Hennessy huge loss to Tipperary

Tipperary’s aspirations of securing a Munster semi-final berth have been dealt a massive blow with free-taker Shane Hennessy ruled out with cruciate ligament damage.

Hennessy tore his ACL during the 2013 edition of the provincial championship and now faces another lengthy spell on the sideline following a reoccurrence of the injury on Easter Monday.

The Nenagh Éire Óg forward notched five points during the Premier’s opening round defeat by Limerick and manager Liam Cahill described Hennessy’s loss as a “devastating blow” ahead of their visit to Ennis this evening.

“Shane did his cruciate around this time last year and has worked unbelievably hard to get back,” he said. “We trained Easter Monday and during an inter-panel game the cruciate just went. It is devastating for him. It is a massive blow to the panel. He would have been one of the forwards you would have been counting on for scores.”

The commencement of the local senior championship has reduced greatly the windows of opportunity for Cahill to assemble his squad, not to mention the nine players who are also involved with the Tipperary minor football set-up.

“It is very difficult on them to make themselves available to both panels and it is mentally draining too.

“No disrespect to the footballers, but you need to be hurling continuously such is the nature of the game. You just need to have the hurl in your hand the whole time to keep working on your touch. After the Limerick game we needed our half-back line and midfield working the whole time because that is where we struggled.”

Reflecting on the eight-point defeat by Limerick, Cahill added: “We just did not get to the pace of the game. It looked as if we hadn’t trained collectively skill-wise. We were dropping balls, our passes were poor. It was massively frustrating. It is a problem you would never really associate with Tipperary. Clare have some excellent forward and unless we correct what we did wrong the last day we will be exposed, badly exposed.”

TIPPERARY (v Clare): B Hogan (Lorrha and Dorrha); C Ryan (Nenagh Eire Og), J Skehan (Holycross-Ballycahill), W Connors (Kildangan); P Maher (Kilsheelan Kilcash), D Peters (Kilruane MacDonaghs), A Coffey (Nenagh Éire Óg); B O’Connell (Loughmore-Castleiney), B McCarthy (Thurles Sarsfields); A Tynan (Roscrea), S Quirke (Moyle Rovers), L McCutcheon (Templederry Kenyons); T Nolan (Drom and Inch), M Dunne (Mullinahone), P Ryan (Toomevara).

CLARE: J Loughnane (Sixmilebridge); C Cooney (O’Callaghan Mills), S Downey (Clonlara), R Hayes (Wolfe Tones); D Fitzgerald (Inagh/Kilnamona), D Walsh (Éire Óg), J McCarthy (Inagh/Kilnamona); M O’Malley (Kilmaley), P McNamara (Kilmaley); C Corbett (Tulla), M O’Shea (Smith O’Brien’s), I Galvin (Clonlara); B Guilfoyle (St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield), A Shanagher (Wolfe Tones), L O’Donovan (Ruan).

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