Return of ace Kelly timely boost for Tipperary

A HUGE boost for the Munster hurling champions as Eoin Kelly makes his first appearance of the year for Tipperary in Sunday’s championship clash with Cork at Semple Stadium.

Kelly lines out at left corner forward in a team that shows just two changes in personnel from the team that ran Kilkenny so close in the NHL final.

Conor O’Mahony also returns after missing the latter stages of the league through illness. Kelly and O’Mahony replace Thomas Stapleton and injured left half back Shane Maher.

James Woodlock moves from right half forward to partner Shane McGrath at midfield. while Lar Corbett is switched to the right flank of attack.

There are championship debuts for Padraic Maher and Noel McGrath, while Paddy Stapleton of Borris-Ileigh gets his first championship start having appeared as a blood sub last year. Maher is named at centre-back, McGrath in the right corner of attack and Stapleton at right corner back.

Wexford boss Colm Bonnar has named three championship debutantes for tomorrow’s Leinster SHC clash against Offaly. Tomás Waters is named at right half-forward, Andrew Shore starts alongside him at centre-forward, with Peter Atkinson coming in at left corner forward.

Ten of the team that started the recent NHL Division 2 final between the sides will line out for Wexford, with long-serving goalkeeper Damien Fitzhenry coming in for Dermot Flynn and David O’Connor replacing Anthony O’Connell at corner-back. Richie Kehoe moves to fill the centre-back vacancy created by the loss of injury victim Stephen Nolan, with Ciarán Kenny switching to left half-back and Stephen Doyle coming into the side at midfield. Waters replaces Paul Carley in attack with Atkinson coming in for Pat Kenny.

Laois manager Niall Rigney has handed Leinster SHC debuts to three players for Sunday’s first round clash with Galway at O’Moore Park. Goalkeeper Tadhg Doran, left corner back Brian Stapleton and right corner forward John Purcell all make their championship bows. Brian Campion captains the side from centre back, while star player James Young partners John Walsh in midfield after missing last year’s championship with a cruciate ligament injury. Key forwards Zane Keenan and Tommy Fitzgerald are both ruled out through injury.

Tyrone skipper Brian Dooher has lost his race to be fit for the All-Ireland champions’ opening Ulster SFC tie against Armagh on Sunday. But Stephen O’Neill is in the starting side having recovered from a knee injury that has ruled him out of action since the opening round of the National League.

But Dooher will be on the Tyrone bench for the Clones clash as Mickey Harte’s side launch their bid to retain the Sam Maguire Cup for the first time against the reigning provincial champions. O’Neill forms a potentially lethal full-forward line alongside footballer of the year Sean Cavanagh and Owen Mulligan.

Harte has included 13 of those who played in last September’s All-Ireland final win over Kerry for the St Tiernach’s Park derby. The only exceptions are goalkeeper John Devine and corner back PJ Quinn.

Armagh introduce just one newcomer to championship football in the person of Barry Shannon who is named at left corner back.

Senior footballer Aidan Fitzgerald is named in the Tipperary IHC side for their Munster quarter-final against Cork on Sunday. The Fethard man was introduced during Tipperary’s Munster SFC defeat to Limerick last Sunday, and is named at right half-forward here.

The side is captained by last year’s Tipperary U21 goalkeeper Matthew Ryan and includes recent Tipperary minor All-Ireland winners John Coghlan and Timmy Dalton.

TIPPERARY (SH v Cork): B. Cummins; P. Stapleton, P. Curran, C. O’Brien; D. Fanning, P. Maher, C. O’Mahony; J. Woodlock, S. McGrath; L. Corbett, S. Callanan, J. O’Brien; N. McGrath, M. Webster, L. Corbett.

WEXFORD (SH v Offaly): D. Fitzhenry; M. Travers, P. Roche, D. O’Connor; M. Jacob, R. Kehoe, C. Kenny; S. Doyle, D. Redmond; T. Waters, A. Shore, D. Lyng; R. Jacob, S. Banville, P. Atkinson.

LAOIS (SH v Galway): T. Doran; J. A Delaney, D. Maher, B. Stapleton; M. Whelan, B. Campion (capt), M. McEvoy; J. Young, J. Walsh; D. Peacock, W. Hyland, O. Holohan; J. Purcell, J. Rowney, E. Jackman.

TYRONE: (SF v Armagh): J. Devine; PJ Quinn, Justin McMahon, R. McMenamin; D. Harte, C. Gormley, P. Jordan, K. Hughes; E. McGinley; M. Penrose; T. McGuigan, Joe McMahon; S. O’Neill; S. Cavanagh, O. Mulligan.

ARMAGH (SF v Tyrone): P. Hearty; A. Mallon, B. Donaghy, M. Shannon; F. Moriarty, C. McKeever, A. Kernan; K. Toner, J. Laverly; P. Duffy, M. O’Rourke, B. Mallon; S. McDonnell, R. Clarke, T. Kernan.

TIPPERARY (IH v Cork): M. Ryan (Templederry Kenyons); L. Mackey (Carrick Davins), S. Walsh (Fethard), J. Harkin (Templederry Kenyons); C. Coughlan (Templederry Kenyons), J. Coghlan (Moyne-Templetuohy), S. Horan (St Patricks); W. O’Dwyer (Carrick Davins), T. Minogue (Templederry Kenyons); A Fitzgerald, (Fethard), M. Dunne (Moyle Rovers), C. Dillon (Aherlow); A. Ryan (Templederry Kenyons), J. Ryan (Sean Treacys), T. Dalton (Arravale Rovers).

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