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5 key Tipperary forwards missing for Munster U21 football final

Premier County boss Tommy Toomey planning without a quintet of attacking stars for Cork clash

Tipperary's John McGrath could be ruled out for up to six weeks
Tipperary's John McGrath could be ruled out for up to six weeks
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

TIPPERARY manager Tommy Toomey will be without five key forwards for Thursday’s EirGrid Munster U21 football final against Cork. Dual star John McGrath is set for a spell of up to six weeks on the sidelines with a pelvic injury and Toomey is also planning for the visit of the Rebels without the services of Colman Kennedy, Greg Henry, Philip Quirke and Tom Kirwan.

All five players won All-Ireland minor medals with Tipperary in 2011 and they also featured against Kerry when the Premier County retained their Munster minor crown in 2012.

McGrath’s injury is also a concern for Tipperary senior hurling team manager Eamon O’Shea. The Loughmore-Castleiney player, younger brother of Noel, made a big impact in his breakthrough games in the group stages of the Allianz Hurling League, scoring two points against Galway on his debut before slotting over five points in the victory over Clare at Cusack Park.

Jamie Davis and John McGrath John McGrath (left) won't be renewing football acquaintances with Cork on Thursday Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

McGrath, 20, came on as a late sub in the victory over Kilkenny but did not feature in Tipp’s last two games against Cork and Offaly. McGrath didn’t play either for his club against Lorrha-Dorrha in the opening round of the county senior hurling championship at the weekend, when Loughmore-Castleiney suffered a surprise defeat against the 5-1 outsiders.

And Tipperary U21 football boss Tommy Toomey confirmed: “John is not available for the Munster final against Cork. His injury has to be looked at and he could be out for six weeks.

“It’s inflammation in the pelvic bone and it’s an ongoing thing – he had it last year as well. Now is the time to get it looked at and he’ll be doing some strength and conditioning work around it in the gym, while also taking anti-inflammatories to take the inflammation out of it.”

McGrath won a Fitzgibbon Cup medal with University of Limerick this year and Toomey believes that an intense run of games for club, county and college may have aggravated the problem.

Colin O'Riordan 11/1/2015 Tipperary are monitoring Colin O'Riordan's fitness ahead of Thursday's Munster U21 football final Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Toomey is also evaluating the progress of team captain Colin O’Riordan ahead of the Semple Stadium showdown with Cork. O’Riordan suffered a serious injury against Sligo in Tipp’s recent Allianz Football League Division 3 clash and a subsequent concussion is being monitored.

Toomey said: “Colin is being tested all along as per process. There was another improvement on Sunday. We’re hopeful but we have to err on the side of caution. It’s down to the medical people and we won’t be putting Colin in harm’s way if there’s any doubt at all. We have to make sure he’s looked after.”

Last year’s Munster minor finalists have picked a strong team for this year’s opener

Cork have named their U21 football and minor hurling teams for Munster clashes

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About the author:

Jackie Cahill

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