Tipperary and Cork will go head to head in Clonmel on Sunday with the first piece of Munster Senior football silverware up for grabs.
For Tipperary it will be a first appearance in the McGrath Cup final since they claimed their maiden win in 2003 while 5 time winners Cork are chasing their first title since 2009.
Tipp manager John Evans has made a couple of changes to his backline for the final with Matthew O’Donnell coming in for Paul Fitzgerald in goal with Robie Costigan, Robbie Kiely and Ciaran McDonald also coming into the back line. Seamus Grogan comes into side at centre forward in place of David Butler.
However despite the focus on defence, Tipperary have a valuable source of scores in the shape of Barry Grogan, brother of Seamus, who is the top scorer in this year’s McGrath Cup with 4 goals and 13 points and once again he will be the key man for the Premier County .
Evan’s Cork counterpart Conor Counihan has opted to leave his top scorer Colm O’Neill out of his starting line out.
O’Neill, along with Patrick Kelly are both suffering from slight injuries and are just two of six changes made by the rebel’s manager making from the side that beat CIT by 16 points.
Fiachra Lynch and Seanie Cahalane will come in for the injured duo and they are joined in the side by Conor O’Driscoll, Aidan O’Reilly, midfielders Alan O’Connor and James Fitzpatrick with Sean Kiely, Paddy Kissane, Pearse O’Neill, and Michael O’Laoire joining O’Neill and Kelly in missing out on the starting XV.
Despite their smooth passage to the final and favourites tag Cork won’t be taking their hosts lightly with selector Ger O’Sullivan telling the Cork man “I expect Tipp to be strongly supported following their All-Ireland minor triumph last year which has given football in the county a huge boost, so they will be going all out to produce a big performance, and we are looking forward to having to deal with that,”
Tipperary: M O’Donnell; R Costigan, P Codd, C McDonald; L Egan, T Ryan, R Kiely; B Jones, E Ryan; H Coghlan, S Grogan, P Acheson; C Sweeney, P Austin, B Grogan
Cork: Ken O’Halloran; Eoin Cotter, Ray Carey, Kevin Harrington; Conor O’Driscoll, Graham Canty, Aidan O’Reilly; Alan O’Connor, James Fitzpatrick; Fiachra Lynch, Fintan Goold, Liam Shorten; Paul Kerrigan, Seanie Cahalane, Kevin O’Sullivan
Path to final:
Preliminary Round: v Limerick Institute of Technology 2-13 to 3-8
Quarter Final: v Waterford Institute of Technology4-16 to 0-6
Semi Final: v UCC 1-15 to 0-10
Quarter Final: v Clare 2-14 to 0-7
Semi Final: v Cork Institute of Technology 2-17 to 0-7