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Noel Connors reckons he'll have his hands full with 'Bubbles' O'Dwyer.
# Bubbles trouble
This Waterford star is bracing himself for Bubbles trouble in Munster hurling final
The ace Déise corner back could be handed a man-marking job on Tipp’s John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer.

NOEL CONNORS LOOKS set for a man-marking role on Tipp dangerman John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer in Sunday’s Munster senior hurling final.

It’s a job that Connors is well used to, having clamped Cork marksman Patrick Horgan in the Allianz League final and again five weeks later when the Déise beat the Rebels in the provincial semi-final. 

Former Allstar Connors is one of the most tenacious corner backs in the game but even he realises how big a task lies in store against O’Dwyer at Semple Stadium on Sunday.

“He is probably one of the most natural forwards in the game at present. He has fantastic wrists and just everything about him, his ability to read the game is phenomenal.

“He reminds me of a young Eoin Kelly with the ability he has to strike the ball.

“He showed that when he was marking one of the best corner backs in the country in (Limerick’s) Seamus Hickey and he caused Seamus a bit of trouble in the last match.

“John is definitely someone that every manager would love to have.”

O’Dwyer cut loose for seven points, including six from play, as Tipp enjoyed a 16-point victory over the Shannonsiders.

Seamus Hickey and John OÕDwyer Cathal Noonan / INPHO John O'Dwyer was brilliant for Tipperary in the Munster semi-final victory over Limerick. Cathal Noonan / INPHO / INPHO

A couple of audacious efforts from tight on the touchline were breathtaking scores and Connors admires O’Dwyer’s ability to work his magic in tight confines.

“If you give him half an inch, he will score from anywhere. That’s one of the main things.

“You can’t stand off him too much because he will have the ball over the bar.

“It’s his overall ability to score from any position in the field, that’s something that you have to take into account.”

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Noel Connors Lorraine O'Sullivan / INPHO Noel Connors in action for Waterford in 2009. Lorraine O'Sullivan / INPHO / INPHO

In 2009, Connors was 19 when he made his first Munster final start against Tipperary at Semple Stadium.

He realises now that he didn’t appreciate the experience enough.

“It was something that was very difficult to put your finger on at the time, what a momentous event it was.

I didn’t really cherish it as much as I should have.

“I was 19 years of age, probably very young and naïve. You probably don’t realise the situation that you’re in.”

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