Liam Sheedy took his seat at yesterday’s post-match press conference and urged “all the doubting Thomases to sit at the back”.
Not surprisingly the Tipperary boss was in jovial mood having just led his county to a first All Ireland title since 2001, ending Kilkenny’s four-year grip on the MacCarthy Cup.
And while the Tipp manager joked with the assembled reporters after his side’s 4-17 to 1-18 win over the Cats, there was genuine satisfaction from having answered critics who had written off his side after crashing out of the Munster championship to Cork at the start of the summer.
“Since we had our poor match in Munster, people were very quick to point out what’s wrong with this team. Today I think it’s about time they sat back and pointed out what’s right,” said Sheedy.
“They have shipped an awful lot of criticism and it is great to be sitting at the top of the pile this evening.
“I think we’ve seen today what this team can do and how they’ve developed.
“There’s been 33 lads working all year and I couldn’t give them enough credit.
“I’m so proud of them, their commitment, their energy, their enthusiasm, their effort, and they needed every ounce of it.”
Tipp sprinted from the blocks at Croke Park yesterday, and were 1-3 to 0-1 ahead after 10 minutes when Lar Corgett fired home the first of his three goals.
They went in at half-time just one ahead however after Richie Power raised a green flag for Kilkenny just before the break.
However two goals in two minutes from Corbett and Noel McGrath had Tipp in the driving seat and for once Kilkenny were playing catch-up.
Brian Cody’s side closed the gap to three points on two occasions but Tipp pulled away again and by the time Corbett struck his third of the day in injury time, the MacCarthy Cup was already Munster-bound.
Kilkenny, who were aiming for a first ever five-in-a-row of All-Ireland titles lost talisman Henry Shefflin to injury early on, but Cody refused to make excuses for his side’s defeat in what was his 10th All Ireland final in his 12-year term.
“The better team always wins the All Ireland final and Tipperary were excellent from start to finish,” said the Kilkenny boss.
“We have no ifs, buts or maybes. It was comprehensive.”