Tuesday 12 December 2017

Tipperary 120 Kilkenny 121

Cyril Farrell

Brendan Cummins: A senior statesman, his standards remain incredibly high. Ultra-reliable, calm and reassuring, his influence spreads to the defence, who know they have one of the best 'keepers in the game behind them.

Paddy Stapleton

He has made the right full-back position his own against stiff opposition. Does all the basics well and likes to attack the ball. He's comfortable too if drawn out from the corner.

Paul Curran

A corner-back who can switch to being a full-back has plenty going for him. A solid anchor in front of the Tipperary goal, he won't be drawn away on wild goose chases.

Michael Cahill

Hurled a lot of ball against Dublin as a spare man but is better known for his marking game. Steady and solid, he's a calm operator who keeps mistakes to a minimum.

John O'Keeffe

Not many Tipperary people would have named him as Declan Fanning's successor but he has taken his chance. A clubmate of Declan Ryan, the manager would have known his qualities for many years.

Conor O'Mahony

Tipperary had a problem at centre-back for many years but not anymore. O'Mahony has sorted it out and is now an imposing figure against the first wave of enemy attacks.

Padraic Maher

A contender for Hurler of the Year. Can play anywhere in the defence but clearly loves the wing-back slot. Strong, physical and forceful, he likes to get forward too and has a good eye for the opposition goal.

Gearoid Ryan

At right half-forward last year, many would still regard it as his best position but he has done well at midfield. Has a forward's instinct which takes him into good scoring positions.

Shane McGrath

Huge energy, he can run all day. Likes to run with the ball, which leads to some hits going in, but he rides them well and comes back for more. A key man for Tipperary in what will be crowded zone.

Seamus Callanan

Can blow hot and cold but when he's hot, the scores roll in. His pace is a huge asset, especially when he gallops on to breaking ball and takes on the defence at speed.

Noel McGrath

Seems to have been around for a long time but he's still only 20. A class act in all facets of open play, his sideline cuts are also an invaluable source of points for Tipp.

Patrick Maher

A real warhorse who is prepared to work tirelessly for the greater good. Tipp don't expect too many scores from him. If he keeps Tommy Walsh occupied, they will be happy.

Eoin Kelly

A big-day specialist. He may not have the pace of former years but the brain is as quick as ever. Also, his accuracy from placed balls remains a major weapon in Tipp's armoury.

John O'Brien

One of the older Tipperary soldiers, he battled on through some difficult seasons and has finally got his reward. Not at his best against Dublin but is experienced enough not to let that bother him.

Lar Corbett

He roasted the Kilkenny defence last year and can expect a warm reception this time. He often appears to get lucky with breaks but, of course, he makes it happen, which is the real sign of true class.

Irish Independent

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