Eoin Kelly: Playing in Thurles will give Tipperary a big advantage
Tipperary legend Eoin Kelly believes Waterford have handed the Premier men a critical advantage by agreeing to play Sunday's Munster final clash in Thurles.
Tipp go into Sunday's showdown as favourites to reclaim the Munster title for the first time since 2012 with former All-Ireland-winning captain Kelly insisting home advantage played a significant role when they beat the Déise in the 2009 Munster decider. "I think it did make a difference," said Kelly yesterday.
"Waterford got a good start and then the 15 minutes before half-time I think was some of Tipp's best hurling under Eamon O'Shea's coaching.
"The fluency, the movement on and off the ball, everything was unreal.
"You're togging out in the dressing room that you train in, the day of a Munster final, just little small things.
“And then there’s that deep-down feeling – I know we’ve had losses there at home – that you don’t want to be beaten at home.
“If I was Derek McGrath I wouldn’t like to be playing Tipp in Thurles, but I suppose there’s a lot more behind the scenes in terms of what went on,” Kelly added while speaking at the Etihad Poc Fada event.”
Elsewhere, Tipp star Noel McGrath made a welcome return to club action last night, featuring as a sub in Loughmore Castleiney’s Mid-Tipp clash with Holycross, having been diagnosed with testicular cancer in April.
The 2010 All-Ireland winner returned to training with the county side last month.