GAA Expert & Columnist
Jamesie O'Connor: Tipperary looked their age in Munster final defeat to Limerick
Last Updated: 01/07/19 6:09pm
Sky Sports analyst Jamesie O'Connor reacts to the weekend's hurling action, including the Munster and Leinster finals.
Tipperary looked their age in the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday - a lot of that was down to Limerick's performance. The Treaty were relentlessness in terms of the hits. They wore Tipp down, and the Premier look jaded at the end.
Tipp couldn't get on the ball. They even struggled out of their own half after the break. They weren't inefficient, they just couldn't get their hands on the ball.
The home side monopolised possession. For that, you've got to give massive credit to the Limerick half-forward line and midfielders. They held their shape, and Tipp were living off scraps.
That has to be of concern to Sheedy. The problem was the lack of primary ball-winners in the half-forward line. The guy that's best at that in terms of breaking ball is Patrick 'Bonner' Maher, and he's gone for the season.
Liam Sheedy has more problems to fix than he envisaged coming into the game.
However, the Tipp management are smart. They have time to figure out where it went wrong. The reality is they're in a quarter-final, with Dublin the likely opponents. If they win, they'll play Wexford for a place in the All-Ireland final.
If you offered that to Sheedy at the start of May, he would have bitten your hand clean off. There's enough talent and firepower in that Tipp attack to suggest they won't be too far away in August.
Limerick were dominant - so strong, so powerful, so energetic. Some of their hurling was outstanding. They just appeared to get their mojo back. This was an awesome display. They put Tipp to the sword long before the full-time whistle.
It was an awesome performance from the All-Ireland champions.
Tipp raced into a 1-6 to 0-4 lead, but from there the game played on Limerick's terms.
The 12-point win was as emphatic a statement as a team could make about their intentions for the rest of the year. They're back in Croke Park, two games away from retaining the All-Ireland title. Without question, it's a clear sign that they're the team to beat.
Wexford end a 15-year wait
Winning the Leinster title is a huge achievement for Davy Fitzgerald.
The other three counties who were playing on Sunday have won All-Irelands in the last five years, so their seasons will be defined by whether or not they win the Liam MacCarthy Cup.
But the Yellowbellies hadn't won Leinster in 15 years, so getting your hands on silverware solidifies everything you do.
Had Kilkenny won, the Bob O'Keeffe Cup would have been thrown in the boot of the car and there wouldn't have been much made about it.
Wexford will celebrate this, and why wouldn't they?
They are now are in bonus territory. The season has already been a massive success. That can be liberating in a way. The pressure is off and they can really have a go at it. In terms of the belief it can give a team, don't underestimate that either.
They now have four weeks to get ready for a semi-final. The expectation will be that it will be Tipp. Davy will plan for that.
I opined last week that Wexford weren't in the All-Ireland frame, but Sunday's performance changed my mind.
They're in the last four. If you're there, you have a chance. There's a massive confidence that Sunday will have brought, and there'll be an energy that sometimes you can't put a value on.
We experienced it in 1995 and suddenly anything was possible. We had 10 per cent more belief and 10 per cent more confidence.
I still think there'll be three Munster teams in the semi-final, but Wexford might have a say in this championship. Do I believe they'll be in the All-Ireland final? If I'm putting money on it, probably not. But as we've seen in recent weeks, write them off at your peril.
Sky Sports' live GAA coverage continues next Saturday, with Tyrone vs Cavan and Mayo vs Galway in the All-Ireland Football Qualifiers.