Saturday 16 December 2017

Webster and Ryan axed as Sheedy culls Tipp squad

Jackie Cahill

LAST year's captain Willie Ryan is one of six players axed from Liam Sheedy's Tipperary hurling championship panel.

Ryan has been let go as manager Sheedy trims his squad back to 29 players ahead of Sunday's final National Hurling League outing of the year against Offaly.

However, Sheedy was rocked over the weekend by serious injuries to Paul Kelly and Gearoid Ryan and he will draft in players from an extended panel to make up the numbers for 15-a-side training matches in the coming weeks.

Micheal Webster, a 2005 All Star nominee, has also been dropped from the squad, along with Diarmaid Fitzgerald, John Devane, Pa Bourke and Tom Stapleton.

Bourke and Stapleton were both members of the Premier County's 2006 All-Ireland minor-winning team, which was managed by Sheedy.

The news was broken individually to all six players last week as Sheedy looks ahead to the crunch Munster SHC quarter-final against Cork on May 30.

Kelly underwent surgery on a broken fibula yesterday. The 31-year-old sustained the injury playing for Mullinahone on Sunday.

The two-time All Star, older brother of Tipp captain Eoin, was playing his first game for Mullinahone since rejoining the club from Kilkenny outfit O'Loughlin Gaels, who he linked up with in March 2008.

Kelly, who hit 1-2 from play in the recent NHL match against Cork, is ruled out of the Cork game, which goes ahead in under seven weeks' time, and faces an uphill battle to feature in the championship.

The versatile star had been showing signs of recapturing his best form; Sheedy's attacking options diminished further last Saturday when Ryan broke a finger playing for Templederry.

Ryan should be fit in time for the Cork game, but he will have little or no hurling under his belt.

Irish Independent

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