Tipperary Football: From serial underdogs and heart-breaking defeats to a team with skills, ambition & a force to be reckoned with

Sunday 31th July 2016

All-Ireland Senior Football Quarter-Final

Tipperary 3–13 Galway 1–10

The days of days. This is what it means to be a Tipperary Football supporter. It wasn’t always like this when it comes following Gaelic Football in a hurling-dominated county. At times it was frustrating trying to keep trying to keep track of the team’s latest results in the National Football League.

I attended the championship qualifier game against Tyrone last year when Tipp got beaten. It was pretty grim to watch my fellow county men getting outfought and outmuscled in every area of the field. Even our kick outs in the middle of the pitch were easily caught by the Tyrone midfield, it took a while to stomach such a defeat. After the match I thought to myself: “where the hell do we go from here?!!” “Is underage success really the answer to get Tipp football enough recognition from the county board?”

To be honest, I had a lot of doubt going to the game against Cork at Semple Stadium as Tipp had lost to same opposition two years previously by a narrow margin at Pairc Úi Chaoimh. When Tipp went into the lead I was ecstatic & shouting my head off until half time. Then, deep into the second half with less then 5 minutes to go, Cork managed to claw back as I dreading the memories of the 2014 game would come back to haunt us but Tipp held on and scored 2 points to win the match.

Similar to the game against Derry when Tipp conceded a goal with less then 20 minutes remaining but we got there in the end with 2 points from Conor Sweeney to win the match.

Yesterday’s match was a joy to watch & by such a composed & skilful display by the lads that I was very proud of. The match proved that hard work & patience reaps rewards. Hopefully this result will mean more stunning highs & less crushing lows (which we’ve been accustomed to over the years) in the years to come!

Whatever the result in the semi-final, rest assured the lads can look back at this historic campaign with pride & hopefully will inspire young kids to dream of playing football for Tipp & not just hurling. Best of luck to the hurlers also in the semi-final but for now let us folk from the footballing community of Tipperary have our day in the sun! Tiobraid Aránn abú!