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4 days before Christmas, the last GAA county senior final of the year will take place

Loughmore-Castleiney take on Cahir in Sunday’s Tipperary senior final.

Noel McGrath in action for Loughmore-Castleiney in the 2010 final.
Noel McGrath in action for Loughmore-Castleiney in the 2010 final.
Image: Cathal Noonan

IT’S THE TIME of year for GAA players to unwind and start getting their heads around the preparation for the 2015 season.

It’s a different story for the footballers of Tipperary clubs Loughmore-Castleiney and Cahir.

This week is the countdown to a county senior final, their season set to culminate just four days before Christmas. Leahy Park in Cashel is the venue next Sunday afternoon with a throw-in time of 1.30pm.

Tipperary’s progression in the All-Ireland senior hurling championship was the key reason why club action was delayed in the county this year. The fact that the All-Ireland final went to a replay compounded matters.

After that preference was given to completing the local hurling championships with a large amount of dual clubs still involved. The number of club teams playing at senior and the volume of games that need to be completed at divisional and county level have also contributed to the hold-up.

Loughmore-Castleiney are the reigning champions after they did the county senior double in 2013. This year they reached the hurling final but lost out to Mid Tipperary rivals Thurles Sarsfields yet they have recovered to plot a route to another football decider.

Liam McGrath celebrates scoring Liam McGrath celebrates scoring in the 2011 All-Ireland minor football final. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

 

Tipperary senior hurler Noel McGrath along with his brother John and cousin Liam McGrath – who won All-Ireland minor football medals in 2011 – are key players for Loughmore-Castleiney.

Opponents Cahir are appearing in their first final since they lost the 2008 final to Galtee Rovers.  The club has only one title to it’s name and that was back in 2003.

Benny Hickey and Paddy Flaherty both have plenty Tipperary senior experience while Liam Casey and Ger Hally were both involved in the county senior setup over the past year.

Micheal Burns and Liam Casey Liam Casey (right) in action for Tipperary in last year's Munster minor football final. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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