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Dublin: 7 °C Sunday 13 October, 2019

Brilliant club return as 2016 All-Ireland winning captain 'in better shape than ever'

Brendan Maher put in a good shift for Borris-Ileigh yesterday.

Brendan Maher was struck down in last year's Munster championship.
Brendan Maher was struck down in last year's Munster championship.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

2016 ALL-IRELAND WINNING captain Brendan Maher has made a successful return to club action after a devastating cruciate injury.

In another significant boost for Liam Sheedy’s Tipperary hurlers as the Munster championship draws nearer, Maher lined out for Borris-Ileigh in their championship win yesterday. 

He came through an inter-county cameo unscathed in the second half of last month’s league quarter-final defeat to Dublin in Thurles, but a real test followed yesterday with significantly more minutes under the belt as he showed superb form.

2017 finalists Borris-Ileigh beat reigning champions Clonoulty Rossmore on a scoreline of 1-18 to 1-15, and two-time All-Ireland winner Maher chipped in with six points.

The 30-year-old opened the scoring with a first-minute free and went on to impress with four more, and another from play in a commanding performance.

He suffered the dreaded cruciate injury in Tipp’s loss to Clare last summer but his return comes as a huge boost to the injury-plagued Premier side.

(See Maher score from 0.51 above)

“Brendan has shown his character by coming back from that injury,” as his proud team-mate and county captain Seamus Callanan said last week.

“I suppose the physical conditioning that he is in after coming back from that injury [is great]. He didn’t come back in poor shape and only trying to start from there, he came back in better shape than he was ever in.

“He’s a real inspiration, as he always was on the hurling field; he was an inspiration on his comeback. When we were training away, we just knew that he was working as hard, if not harder.

“He was putting in huge effort and still leading by example in everything he has done. It’s great to have a bit of game time into Brendan in the last game of the league.

“Hopefully, he’ll come through the club stuff well and healthy. He’s a huge boost to us – he’s a great guy on the pitch and off the pitch and just hugely valuable to the set-up.”

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Emma Duffy

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