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I thought late free had got over, says Tipperary manager Eamon O'Shea

By Declan Bogue

How can you draw a sense of anti-climax out of something so alive, so vital and so precious?

Tipperary manager Eamon O'Shea makes no such effort. He loves talking about being in the moment and there was no greater example of that as when John 'Bubbles' O'Dwyer addressed a free only a few yards off 100 metres in the final play of the game to land the All-Ireland for Tipperary.

"I felt he had a chance," O'Shea rued.

"Bubbles always has a chance. I thought it was over – obviously HawkEye says no. He got a great strike on it. It was unlucky."

On the taking part, he explained, "I feel I was a participant in a brilliant game. Of course you feel drained – you try to win the game right to the end.

"I don't know what it looked like when you're dispassionate but when you're on the line, it was one of those games like 2009 where you felt that it was good to be there."

Most inter county managers would never admit to enjoying their hobby, but then, O'Shea is no normal manager, as he answered if he got enjoyment from the game.

"Yeah. You're looking at your own players. You've been with them all the time and you want them to do well. You're just trying to make decisions that tries to help them along. Of course you can enjoy it."

It was an altogether more sombre Brian Cody who had dawdled in before him. Immediately, he was in damping-down mode.

Asked by a reporter if he thought the free awarded against Brian Hogan at the very end was harsh, he turned the question back on the inquisitor. The reporter shared his view that he felt it was, indeed, harsh.

"So did I," responded the James Stephens man.

"I thought it might have been for us, to be honest. I presumed it was for us but, look, it wasn't. If it had gone over the bar it was their game, end of story, so thanks be to God it didn't."

On the emotional side of things, he wasn't going to get carried away when asked how he felt to be part of such a day.

"To be honest, I don't know," Cody replied.

"I have no real phenomenal feelings. You want to win, you don't want to lose. We neither won nor we lost. I'm just as I am, to be honest."

Now, they have almost three weeks to prepare for the replay. Same as what happened them against Galway in 2012. That experience has got to be a help surely?

"Ah, I don't know does it help. I'm sure they're more than capable of preparing properly for the replay.

"It's their way of doing it and our way of doing it and there's no magic in it, you know. We played a semi-final and you have to play a final in three weeks' time in some ways. That's where we're at except you're going back to play the same team again."

Yeah, we come for the hurling alright.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph