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Outright domination unlikely with current SHC structure | Tipperary's Niall O'Meara

Reflecting on a year that ended triumphantly for Tipperary's hurlers, All-Ireland final goalscorer Niall O'Meara predicted that the openness of the current championship structure will halt the chances of outright domination for any one county. 

With Tipperary reeling from Kilkenny's rapid start, it was Niall O'Meara's first-half goal that settled things down for the Premier County.

Trailing Brian Cody's side by five-points at an early stage, the Kilruane man's goal drew Tipperary level before kicking on to a level Kilkenny could not match.

A win to go with their 2016 success, it was Tipperary's first since the significant restructure that took place before last year's championship.

Having looked dominant throughout much of the provincial series, a Munster final defeat to Limerick left some wondering whether Tipperary had perhaps peaked too soon.

However, reflecting on the year that was a matter of hours after Sheedy's men claimed the Liam MacCarthy Cup, O'Meara insists that it is unlikely any one county will relentlessly dominate such a demanding competition from beginning to end.

"It's just so competitive," noted O'Meara in conversation with Off the Ball from Tipperary's hotel on Monday morning, "you have nine or ten teams there that on any given day could beat anybody.

"There are so many teams that can bounce back like us last year.

"Would you have said last year that Tipp and Kilkenny would be in the All-Ireland final this year? Probably not.

"That's the joy of it, it's just so open."

Addressing the solitary low-point of what has been a remarkably consistent run to All-Ireland success, O'Meara believes such ups and downs are inevitable.

"We had a great start and our aim was to get out of the Munster championship," he explained.

"We had a chance then to win it, but we'd given so much in the first four games that we didn't perform in the Munster final, which was disappointing.

"But I don't think any team will ever go through this championship unbeaten.

"You don't want to lose a Munster final, but I suppose it gave us a kick to keep going and get back to work."

You can watch Niall O'Meara and Patrick 'Bonner' Maher in conversation with Will O'Callaghan for Off the Ball here.

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All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship All Ireland Final Liam Sheedy Niall O'meara Tipperary

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