Sport Hurling

Monday 18 December 2017

No starting place for Kelly as Tipperary ring changes in defence

Eoin Kelly of Tipperary
Eoin Kelly of Tipperary
Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

TEENAGER Jason Forde and Kieran Bergin (27) will make their Munster SHC debuts for Tipperary against Limerick on Sunday, but there is no starting place for Eoin Kelly.

TEENAGER Jason Forde and Kieran Bergin (27) will make their Munster SHC debuts for Tipperary against Limerick on Sunday, but there is no starting place for Eoin Kelly.

Forde (19), who shot 1-8 for Tipp's U-21s against Limerick a week ago, replaces veteran Kelly in attack.

Patrick 'Bonner' Maher moves to centre-forward to replace the injured Lar Corbett and John O'Brien comes in to take Maher's spot on the left wing.

Despite Tipp's failure to open up Kilkenny in the league final, manager Eamon O'Shea has left the full-forward line of Shane Bourke, Seamus Callanan and Noel McGrath untouched.

It is Tipperary's defence that has been radically reshaped.

Padraic Maher has shifted back to his more usual wing-back role, Conor O'Mahony returns to the centre-back spot and 27-year-old Bergin is retained at right half-back.

Paddy Stapleton's return sees Paul Curran revert to full-back, with Michael Cahill moving to left corner-back.

And, after rotating goalkeepers all season and playing Darren Gleeson in the league final, O'Shea has plumped for veteran Brendan Cummins between the sticks.

The game marks Limerick's first Munster championship game in the Gaelic Grounds since 2007.

Meanwhile, Mayo manager James Horan says forward Cillian O'Connor has no chance of featuring next weekend against Roscommon as he recovers from a shoulder injury.

O'Connor suffered a dislocated shoulder playing for his club Ballintubber, an injury which he also suffered last October.

Horan confirmed, however, that they have decided not to operate on O'Connor's shoulder.

Both Cathal Freeman and Michael Conroy have also been ruled out of the MacHale Park clash, but there was some positive news on the injury front as Barry Moran and Jason Doherty should be available for selection.

TIPPERARY (SH v Limerick) – B Cummins; P Stapleton, P Curran, M Cahill; K Bergin, C O'Mahony, Padraic Maher; B Maher, S McGrath; J Forde, Patrick Maher, J O'Brien; S Bourke, S Callanan, N McGrath.

Irish Independent

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