Wednesday 26 October 2016

Cody turns to Kelly as 'Bubbles' starts

Published 03/09/2016 | 02:30

Kilkenny's Kevin Kelly Photo: Sportsfile
Kilkenny's Kevin Kelly Photo: Sportsfile

Kilkenny boss Brian Cody will hand Kevin Kelly his full championship debut in tomorrow's All-Ireland final clash with Tipperary in Croke Park.

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Kelly has been restricted to just three appearances off the bench in championship hurling, but the St Patrick's man is named to start at corner-forward alongside Colin Fennelly and Liam Blanchfield, who also starts his first All-Ireland final.

Kelly grabbed a brace of goals when these sides met in the league in Nowlan Park in February. Mark Bergin drops down to the bench.

Cody hasn't shied away from starting inexperience players in All-Ireland finals in the past. He gave Walter Walsh his debut in the 2012 decider replay with Galway and he famously produced a man of the match display.

The other switch is enforced, with Kieran Joyce coming in at centre-back for the injured Michael Fennelly as the Cats go for a three-in-a-row

Tipperary manager Michael Ryan has included mercurial forward John 'Bubbles' O'Dwyer in his line-up after his heroics off the bench in the semi-final.

O'Dwyer grabbed a crucial goal as Tipp saw off Galway, and he is restored to the starting full-forward line at the expense of Niall O'Meara.

Otherwise it's as you were for the Premier men, with the Maher brothers, Ronan and Padraic, make up two-thirds of the half-back line along with football convert Seamus Kennedy.

Tipp are out to secure their first All-Ireland title since halting Kilkenny's 'Drive for Five' back in 2010.

Kilkenny (SH v Tipperary) - E Murphy; P Murphy, J Holden, S Prendergast; P Walsh, K Joyce, C Buckley; TJ Reid, C Fogarty; W Walsh, R Hogan, E Larkin; K Kelly, C Fennelly, L Blanchfield.

Tipperary (SH v Kilkenny) - D Gleeson, C Barrett, J Barry, M Cahill, S Kennedy, R Maher, Padraic Maher, B Maher, M Breen, D McCormack, Patrick Maher, N McGrath, J O'Dwyer, S Callanan, J McGrath.

Irish Independent

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