Maher warns last year is a closed book for Tipperary

Picture: Ryan Byrne.

Tipperary forward Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher acknowledged Conor Gleeson’s red card affected Waterford’s performance in Sunday’s Munster SHC clash, but added that Tipp have “got our flow back, which was very positive.”

Tipperary ran out easy winners but asked about Gleeson’s dismissal affecting their opponents, Maher said: “Of course it did, Waterford are a good team and they came down to Thurles with one intent and that was to overturn us.

"But we are very happy with the way the game went and patches of play. We got our flow back, which was very positive.

"We were delighted with the support in Thurles as well, the fans really came out and you could hear it in the second half when we probably needed the 16th man to finish the job and they really got behind us. We were delighted with that and it really drove us on.”

Tipperary’s final tally of 2-30 showed how freely their forwards are moving.

“Lads are just really enjoying their hurling at the moment, and you could see that out there. Lads have a bit of freedom in them and freedom in the way they play, and there’s just real enjoyment in there at the moment.

“The panel itself is really competitive at the moment, you saw the subs coming in there on Sunday making huge impacts, getting on ball and finishing off the job for us. There’s a really competitive panel there at the moment and we are really driving each other on, which is important.

“Our tackle count was 102 altogether I think, so that’s probably one of our pillars that we are aiming to achieve, over 100 tackles, so we are happy with that.”

It’s all a good platform for their next outing, against Clare in Ennis.

“That’s a huge positive there Sunday, and we’re going to bring that forward now for the next couple of weeks. Boys are working hard for the last couple of weeks, we have two weeks off for a bit of R and R and go back at it hard in two weeks.

“All the boys inside are honest and we have the best of the best strength and conditioning behind us, and we are managing our load very well at the moment which is important at this time of the year. Everyone is putting their shoulder to the wheel and really driving forward.”

Maher said Tipperary weren’t “getting ahead of themselves”, despite two fine wins.

We’re just taking every game as it comes, we’re working hard/

"Everyone is honest, everyone is pushing for a place and once you have that competitive edge there during the week leading into another match, it just drives the level of performance forward.

“It’s a huge credit to the 26 on a matchday squad and also the 40 of the extended panel. It’s them driving the wheel forward for us at the moment. We just take it one game at a time, there’s no point getting ahead of yourselves.

“All we are looking for is to stay in the now and the process, and getting through the work we need to get through at this moment in time. We’ll regroup during the week and set our sights for our next step, which is Clare in two weeks.”

The Banner came to Thurles last year and beat Tipperary, of course.

“Clare are a good team, and in Munster in general the competitiveness there is unbelievable. I’d say from a fan’s point of view, the feast of hurling that the public are getting to view at the moment is unreal.

“The levels are just going up year after year; I can see it over the past few years. It’s a young man’s game, it’s getting faster and faster and I think it’s going to be a good summer for all the teams. Last year is a closed book, last year was last year.

"This is a new panel, it’s a new year so we are just driving forward for this year and last year was last year. There’s no point in looking back on the past, you’re not going to gain anything from it.”

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