Rebels prove a prop to Tipperary's famous day in the Munster sun
Munster Senior Football Championship final: Tipperary 0-17 Cork 0-14
COULD a result be laced with more significance than Tipperary's win over Cork in yesterday's Munster senior football final in Páirc Uí Chaoimh?
One hundred years to the weekend after the Bloody Sunday massacre at Croke Park, when Tipperary player Michael Hogan was among the 14 victims, the Tipp footballers won the Munster title clad in white-and-green commemorative kits, with the image of Hogan emblazoned upon them.
That this was Tipperary's first senior provincial football title since 1935 merely boiler-plated the significance. In those intervening 85 years only Clare, in 1992, had managed to wrest the Munster Cup from the grasp of the Cork-Kerry monopoly. That Tipp had to achieve this feat in front of an empty stadium did nothing to dampen the delirium on the part of their players on the final whistle.
Manager David Power had already guided Tipperary to an All-Ireland minor football title as well as two Munster minor titles, but nothing could compare to this.
“I'm ready to cry, to be honest. It's massive. I kept saying to the players, ‘it's been the last 15 years of hard work'. Getting to Munster minor finals and U21 finals, maybe not winning all the time,” Power told RTÉ shortly after the final whistle.
“It's just huge for Tipp football, the knock-on effects will be huge. You're going to see primary school children wanting to play football for Tipp in the next 20 or 30 years. That's what it's about."
It was in 2011 that Power guided the Premier county to an All-Ireland MFC final victory over Dublin and he was always hopeful that they could replicate that success at senior level.
“I always believed,” the Kilsheelan man added.
“I remember saying it to a group of friends in 2010 that this minor team was going to win an All-Ireland. I've always had that belief.”
Only once in the game did Power's side trail, when Luke Connolly put Cork 0-5 to 0-4 in front in the 16th minute. Aside from that, Tipp were on top throughout, with Conor Sweeney and Michael Quinlivan combining for 12 points between them, while the addition of Aussie Rules star Colin O'Riordan for his first game for the county since 2015 was a telling boost.