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Published: 10:09 | 15/8/16

Ryan hails Tipperary win

Tipperary have reached the Holy Grail after booking their place in the All-Ireland SHC final, manager Michael Ryan has said.

Galway looked to be heading for September's decider against Kilkenny but the loss of Joe Canning to a hamstring injury at half-time proved a major setback for the Tribesmen.

Goals from Conor and Joe Cooney kept them the front but John O'Dwyer and John McGrath netted within the space of two minutes to send Tipperary into the September 4 final.

"We’re thrilled, absolutely," Ryan said. "There’s no silverware for a semi-final but, in a sense, there’s a lot more on offer.

"The chance to get to hurling’s Holy Grail, playing on the first Sunday in September, that’s every team’s wish in January.

"We’re there. It wasn’t pretty but we’re delighted, and it was a great kind of game to win.”

Sunday's 2-19 to 2-18 win means that the All-Ireland final will be contested by Tipperary and Kilkenny for the fifth time in eight years and Ryan knows they will have to improve if they are to take the Liam MacCarthy back to the Premier County.

"I think we’re going to have to find a level of intensity far more consistent than we were able to show out there today," Ryan reflected.

"At times we got to it but not nearly a consistently enough and that’s the challenge. We’re playing the masters of intensity, they showed it again last night, that level of intensity that got them through their semi-final. That’s something we’re going to have to work on but you know, if I was sitting here telling you that we were perfect, we’d be in some trouble."

Galway led for the majority of the game at Croke Park until Tipperary hit back with two late goals to move in front and Ryan admitted his side had to work hard to take the victory.

"To be fair, we've got to credit Galway in this too. They didn't come just to make up numbers - they came up here to win it," Ryan is quoted as saying in the Irish Sun.

"I don't know what the starts were or the timelines - but I'd imagine they were ahead for 50-60 minutes of that match. They dominated and they were ahead in the game.

"We had it all to do to try and stay in the game with them in the first half. Our guys never stopped trying. There were plenty of errors being made but look, they're human. They're amateurs. The effort of both teams out there was phenomenal.

"I'm just so happy for our bunch that we're the ones on the right side."

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