Wednesday 18 October 2017

McGrath departure creates midfield problem for Tipp

Shane McGrath: Two All-Star awards
Shane McGrath: Two All-Star awards
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Tipperary will be looking to replace their most established midfield pairing when they get and up and running in 2016 after Shane McGrath's retirement from inter-county hurling yesterday.

McGrath became the third Tipperary player in just five days to call time on his county career, coming after similar decisions made by Conor O'Mahony and James Woodlock last weekend.

Woodlock and McGrath have been Tipp's common partnership in recent times, playing all three 2015 championship games in unison until the defeat to Galway.

They enjoyed arguably their finest afternoon together in 2014 when they each scored three points in the All-Ireland semi-final win over Cork.

They were also in harmony during Liam Sheedy's first year in charge, 2008, when they reclaimed a Munster title for the first time in seven years.

The departure of the 31-year-old Ballinahinch man is a surprise but clearly points to a new era for Tipperary hurling under new manager Michael Ryan.

McGrath said in a statement that he would "miss being involved with the special group of people that is the Tipperary senior hurling panel.

"I have many great memories and made many lifelong friendships over the last decade or so. I was fortunate to enjoy some wonderful moments during my career and it was a great honour for me to have been Munster Player of the Year in 2008, to captain Munster and Tipperary and to win two All-Star awards.

"Most special of course was being part of Tipperary's All Ireland-winning team in 2010, it was simply unforgettable."

Thanking the management and players, he added that "while we endured some disappointments, we had so many great times together and we have always been united in our ambition and commitment to bring success to Tipperary."

In light of those departures, Lar Corbett's future has come under the spotlight but the indications are he might be staying.

In football, Corofin chairman Michael Ryder has confirmed that Michael Lundy will be available for the All-Ireland champions' Connacht final against Castlebar Mitchels on Sunday.

Ryder dismissed speculation that Lundy had gone to America though it is anticipated that he will travel once the Connacht Championship is completed.

Leitrim's Emlyn Mulligan has returned to the county squad after taking last season out to travel.

Mulligan resumed training earlier this week after the moratorium on inter-county training was lifted for eight teams including Leitrim.

"I've started back in the gym with the squad and am looking forward to it," he confirmed having returned from a 10-month trip away that culminated in a championship win in Boston over the summer.

One of the most impressive county fundraising vehicles, Club Tyrone, will host a forum to discuss fundraising ventures with other counties on Saturday, November 28 (10am) at their Garvaghey complex.

'Tyrone Talks Funding' is a unique event open to all fundraising county models across the country.

Promoting it with the question as to how organisations like Club Tyrone, Club Rossies and Club Déise work, the event aims to "talk through and share good fundraising practice with each other".

Irish Independent

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