"Everybody, bar none, expect Tipperary to beat Laois" BUT Tipp newspapers are wary

Laois win over Dublin forced the Tipperary scribes back to their keyboards

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Laois forced two of Tipperary's man newspapers to bin their original previews of the All-Ireland Hurling Quater final in Croke Park after the O'Moore men halted the Dublin hurling bus in its tracks last weekend. MORE BELOW AD.

The Tipperary Star and the Clonmel Nationalist, both sister publications of the Leinster Express, were forced into new headlines and articles after Laois toppled Dublin in Portlaoise.

The scribes of both papers, like the rest of the hurling nation, are in head-scratching condition, ahead of Sunday's game which marks the first time Laois and Tipperary will play a championship game in Croker since the 1949 All-Ireland Final.

"Absolutely nothing should be taken for granted," writes Brian McDonnell in the Tipperary Star.

Brian went to the trouble of writing five reasons why Tipp should be concerned about the Laois challenge.

The conundrum Laois present for the red hot favourites is also reflected in Noel Dundon's article.

"Laois have slain a dragon in the form of Dublin, that Tipperary folks were wary of in the extreme...Tipperary had better not fall into the same trap next Sunday.

Nevertheless, he doesn't expect lightning to strike twice.

"Everybody, bar none, expect Tipperary to beat Laois on Sunday. Anything else would be a shock of gigantic proportions," he wrote. 

He calls on Tipp to kill the game off early but he warns that Eddie Brennan, a garda now stationed in Tipp and formerly Portlaoise, will have his plans and knows a 'fair bit about inflicting hurt and pain on the premier county'.

"Were he to mastermind an upset next Sunday it would be, arguably, a more famous feat than any one of his nine All-Ireland senior hurling medals," he said.

The Clonmel Nationalist is also warning Liam Sheedy's charges.

"Complacency will have to be guarded against as Tipp attempt to get back on track after a humbling 12 point hiding to Limerick in the provincial final at the Gaelic Grounds," writes Jeddy Walsh though he adds that Tipp would have chosen Laois over Dublin.

Eamon Lacey preview leads off with the line: "Miracle men stand in the way of Tipperary".

Eamon believes Tipp have been forewarned about Laois who have gained huge momentum from the recent victories.

"Tipperary will at least have heeded a warning and learn from Dublin's tragic outcome and should not fall into the complacency trap," he wrote.

Laois forced The Nationalist's Westside columnist JJ Kennedy back to the typewriter.

"Bin that preview. The mighty men of Queen's County have rewritten the script. The shock of the year - of many years - has thrown up an unexpected quarter-final".

He believes Tipp's homework focused entirely on Dublin but Laois will only require a 'quick reshuffle'.

"An easier opponent? Yes, surely, though management won't entertain any such talk and will readily point to Dublin's lack of readiness, which has cost them so dearly," he wrote.

He writes that Tipp must strike hard early.

"The aim of Sunday surely is to set down very early markers to discourage the underdogs. The last thing we want is to give Laois early encouragement, as Dublin did, and then get into a dogfight trying to rein them in," he says.

He admits Laois have momentum and will feel emboldened but can't see beyond Tipp. There is nevertheless a grain of uncertainty in his analysis.

Tipperary beat everybody in Munster apart from Limerick in the Munster Final. Just one bad defeat has JJ left believing all of that counted for nothing.

"Losing this one is unconscionable from a Tipperary perspective. Still, its often awkward territory when you're coming off a bad defeat and everyone expects you to win handsomely. Let's view it as our real season starting from here," he writes.