As one of the thousands of thrilled Tipperary supporters, here’s a quick A-Z of what I experienced and felt on All Ireland Final Day!
A: A-game: On the biggest stage of them all, Tipperary delivered their finest performance. All the ingredients needed for a breathtaking performance surfaced right when required most.
B: Brendan & Borris: The name of Brendan Maher will be added to the mural of victorious All Ireland senior captains in Stapleton’s in the centre of Borrisoleigh. No more fitting tribute for a man who wears maroon & white and blue & gold with such distinction.
C: Chaplins: The destination of many Tipperary supporters post-match to mingle among fellow Tipperary friends, old and new, and celebrate no. 27.
D: Desperation: In the greatest sense of the word, yesterday was a performance of desperation delivered by Tipperary. Players and supporters craved the victory and it was so duly delivered.
E: Eamon: E is for Eamon. His handprint was all over the performance yesterday. Skill, movement and fluidity combined for a forward display that was the hallmark of players coached and mentored by Eamon O Shea.
F: Full-forwards: What else can be said about the line who registered more than the opposition on All-Ireland final day?
G: Gleeson: The elder statesman of the team and the last line of defence. Laser-like arrows the foundation of much of the mesmerising Tipp play!
H: Hurt: The players mentioned the levels of hurt endured so far this decade. Yesterday should go a long way to easing it!
I: Intent: From the moment Ronan Maher soared into the sky to fetch a puck out over Richie Hogan, you could see the statement of intent.
J: Joy. The unbridled feeling for the players, management and supporters that greeted the final whistle on the first Sunday in September.
K: Kilruane. Guess I’m biased but I don’t care! A great day for the club and for Bill, Jerry, Cian and Billy as more men are added to the club roll of honour.
L: Loughmore: Another famous day for the dual Mid-Tipperary club as the McGraths times 3 bring All-Ireland medals back to the green and red of Loughmore.
M: Minors: The guys who set the tone for the day by bringing home Part 1 of a magical Double Act!
N: Newcomers: The role played by the 5 newcomers to the Tipp senior side this year was a major factor in bringing Liam back to the Premier.
O: Ovation: From my vantage point in the Cusack Stand, the minors of Tipp and Limerick, the team of ’91, Brian Gavin and his team and the seniors all received well-deserved receptions from the supporters for jobs well done by one and all.
P: Party: Liam McCarthy always has a party when he visits the Premier. 2016 will be no different!
Q: Quality: This squad had it in spades. As players. As people.
R: Redemption: After the previous final defeats to Kilkenny, r is for a bunch of guys who redeemed themselves in 2016.
S: Well what could S be for other than Seamie. Has there been a better individual forward display in an All Ireland final in Croke Park? I can’t recall it anyways!
T: Tipp, Tipp, Tipp: The chant that reverberated around Croke Park on a day to remember for all Tipperary supporters!
U: Unrelenting: Led by the players and ably backed by the thousands of Tipp supporters, the boys in blue and gold powered right to the final shrill of Brian Gavin’s whistle..
V: Cormac ‘The Viking‘ Bonnar was the warrior full forward honoured as a member of the team of ’91. I’d hate to have been a full back seeing him stride toward the edge of the square!
W: Winning. Well what else are finals for?
X: X-rated: Bubbles’ post-match slip….
Y: Yesssssssssss: Arms outstretched and the simple 3-letter cry around Croke Park to greet victory!
Z: Zzzz’s. Catching a few winks are the furthest thing from the mind of players and supporters celebrating this wonderful victory. And so it should be!
Do no himreoirí Tiobraid Arainn, go raibh míle míle maith agat mar is é an chead Dé Domhnaigh i mí Meán Fomhair dhá mhíle agus a sé déag in aghaidh an lae ní bheidh muid dearmad!
Tiobraid Arainn abú!