Friday 23 March 2018

Shefflin to start

Kilkenny given huge boost as talisman named at centre-forward

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

KILKENNY’S historic ‘Drive for Five’ got a massive boost last night when their totemic leader Henry Shefflin was named to start at centre-forward in tomorrow’s All- Ireland SHC final against Tipperary.

And, in a remarkable dual recovery, John Tennyson is also named to start at centre-back for the injured Brian Hogan (finger) in the only change from their semi-final line-up.

Both men appear to have made miraculous recoveries from recent anterior cruciate knee ligament injuries. Shefflin damaged his in the All- Ireland semi-final against Cork four weeks ago, a game Tennyson missed after limping out of a team training session with a similar injury 11 days earlier.

However, after intensive treatment with physical therapist Gerard Hartmann, the pair defied medical opinion by returning to training last week.

Meanwhile, in a last-minute plea to avoid a pitch invasion, the GAA confirmed last night that both of tomorrow’s trophy presentations – minor and senior hurling – will take place in the Hogan Stand but that it has arranged for the winning teams to complete a lap of honour afterwards.

“In the interests of safety, the Association calls for the co-operation and assistance of supporters and asks spectators to refrain from entering the playing area after both games,” a GAA statement read.

With Kilkenny winning the intermediate final a week ago, their minors are hoping to complete an All- Ireland treble and, like opponents Clare, they have announced an unchanged team for tomorrow’s curtain-raiser.

KILKENNY (SH v Tipperary) – PJ Ryan; J Dalton, N Hickey, J Tyrrell; T Walsh, J Tennyson, JJ Delaney; J Fitzpatrick, M Fennelly; TJ Reid (Capt), H Shefflin, E Larkin; E Brennan, R Power, A Fogarty.

Irish Independent

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