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Tipp and Cavan wins "uplifting from a human context, never mind from a GAA context"

Cavan and Tipperary bridged lengthy gaps to claim provincial titles on an absorbing Sunday afternoon of football and former Mayo player David Brady and current Laois manager Mike Quirke joined Joe Molloy on Off The Ball to discuss those underdog victories. 

On a weekend where the GAA remembered 100 years since Bloody Sunday, it was a first Munster crown for Tipp since 1935 following their win over Cork while Cavan lifted the Anglo-Celt Cup after overcoming Donegal.

"It was uplifting from a human context, never mind from a GAA context," Brady said of the Cavan and Tipperary wins. "For what the people (of Cavan and Tipperary) went through over the past 85 or 20-odd years to now, what they went through over the 70 minutes yesterday, it was pulsating. It was brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

"The screams from the Cavan players after the game were to the people at home because they couldn't scream to people in the stands. It would do your heart good but I think it's the times we're in too. All the camps said at the weekend that their own people watching at home were being thought of.

"It was articulated by a lot of the players and it was great to see. It was magic, neither of victories were flash in the pans. It made for a special weekend of GAA.

"The COVID-19 (pandemic) has also allowed players to stay within their own counties. They haven't been heading off to far-flung places seeking work for the summer to earn some money for college.  A condensed Championship like this also suits the weaker counties."

Laois boss and former Kerry player Mike Quirke said he was also "swept up" up the emotion of yesterday's Ulster and Munster Football finals.

"I thought it was a beautiful thing for the entire country to be honest, it gave everyone a bit of a lift to see that real joy."

 

22 November 2020; Tipperary players celebrate after the Munster GAA Football Senior Championship Final match between Cork and Tipperary at Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

 

Terrific Tipperary

Tipperary's Munster Senior Football success is their first since 1935 but Brady says the foundation blocks for that win have laid across the last 15 years.

"Tipperary are ingrained in what the philosophy has been. David Power was Tipperary under-15 manager in 2007, he was minor manager in 2009, he has been with these guys for the journey. He's been on the journey of a lifetime with these fellas, yesterday was the icing on the cake. It wasn't just their dreams, it was their ambition and their drive.

"You'll never win a game like that unless you believe they can it, and they did.

Quirke says the Premier County were "comprehensive winners" against Cork at Pairc Ui Chaoimh.

"They were the better team, it wasn't a smash and grab. I think they're forwards that would make a lot of teams like Conor Sweeney, Colin O'Riordan, Michael Quinlivan - Liam Casey in the middle of the field.

"They've a lot of players who are capable of playing at that level with other teams, they're a really good team and it shouldn't be seen as a huge upset. When you saw that Sean Powter wasn't playing, which was a massive loss for Cork, and that Colin O'Riordan was coming back in, that's a massive swing.

"David Power said it after the game too, they're used to beating Cork at underage level. If it was Kerry it might have been a different thing because they don't have that same belief as they would against Cork.

"They showed it in their performance, they were the better team pillar to post".

 

22 November 2020; Cavan players celebrate following the Ulster GAA Football Senior Championship Final match between Cavan and Donegal at Athletic Grounds in Armagh. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

 

Classy Cavan

Cavan de-railed Donegal's bid for a third successive Ulster Football title in-a-row and Quirke says their hunger and desire was the platform for the Breffni men to lift the Anglo-Celt at the Athletics Grounds.

"There was a period where their tackling around the middle of the field was reminiscent of what Tyrone did to Kerry back in 2003. Cavan brought that hounding of the player in possession for a large portion of the game, which was incredible to watch.

"The quality that they had with the ball then shone through and they were deserving winners.

"I met (Cavan manager) Mickey Graham for the first time this year, we played them in the National League, and he struck me as a really good guy. You could tell that he's genuine and the kind of fella that will get those types of performances from players because of the kind of guy that he is.

"When I saw his interview after the game and Raymond Galligan, it was just very emotional, it was special. They got relegated to Division Three this year, he had to pick up a team after that disappointment, playing six games in six weeks, going into that game as underdogs and to deliver in the way that they did."

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