Hough drafted into Tipperary team

Lorrha & Dorrha clubman Ciaran Hough has been named in the Tipperary side for tonight's All-Ireland U-21 Hurling Championship final against Galway in Thurles (throw-in 7pm).

Hough comes in as the only change to the Tipp line-up from their runaway semi-final victory over Antrim. He will start at left half-back in a reshuffled defence which is missing the suspended John Coghlan.

Coghlan, who won Munster U-21 hurling and football medals this year, failed to have his one-month suspension overturned for an incident during the 2-32 to 1-7 win over the Saffrons last month.

He was yellow carded for a challenge on Antrim's Thomas McCann. Following referee Tony Carroll's viewing of the video footage, the yellow card was upgraded to a red and he was duly suspended from the date of the game, ruling him out of tonight's final.

Tipp manager Ken Hogan has also made two positional switches - team captain Padraic Maher moves to full-back and Brendan Maher will take up his position at centre back.

The Mahers - Padraic, Patrick and Brendan - are among the eight players from the U-21 side who last Sunday helped the Premier County end a nine-year wait for an All-Ireland SHC title success.

The others are Michael Cahill, Noel McGrath, Seamus Hennessy, Michael Heffernan and Brian O’Meara.

Chasing their second All-Ireland crown in six days, Hogan said: "They're on a winning streak, they all came to training on Tuesday night.

Michael Cahill graduated from UCC that day at 4pm and he was still up at 7am for training - that's the type of player we have.

"Tipperary haven't won an All-Ireland U-21 Championship since 1995 - that's a huge amount of time. U-21 titles have been scarce in Tipperary, while Galway have a fantastic record in the past decade at minor and U-21."

Hogan's charges beat Cork and Clare to be crowned Munster U-21 champions this summer, and easily accounted for Antrim in their recent All-Ireland semi-final clash.

"I think it's going to be a very intense battle against Galway," he added.

"The weather conditions have changed. It has rained incessantly for the last few days and with wind, breeze, rain, you never know what's going to happen.

"Hurling can be a great leveller. The most focused team will come through."

TIPPERARY (U-21HC v Galway): James Logue; Kevin O'Gorman, Padraic Maher (capt), Michael Cahill; James Barry, Brendan Maher, Ciaran Hough; Seamus Hennessy, Noel McGrath; Sean Carey, Patrick Maher, Brian O'Meara; Michael Heffernan, Paddy Murphy, John O'Dwyer.

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