Power out to rewrite the record books

The challenge now for David Power and his Tipperary minor footballers is to rewrite the history books.

It’s simply not possible to surpass the magnificent achievements of 2011 but matching them is a possibility.

And there are a couple of records Power and his band of emerging young stars have set their sights on.

Tipp have won back-to-back Munster MFC crowns just once before — back in 1934 and 1935.

If they manage to beat Kerry in Sunday’s Gaelic Grounds decider, it will be the first time the Kingdom have suffered two Munster MFC defeats in the one season.

Tipp came from 11 points down to shock Kerry in last year’s provincial semi-final and the champions scored a 2-9 to 0-8 victory at Austin Stack Park, Tralee, back in April.

Incidentally, that was the first time since 1984 that Tipp had claimed victory on Kerry soil in the Munster minor football championship but to beat the Kingdom in a final would be something else entirely.

They may have to do it without John McGrath, however, after the gifted dual star sustained a shoulder injury on senior club hurling duty with Loughmore-Castleiney against Drom-Inch.

McGrath, younger brother of Tipp senior hurling star Noel, wasn’t expected to be named in the starting line-up announced last night but there is a slight chance that he could play a part from the sub’s bench.

Colin O’Riordan, 16, a survivor from last year’s campaign, will return after missing the semi-final victory over Cork through injury while Ian Fahey, who scored two points after coming on against the Rebels, has also returned to full fitness.

“To win one was great but the question now is, can we win back to back?” said Power.

“But we’re not really focusing on that to be honest. It’s just another game, it really is. And Kerry have the advantage of two extra games than us. Whether they have learned from those, time will tell.

“But they’re going to be up for it. Mickey Ned O’Sullivan is an experienced coach and they’re going to be ready for us. I hear they’ve been saying that they’ll be vastly improved since the game against us and that maybe we won’t be as good but Sunday will answer that.

“And we’ll have improved too. Beating Cork down in Cork was a serious, serious answer to people that still doubted us, even after beating Kerry. That we went down to Cork and won shows that we’re improving the whole time. The Leaving Cert being over is also a massive help. We had lads, and I’m not going to name them, that were under serious pressure at that time and might not have performed until now. But they’re in great form, buzzing, and we can’t wait for Sunday.”

KERRY (MF v Tipperary): G Curran (Dingle); C Ó Lúing (An Ghaeltacht), G Crowley (Templenoe), S O'Connor (John Mitchel’s); B Crowley (Templenoe), J Barry (Na Gaeil), G Horan (Austin Stacks); E Ó Conchúir (An Ghaeltacht), K Murphy (Kilcummin); D Foran (St Senan's), J Savage (Kerins O'Rahilly’s), C Fitzgerald, (Churchill); G O'Shea (Dr Crokes), N Sheehy (John Mitchel’s), C Keane (Legion).

TIPPERARY (MF v Kerry): E Comerford (Clonmel Commercials); D Cass (Clonmel Commercials), J Feehan (Killeneule), L Egan (Loughmore Castleiney); K Fahey (Clonmel Commercials), D Fitzelle (Cashel King Cormacs), B Maher (Kilsheelan Kilcash); S O’Brien (Ballina), I Fahey (Clonmel Commercials); J Lonergan (Clonmel Commercials), J Martin (Ballyporeen), G Henry (Killenaule); C Kennedy (Clonmel Commercials), P Quirke (Moyle Rovers), T Kirwan (Ardfinnan).

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