Tipperary haven’t conceded any goals since Skehan was drafted in at full-back for the All-Ireland series, helping to shut-out both the Connacht and Leinster champions, Galway and Kildare. A Harty Cup winner with Thurles CBS, this is his second year playing both codes at minor level.
Having already experienced the expanses of Croke Park this spring when the Abbey CBS reached the Colleges’ B final, the tight-marking corner-back excelled in the Kildare semi-final. Another key part of a Tipperary defence that has conceded only 16 points in their last two games.
Tipperary’s Mr Consistent is the only player to start all 10 games in both hurling and football. Although ever-present in both defences, he received a second yellow card in the Kildare semi-final after an otherwise good performance. The wing-back has the added experience of winning a County Intermediate Football title with Drom & Inch last December.
Nolan has been doing plenty of scoring with both hurley and foot. He totalled 3-9 for Liam Cahill’s hurlers this year but has also kicked crucial points from midfield. None was more important than his late point against Clare which, along with Jack Kennedy and Brendan Martin scores, ensured a season-saving one-point victory.
More of a triple player is Tynan. Having steered Roscrea’s Cistercian College to a historic first Leinster Senior Cup victory from out-half, he’s been equally at the heart of things for Tipperary in both codes, fielding at half-forward in hurling and football. Sunday’s outing will be Tynan’s fourth start against Kerry at minor, as he seeks a first victory.
Six Commercials’ players lined out when Tipperary won the 2011 minor decider and attacker Ross Peters, alongside Jack Kennedy, will maintain that link. Peters was a sub against Kerry in the Munster final but has started both games since then. He was also a member of Clonmel High School’s Corn Uí Mhuirí team this spring.
His surname speaks of his genetic talent and on Sunday Brian McGrath will equal his brothers’ records of playing in two minor deciders, with another year still to play at under-18. A younger brother of Noel but following in the footsteps of middle child, John, who started in dual minor finals – football in 2011, when cousin Liam was captain, and hurling in 2012.
After an injury-interrupted season, Quirke has recovered just in time to play a big role in both codes. The minor hurling captain will add his aerial prowess to the football cause as he seeks to build on his showing as an impact substitute against Kildare. Football captain Danny Owens is from the same club, making it a unique double for Moyle Rovers.
The third of Drom & Inch’s footballers who also excel with the small ball. Connors has togged out as a substitute for both minor teams, but has seen plenty of game-time too. He nabbed a late point as Tipperary fell to Galway in the hurling decider and scored 1-2 for Thurles CBS in April’s Croke Cup final loss to St Kieran’s.