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Friday, 10 July 2009

Waterford & Tipp Teams Named

In this the 125th year of the GAA, the Munster Hurling Championship Final could take place in no town other than Thurles.

Tipp haven't won a Munster Final on their home ground at Semple Stadium since 1989, when Waterford were the opposition that day. A bloodied affair (the Déise finished with 13 men), Tipp ran out fairly convincing winners. However, the Waterford team of this decade are a far different affair, and have been very much Tipperary's bogey team.

The teams for both teams were announced last night. As predicted here yesterday, Tipp have made no personnel changes from the team that defeated Clare in the Semi-Final, with a couple of positional switches in the forwards that'll make no real difference given manager Liam Sheedy's tendency to continually change it around anyway.

A big boost for Waterford comes with the news that captain Stephen Molumphy is fit enough to start, which means no place in the starting line-up for former hurler of the year Dan Shanahan or Eoin McGrath who was a thorn in the side of the Tipperary corner-backs in last year's All Ireland Semi. Interestingly, Mount Sion and Ballygunner, traditionally the two heavyweights of Waterford club hurling have just a sole representative each on the starting 15.

Waterford Team: C Hennessy (Ardmore), E Murphy (Shamrocks), D Prendergast (Ardmore), N Connors (Passage),T Browne (Mount Sion), M Walsh (Stradbally), A Kearney (Tallow), S O'Sullivan (Ballygunner), K Moran (De La Salle), J Nagle (Dungarvan), S Prendergast (Ardmore), S Molumphy (Ballyduff Upper, Captain), J Mullane (De La Salle), E Kelly (Passage), J Kennedy (Ballyduff Lower)

Tipperary Team: B Cummins (Ballybacon-Grange), P Stapleton (Borris-Ileigh), P Curran (Mullinahone), C O'Brien (Éire Óg Annacarty), Declan Fanning (Killenaule), Conor O'Mahony (Newport, Captain), P Maher (Thurles Sarsfields), J Woodlock (Drom & Inch), S McGrath (Ballinahinch), P Kerwick (Killenaule), S Callanan (Drom & Inch), John O'Brien (Toomevara), Noel McGrath (Loughmore Castleiney), Eoin Kelly (Mullinahone), Lar Corbett (Thurles Sarsfields).

Prediction Time: Trying to shade off any personal bias, I still think Tipp have just about enough. A win for them against Waterford in a Munster Final will be a massive monkey off their backs, and if the Waterford full-forward line can be contained sufficiently, Tipp should do it by about two or three points. It's going to be another tight one, I reckon


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