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'Did we see All-Ireland champions? No.' | Shane Dowling on Tipperary

Jake O'Donnell
Jake O'Donnell

21:59 14 Nov 2020

Tipperary are a long way off being good enough to win the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship this year, according to former Limerick hurler Shane Dowling. 

The 2018 All-Ireland winner was in attendance at the LIT Gaelic Grounds on Saturday as Tipperary beat Cork 2-18 to 1-17, despite sending 18 shots wide.

The reigning champions were not at their best but prevailed in difficult conditions to keep their hopes of retaining the Liam McCarthy Cup alive.

Speaking to OTB Sports' Valerie Wheeler after the game, however, Dowling explained his view that The Premier County are anything but favourites to retain their title.

"I don't know how Tipperary won the game, to be honest. They had 18 wides; John McGrath, Noel McGrath and Bonner Maher were all taken off.

"Their half-forward line scored 0-2 from play, coming from Dan McCormack. Their full-forward line scored 2-03 from play.

"Did we see the All-Ireland champions here today? I don't think so," the Na Piarsaigh clubman added.

One Tipperary player who did impress, however, Dowling said, was midfielder Michael Breen.

"He got five points from play, he was immense. I think he's just a ball of energy and every time he got the ball he took the man on."

Admitting that the number of mistakes can be partially put down to the conditions of winter hurling, Dowling was resolute that he doesn't see Tipperary's season ending in glory at Croke Park.

"I know they won the game and sometimes when you win the game a lot can be glossed over but as I said three big players being taken off.

"I suppose the strength in depth or the quality that other teams have. I wouldn't say they aren't a threat but from what I saw today, I have to take myself away from the summer hurling and the good quality hurling because that's what we expect from Tipperary.

"Do I think they are a threat going forward? Yeah, I think they'll be in the business end of the Championship but do I think they'll win it? No."

"But I do think we are going to have to stop judging [based] on last year because last year was totally different conditions. This year is going to have to be about grinding it out.

"And in fairness to Tipperary, the quality wasn't as good at all but they did work very hard and they deserve credit for that."

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Read more about

All-irelands Hurling Championship Hurling Championship Liam McCarthy Cup Liam Sheedy Shane Dowling Tipperary GAA

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