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Bubbles to Ryan: Five fresh faces who've helped Tipperary to the All-Ireland SHC semi-final

These players have come up trumps for Eamon O’Shea’s side this year.
Aug 15th 2014, 9:00 PM 3,880 0

John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer

FORMER UNDERAGE STAR John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer has been busy making a big name for himself in 2014.

He came off the bench to shoot 1-3 against Limerick in the 2013 Munster SHC semi-final loss but has benefited from an extended run in the team this year.

Despite losing to Limerick in June, the 22-year-old scored 0-5 and has since contributed 2-9 in Tipp’s three back door victories over Galway, Offaly and Dublin.

Blessed with a superb touch and the ability to shoot from distance, the 2010 All-Ireland U21 medallist and Killenaule clubman is a sharpshooter to be reckoned with.

Darren Gleeson

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Although Gleeson is 33 years of age, it’s taken him a number of years to break into the Tipperary senior team. It wasn’t easy for the Portroe man, however, as he had to play second fiddle to one of Brendan Cummins, one of the greatest goalkeepers in the history of the game.

Gleeson’s first championship start was against Limerick in June but he is one of many survivors from the 2010 All-Ireland winning squad.

The Portroe man has had to pick the ball out of his net more than he would have hoped for in his first full season between the sticks but a tighter defence would ensure that he is not overly exposed.

Cathal Barrett

Barrett, 21, announced his arrival on the inter-county scene with a string of fine performances during pre-season matches and the 2014 Waterford Crystal Cup.

Since then, Barrett has succeeded in nailing down a regular place in the Tipp team, operating comfortably at corner back or wing-back.

With Michael Cahill confined to the bench on Sunday, Barrett’s pace could prove invaluable to Tipperary and he will no doubt be detailed to pick up one of Cork’s speed merchants.

Barrett is a former minor and U21 player with the Premier County but has made the step-up to the senior ranks with remarkable ease, making his championship debut against Limerick in June.

James Barry

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Barry has emerged as one of the surprise package of Tipperary’s campaign. The former Fitzgibbon Cup winner with UCC is renowned as a half-back but his switch to full-back was one of the reasons why Tipp managed to curb the influence of Johnny Glynn in the come-from-behind qualifier victory over Galway.

Barry is a former All-Ireland minor and U21 medallist and the 24-year-old Upperchurch man is anxious to complete the set by adding senior glory to his collection.

Although named in the half-back line for Sunday’s tie with Cork, it won’t be a surprise if Barry lines out on the edge of the square, where he did so well against Dublin.

Gearóid Ryan

You might wonder why we have included Gearóid Ryan on this list but the reason is that the Templederry man lost two seasons of his career to injury, before returning with a vengeance in 2014.

Ryan was 22 when Tipp stormed to All-Ireland glory in 2010 but serious injuries, which eventually led to double hip surgery, restricted the hard working half-forward to just 66 minutes of championship game time in 2012 and 2013.

Ryan returned to action as a sub against Clare in the Allianz League semi-final and hasn’t looked back since.

Ryan is an unassuming character who prefers to let his hurling do the talking – and he’s a vital cog in the Tipperary wheel.

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Jackie Cahill

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