We have live score commentary and team news from the Munster Senior Hurling final between Tipperary and Waterford.
Tipperary are aiming to make their fourth All Ireland Final appearance in succession this year. A win on Sunday against the Déise men would be a hugely significant step towards that goal. Tipp have been slow to get moving this year and there is little doubt that the early season absence of Lar Corbett had a major effect on the morale of the entire group. But he has since returned and starts on Sunday, his presence will give the entire team a huge boost of confidence.
In the Munster semi-final against Cork there were signs that Tipperary are rediscovering the hunger that brought them All Ireland glory in 2010. Despite the fact that Lar Corbett didn’t start and John O’ Brien was dismissed in the second period, they still managed to accumulate a very impressive total of 1-22. Patrick Maher is a vital player at number 11 with his ability to feed the more able stickmen in their forward line. From numbers 1 to 9 they look solid and they have some top class finishers up front.
Waterford manager Michael Ryan has certainly had an eventful first season in inter county management. Early results in the league were extremely poor and the pressure was increased by the fact that two members of Ryan’s management team walked away, on top of Eoin Kelly’s controversial omission from the initial league squad. But things have stabilized over the last two months. Kelly has returned to the fold and Waterford managed to avoid league relegation. Ken McGrath is a significant addition to the back room team and there is little doubt he will provide great leadership.
The defence and midfield sectors are the strongest areas of the Waterford team. Michael Walsh, Kevin Moran and midfield workhorse Stephen Molumphy always lead from the front. Further up the field Waterford are far too reliant on an ageing John Mullane and Eoin Kelly looks a shadow of the player he was a few seasons back. The younger forwards must step up and shoulder more of the scoring burden.
Waterford are an extremely consistent side and apart from the drubbing they took in last year’s Munster final, they are never easily defeated. But Tipperary have a more balanced team and Lar Corbett’s return to the starting line up should swing the tie in their favour.