Saturday 18 November 2017

Tipperary poised to drop talisman Kelly for raid on Rebel territory

Eoin Kelly. Photo: Sportsfile
Eoin Kelly. Photo: Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

TIPPERARY look set to sensationally axe 2010 All-Ireland winning captain Eoin Kelly for their Munster SHC clash with Cork on Sunday.

Manager Declan Ryan will finalise his team tomorrow evening but reports from the Premier County say Tipp are ready to drop the Mullinahone man and James Woodlock in a bid to secure only their second championship win on Leeside since the 1920s.

Patrick 'Bonner' Maher and Shane McGrath, who starred off the bench in their come-from-behind win over Limerick last time out, are in line to take their place as Tipp go in search of a place in the Munster decider against Waterford.

Cork have not played a competitive match since they were hammered by Kilkenny in the NHL Division 1 final decider on May 6, and Jimmy Barry-Murphy faces a goalkeeping selection dilemma.

Donal Og Cusack has missed just one championship game -- through suspension -- since 1999, with Martin Coleman, Anthony Nash or Darren McCarthy in line to replace the Cloyne 'keeper, who misses out with an achilles injury.

McCarthy is thought to be the outsider of the three.

Coleman lined out in the league final when the Rebels were on the receiving end, while Nash replaced Cusack when he got injured in the league semi-final.

Niall McCarthy will miss out through injury when Barry-Murphy names his team tomorrow, though Darren Sweetnam is back in contention, having rejoined the panel after sitting his Leaving Certificate.

Tipp boss Ryan admits that his side have an advantage, having already lined out in the championship this year.

"It is absolutely, 100pc an advantage," he said. "We're delighted to have it. You know your options, you know what space guys are in, how they react to the big day -- I think we're in a good spot at the moment."

Irish Independent

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