Disappointed Tipperary manager Ken Hogan described last week’s defeat in the Munster U-21 Hurling Final as one of those nights when you had to take it on the chin.
He said that no matter how well you prepared you could be hit with a sucker punch like Niall Arthur’s goal that floored his team in the last minute of a dramatic game in Ennis.
“That’s sport I suppose. Jaysus, it’s so hard on the poor lads because they worked so hard and they gave it absolutely everything.
We were totally unfancied, the goal was a real killer blow and it was hard to recover from it, we had a half-chance at the end and we just didn’t take it but it was a magnificent effort by my guys.
They are a great bunch of fellows. What more could you ask of them. I told them in there (in the dressing-room) they could hold their heads up high and they could have no regrets either, we threw the kitchen sink at them. We said we’d have a cut down here in Ennis and we surely did.
Sport is funny, Clare got the breaks tonight, maybe they didn’t get them other years, I’ve been involved with victorious teams as a manager, player and coach and you always remember the ones you lose as well. Tonight is one of those nights when you have to take it on the chin.
I said to the lads we needn’t be ashamed, we can walk out with our heads held high and we’ll stick together and stand together and support each other because it was a magnificent effort. Sometimes you would be scratching your head and saying I should have done this or I should have done that but we were almost over the line and it didn’t work out”.
He said that in the closing moments they had a couple of great runs from Brian Stapleton, and Jason Forde could have been awarded a free but added “these things happen in sport, particularly when it’s helter skelter in the last minute of the game. We were just trying to keep the ball moving but it wasn’t to be and that’s fate and that’s hurling. What can you do only take it on the chin and try and bounce back”.