Sunday 17 December 2017

Tipp's Maher on track to face Wexford

Tipperary's Brendan Maher. Photo: Sportsfile
Tipperary's Brendan Maher. Photo: Sportsfile

Jackie Cahill and Donnchadh Boyle

Brendan Maher is winning his fitness race ahead of Tipperary's Allianz Hurling League semi-final clash with Wexford on Sunday week.

The 2016 All-Ireland winning captain featured in an in-house training match against William Maher's U-21s on Tuesday evening and came through unscathed, while also performing well, according to reports.

Maher sustained a shoulder injury against Clare last month and missed the remaining Division 1A group games against Kilkenny and Cork.

But after fielding his strongest team of the year against Offaly in last weekend's quarter-final, manager Michael Ryan will adopt the same policy for the trip to Nowlan Park and a clash with Davy Fitzgerald's Slaneysiders.

That should mean a recall for Maher at midfield, while All-Star corner-back Cathal Barrett is also expected to start.

Barrett made his first appearance of the year as a substitute against Offaly and also played against the U-21s on Tuesday.

There was another boost for Tipp this week with the return of All-Star forward Patrick 'Bonner' Maher to the fold following the completion of a six-month Army peacekeeping trip to Syria.

Meanwhile, Kildare have made 13 changes from the experimental team that went down narrowly to Galway last weekend for their clash with the Tribesmen in Sunday's NFL Division 2 final.

With promotion already secured, manager Cian O'Neill fielded a young side for the final round clash with Galway a week ago, much to the disappointment of Meath supporters who needed the Lilies to win if they were to go up.

And Kildare have gone back to the mainstays of their side, with Fionn Dowling and Ben McCormack the only survivors from the side that played last weekend.

Kildare (SF v Galway) - M Donnellan; M O'Grady, D Hyland, O Lyons; J Byrne, E Doyle, K Cribbin; K Feely, T Moolick; F Conway, F Dowling, P Cribbin; C Healy, N Kelly, B McCormack.

Irish Independent

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