Tipp unchanged for final

Tipp unchanged for final

In selecting his team for Sunday's All-Ireland SHC final against Kilkenny at Croke Park (throw-in 3.30pm), Tipperary manager Liam Sheedy has kept faith with the side that started last time out against Waterford.

John O'Brien has retained his starting place in the half-forwards, at the expense of his Toomevara club-mate David Young.

Tipp will line out with Shane McGrath and Brendan Maher in midfield, with the latter having recovered from the wrist injury he sustained in a squad session last weekend.

Forward duo Seamus Callanan and Pa Bourke, who were used as second half substitutes in the semi-final win over the Deise, have to be content with places on the bench again.

The Premier County side, who lost to Kilkenny by five points in last year's final, are bidding to lift the Liam MacCarthy Cup for the first time since 2001.

Team captain Eoin Kelly, one of the surviving members from that last All-Ireland success, has led the Tipp scoring this summer with 3-36 (0-25f, 0-5 '65').

Kelly and company have gone on a four-match winning run since suffering a shock 3-15 to 0-14 Munster quarter-final defeat to Cork in May.

Sheedy watched his charges beat Wexford and Offaly in the qualifiers and Galway and Waterford in the All-Ireland series proper.

Now facing up to five in-a-row hopefuls Kilkenny, the Tipp boss feels that he is working with an improved panel twelve months on from their last Championship tussle with the Cats.

"I think the squad is in a strong position. The one time we needed the bench
was in the Galway game and we got it from the bench that day when the guys went in," he said.

"Maybe, the last day (against Waterford), when we crept six or seven points ahead it wasn't in the melting pot.

"But the one day we needed the impetus from the bench we got it. I wasn’t surprised to get it because we were getting it in training.

"We were having real headaches picking the team and picking the team for this All-Ireland is going to be no different.

"There is huge competition from within the squad and unless you have that competition, you know yourself, the day the team
becomes easy to pick and when you know the same faces are going to appear - that's when you know that you don't have competition and that is when you
are in real trouble.

"There is huge competition within the squad and they
deserve great credit for that."

TIPPERARY (SHC v Waterford): B Cummins; P Stapleton, P Curran, M Cahill; D Fanning, C O'Mahony, Padraic Maher; B Maher, S McGrath; G Ryan, Patrick Maher, J O'Brien; N McGrath, E Kelly (capt), L Corbett.

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