Tipp hurlers focused on league - O’Shea

TIPPERARY senior hurling manager Eamon O’Shea has played down the significance of next Friday evening’s Waterford Crystal Cup final against Clare.

TIPPERARY senior hurling manager Eamon O’Shea has played down the significance of next Friday evening’s Waterford Crystal Cup final against Clare.

Speaking after last Sunday’s comfortable semi-final victory over a second-string University of Limerick team, O’Shea insisted that the Allianz National League opener against Waterford on Saturday week is of far more importance.

O’Shea said: “The big concentration is the League match in two weeks time to be honest and make sure I have enough bodies to line out. That’s the focus – I’m not really focused on next weekend.”

O’Shea lost Seamus Callanan and David Collins to injuries last Sunday and with Paddy Stapleton and Eoin Kelly troubled by reported hamstring problems, the manager’s resources are being stretched.

He acknowledged: “We’ve a few injuries alright. At this time of year you’ll get injuries, in this type of weather and with the training we’re doing. We have a few matches as well. We’re looking forward now – we’re looking forward to playing against Clare. It’s good to get to the final. It would help to have a few more games against some of the major teams but I’m happy that we’re doing what we can.”

But O’Shea stressed: “We’re concentrating on two weeks time (against Waterford) – the heat will come on in June. It’s freezing now!”

He added: “When you’re in a final you try to win it but the big game for me is Saturday week against Waterford. The League is very competitive and we look forward to that.”

The Tipperary manager took the opportunity to run the rule over a number of fringe players once again and he reflected: “We want to do that and give everybody a fair chance. At this time of year, all teams are carrying huge squads. It’s good to have a look at some players – everybody that came in did their best today.”

But he stressed: “The weather is terrible and you can’t play real hurling – I take everything with a pinch of salt.”