Kieran Bergin is keen to point out, despite reaching an Allianz National Hurling League Division 1 final, no silverware has been handed out just yet.

“Nobody’s been giving us a chance since we’ve been on the brink of relegation but I suppose we’ve turned that fuel into a bit of motivation and we’ve been able to bounce back but we’ve nothing won yet.

“We have to plough on and get back down to business. We are in a training camp this week, so try and get the work done and get ready for the next phase.

“It’s mad, we were just saying it inside how simple a game it is.

“I know for a fact even our own supporters this year were saying they’re all of this, they’re that, they’re useless, they’ll win nothing.

“To be honest we were kind of happy to be in that position.

“I know we were fortunate the way the Dublin game finished in the relegation replay but it’s turned around and we are proving that we deserve to be there now – it’s all that matters.”

He is, however, proud of the resolve his side showed against Clare in Sunday’s semi-final – especially after conceding early goals in both halves – something they weren’t so good at earlier in the year.

“I personally feel myself, even when we were doing badly at the start of the League, I thought we were hurling well but we were just making simple mistakes that were costing us big time.

“Maybe a few extra goals went in that we could have tightened up. It has shown that the plan we have from the start of the year is starting to take place and we are starting to play the style of hurling that we want to be playing so I think we are happy enough to be where we are.”

Looking forward, the Killenaule clubman is keen to renew rivalries with Kilkenny after the sides shared 10-34 as the Cats came out six point winners in their Division 1A tussle in February but insists his side’s main priority is the Munster Championship.

“Yeah, I’m sure it will be a good game now. Ah, sure they’ll be a good bit stronger than us. Looking at the Galway game they are very sharp so they should get over us handy enough.

“We said at the start of the year the focus was the Championship, Limerick in June.

“We are going to go now and go for it as hard as anyone and try to win it. We are in that situation now.”

On a personal level, Bergin is glad to be back playing hurling after spending seven years in America before returning to Ireland in 2012.

“To be honest I spent a lot of years over in America, sitting in bars and watching it, watching boys that I am playing with now.

“I never thought when I came back I would get the opportunity to get even in for a trial so to be in the starting 15 most days is great.

“It’s a great opportunity. It’s changed my while lifestyle from being in a pub drinking every weekend watching the games to having a healthier outlook on life even.

“I am happy in the position I am in and I can’t complain.”

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