Darren Gleeson disappointed as Antrim are thrashed by Tipperary
Allianz Hurling League Division One Group B round five
Antrim 2-16 Tipperary 4-28
WHILE Antrim’s objective of securing Division One hurling for 2024 was achieved last weekend, there was still a sense of disappointment as they just didn’t fire against Tipperary yesterday.
Liam Cahill’s Premier side scored an emphatic victory to maintain their 100 per cent record in Group B and with a semi-final against Limerick next week, were probably a little more driven coming into this one.
It certainly showed as their support play, use of possession and movement was at a different level to Antrim who only really got into a flow for a short period after the break.
“We’d have liked a stronger performance today,” said Antrim manager Darren Gleeson.
“In the first half, we just didn’t get up to the tone of it. Tipperary set the tone and we didn’t get to it. They were hungry and I suppose they had lads playing for semi-final places, whereas our boys didn’t realise they were playing for Championship starting places.
“They were given the chance and didn’t take it, but we have 34 days now to go and get ourselves in order for Dublin.”
Seaan Elliott nudged Antrim into an early lead, but Tipperary were quickly into their stride with 1-4 in response – the goal coming through Mark Kehoe on four minutes after the hosts coughed up possession.
Tipperary had nine different scorers in the opening period, while their defence easily mopped up a lot of what was coming their way.
The second goal game on 20 minutes as Sean Ryan put Conor Bowe in to rattle the net and this made it 2-8 to 0-4.
Conal Cunning, Nigel Elliott and Michael Bradley were carrying the fight for Antrim, but Tipperary were much more fluid with Gearóid O’Connor, John McGrath and Sean Ryan all finding their range as well as wing-back Enda Heffernan, while goal number three arrived just before the break through Pauric Campion to help Tipperary into a 3-13 to 0-8 half-time lead.
O’Connor frees extended the gap after the break before Antrim enjoyed a decent spell with two goals in four minutes through Nigel Elliott and Rian McMullan.
However, they were unable to sustain the pressure with the gap down to 10 as Tipp hit back with their fourth major on 49 minutes as Sean Ryan shrugged off a challenge to blast bast Ryan Elliott.
That was that as John McGrath began to put on an exhibition of point-talking, while substitutes Johnny Ryan and John Campion got in on the act.
Antrim had a couple of decent phases with a few of their replacements, Paul Boyle, Seamus McAuley and Scott Walsh on target, but Tipperary could manage the game out as they powered over the line ahead of next week’s semi-final against Limerick.
“I’m very happy,” said Tipperary manager Liam Cahill.
“We’ve a big game next weekend and (there will be) more learnings for us in terms of where we’re at in our development.’’
Antrim R Elliott; P Burke, R McGarry, P Duffin; G Walsh, E Campbell, N O’Connor; M Bradley (0-3), J McNaughton; N Elliott (1-2), K Molloy, D Nugent; C Cunning (0-5, 3 frees, 1 65), R McMullan (1-1), S Elliott (0-1)
Subs S Walsh (0-1) for N O’Connor (HT), P Boyle (0-2) for S Elliott (HT), C McKernan for J McNaughton (52), S McAuley (0-1) for N Elliott (55), R McCloskey for
G Walsh (65)
Tipperary R Shelly; E Connolly, M Breen, B O’Meara; E Heffernan (0-3), R Maher, P Campion (1-0); J Fogarty (0-2), A Tynan (0-2); K O’Kelly, M Kehoe (1-0), G O’Connor (0-9, 7 frees, 1 65); C Bowe (1-0), J McGrath (0-7, 1 free), S Ryan (1-3).
Subs J Campion (0-1) for R Maher (26), J Ryan (0-1) for B O’Meara (HT), P Creedon for K O’Kelly (49), D McCormick for A Tynan (53),C O’Dwyer for G O’Connor (64)
Referee P O’Dwyer (Carlow)