Tipp manager Kearns very happy with win

Tipp manager Kearns very happy with win

Tipperary manager, Liam Kearns, was obviously very happy with the result and way his side grasped the nettle when the chance came in the final ten minutes.

"That’s a big win. We left a point behind us against Fermanagh here and the onus is on you to win your home games. We are down an awful lot of players, we are 10 players down so to beat Donegal who were top of the table with four points coming in here and favourites for promotion. All the credit goes to the players, the players did a fantastic job," said Kearns.

He had to promote his third choice 'keeper because of injury and he was pleased with his display. "Michael O’Reilly, we only have him in since last year, he was third choice goalkeeper and he did a fantastic job out there today including saving the penalty. The penalty save was crucial. A six points lead with the wind would have been a different story, it would have been difficult."

Asked about the Donegal display he said:

"In fairness to them they have a lot of experience. They ran the game for half of the second half and it was the break we got for the goal. At that stage we were pushing up on them and then we went after them after the goal and we won it fairly comprehensively in the end. But they controlled it, they are experienced players, in the first half of the second half and ultimately we won it by five points. You have got to be happy with that.

"That goal gave us great impetus. We got 2-5 to 0-2 (in the final quarter) and that was fair clipping. We have been disappointed with our two performances to date. In Meath we were very poor in the middle third and the last day (v Fermanagh) we were really poor up front missing goal chances.

"All credit to the players, that’s what won the game. Their backs were to the wall and they came out and performed, they came out fighting, and I would never doubt their character or their ability to bounce back. They are a great bunch of players who will always give their all.

"(Had we lost) I would have been talking to you about relegation if we had lost here today. I think this division is all over the place now. I think there are three teams on four points and another three teams on three points and I think Cork are the only ones with one point so.

"Everything is up for grabs now still, promotion and relegation and mid table. To me we need three more points to do what we want to do which is stay in Division 2 this year. We are only half way there but it is great to have three of them after today."

But despite the win, Kearns feels that Donegal are still favourites for promotion: "Circumstances dictate how you are fixed. Having Donegal come in here and we down 10 players. There is great credit due to my players because they came out with the attitude and if they didn’t have the belief that they could have won game they wouldn’t have won that game. And I still think Donegal are probably favourites to win promotion.

"They were missing some massive players and I consider them a top 5 or top 6 team in the country so. I am delighted with my boys that they managed to win this even though Donegal are missing as many players as they are. For Michael Murphy we are missing Michael Quinlivan. For Odhrán MacNiallais we are missing Robbie Kiely, Bill Maher is out, Cian O’Connell is out, Evan Comerford our goalkeeper is out. I am happy that we won," said Kearns.