Maher left on bench

Frank Roche

THE 2010 Young Hurler of the Year, Brendan Maher, has been left on the bench as Tipperary seek to inflict more September torment on Kilkenny in this Sunday’s All-Ireland SHC final.

The All Star midfielder has endured a frustrating season since fracturing his ankle in a freak accident at home last March.

But following his half-time appearance in the sem-final against Dublin, when he replaced Seamus Callanan, the presumption was that the Borris-Ileigh clubman would make his first summer start of 2011 in the final itself.

Either wing-back John O’Keeffe or half-forward Callanan was viewed as the most likely fall-guy.

But instead the management team has kept faith with the same line-up. The only minor tinkering sees Callanan – who was in red-hot Munster form before his semi-final travails – named at No 10 with Noel McGrath now at centre-forward.

Brian Cody is set to persist with his usual policy of deferring Kilkenny’s team announcement until the Friday night.

TIPPERARY (SH v Kilkenny): B Cummins; P Stapleton, P Curran, M Cahill; J O’Keeffe, C O’Mahony, P Maher; G Ryan, S McGrath; S Callanan, N McGrath, P Maher; E Kelly, J O’Brien, L Corbett.