Monday 26 August 2019

Cillian Buckley set to power up Kilkenny's engine room for All-Ireland showdown against Tipperary


Cillian Buckley has been named in the Kilkenny team for Sunday's All-Ireland final. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Cillian Buckley has been named in the Kilkenny team for Sunday's All-Ireland final. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Cillian Buckley could come back into the Kilkenny team for Sunday's All-Ireland hurling final against Tipperary as Brian Cody looks to top up with added physical power and experience around midfield.

Kilkenny and Tipperary will name their teams tonight and while Tipperary are expected to keep faith with the same 15 that started against Wexford in the semi-final, Buckley offers an appealing option now that he has recovered from an injury that kept him out for most of the season.

He struggled against Cork in the All-Ireland quarter-final, making way for Walter Walsh, but showed strong improvement when replacing Richie Leahy the last day.

His defensive experience could also be a great asset as Kilkenny bid to tame Tipp's full-forward line, two of whom were involved in amassing 2-15 from play in the 2016 All-Ireland final.

Despite having an apparent issue with his knee, Richie Hogan is expected to start on Sunday.

Tipp brought Seamus Kennedy in for James Barry in a defensive reshuffle the last day and Kennedy looks set to hold on to his place.

Barry Heffernan did enough against Wexford to suggest he will also be retained and could be tasked with tracking Colin Fennelly. Tipp got a big impact off their bench the last day, but the temptation to start any of them is likely to be resisted.

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