There’ll be plenty ‘shteak and spuds’ for the Tipperary footballers if they can cause the upset of the season (decade) in Croke Park next Sunday.
Given their unenviable record when it comes to the big day, Mayo, don’t and never have possessed the fear factor. Their lack of menace, never mind, killer instinct, makes playing against them a manageable proposition and while they’ll be the reddest of red hot favourites in this weekend’s semi-final showdown, Tipperary have a fair chance of scuttling the apple cart.
For better or worse, Mayo have chosen to ignore the black arts of the game deemed so essential by the Ulster counties – the premier found out all about the ugly side of Gaelic football when they encountered Tyrone in an All-Ireland U21 final – on that fateful day, winning at all cost meant just that.
Mayo don’t do ‘special treatment’ and will be hoping that football alone will do the trick in Croker – that scenario suits Liam Kearns’ side down to the ground and if it comes to a shoot out, Tipperary are well capable of outscoring anyone.
Critically, there will have to be no deviation from Tipp’s all out attacking (kick on sight) approach – going for the jugular has served them well to date. ‘No fear’ is another slogan embraced by Tipperary and hopefully it will be a ‘pull like dogs’ approach next Sunday afternoon.
Regrettably for Mayo, they’ve been traumatised by past defeats in Croke Park – the current crop of Tipperary footballers associate HQ with success.
The Bally boys
What a fillip it is for Ballyporeen GAA to have Conor Sweeney and John O’Callaghan on this very talented Tipperary panel. Sweeney is the more high profile of the two, given his scoring prowess, but O’Callaghan is also a very polished footballer.
On the brink of the big time, these two young men remain completely grounded and command the utmost respect from team mates. Their success has been built on dedication and hard work.
Sunday represents a chance at pushing Tipperary into the footballing stratosphere – it’s an opportunity these rising stars have no intention of passing up.