Dunne rings changes for Tipp

TIPPERARY bid to get their title challenge back on track against Antrim in this afternoon’s All-Ireland MHC quarter-final, (Mullingar, 3.15pm).

Shocked by Cork in the Munster decider, coach Tommy Dunne and his selectors have rung the changes, the most notable being the switch of captain Noel McGrath from defence to attack.

Kieran Murphy, Brian O’Meara and Kieran Morris all lost their places up front and are replaced by McGrath, Michael Sheedy and Kieran Shelly. In defence, Sean O’Brien comes in for Ciaran Haugh at left corner-back, Lee Burke takes over at right half back from James Barry and Eoin O’Connell is named at left half-back where McGrath started against the Rebels.

The Premier County hope to repeat history — in 2006, they lost the provincial title to the Leesiders but went on to land the All-Ireland title.

Antrim shouldn’t pose too many difficulties for Tipperary. While they have been making tremendous strides, the lack of any worthwhile competition makes it next to impossible for them against the more established counties.

The other quarter-final pits Wexford and Galway together at Semple Stadium tomorrow (12.15pm). Wexford were highly rated in Leinster this season, but came a cropper against Kilkenny in the round robin series before defeating Laois, Offaly and Dublin after a replay, to reach the final where they were beaten by the Cats again.

Wexford have six championship outings under their belts, while this is Galway’s first outing. However, the Connacht side have always produced good minor teams and the present one is no exception.

Wexford will have to improve on their finishing if they are to progress. Paul Morris contributed half of their tally (six points) against Kilkenny, and he’ll need more support. In Eoin Moore they have an exceptional centre back, and an excellent forward in the tall Andrew Shore. If they can get a good supply of ball into him, maybe the scores will come. Galway will nonetheless be favourites to advance to a semi-final meeting with Cork.

TIPPERARY: B McCormack; L Butler, K O’Gorman, S O’Brien; L Burke, A Ryan, E O’Connell; P Acheson, J Gallagher; M Sheedy, T Butler, N McGrath; J O’Neill, P Murphy, K Shelly.

GALWAY: F Flannery; D Connolly, D Cooney, G O’Halloran; J Regan, N Donoghue, R Foy; D Burke, D Fox; N Burke, N Quinn, A Dolan; R Cummins, L Madden, B Burke.

ANTRIM: E Gillan; T McAlister, C McCleland , C Mc Kinley; T Mc Closkey, S Shannon, M Lynch; C Rocks , M Dallat; M Devlin, P Dallat, C McGuinness; M Armstrong, C Coyle, G Laverty.

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