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5 talking points as Noel McGrath and Lar Corbett face-off in the Tipp SHC final

Is Lar Corbett fit to start and can the champions keep up their semi-final form?

Noel McGrath Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

1. Can the champions keep up their semi-final form?

Loughmore-Castleiney had it all their own way last Sunday, where they comfortably dispatched a lifeless Mullinahone in the semi-final. With Liam Treacy and Evan Sweeney on fire, scoring 1-3 apiece, the men from the Mid absolutely blitzed their way into a second successive hurling county final.

Their 17-point winning margin was a warning shot to Thurles Sarsfields, and Loughmore will be hoping to bring that high-scoring form into tomorrow’s decider.

Lar Corbett Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

2. Is Lar Corbett back to full fitness

While his powers may be on the wane at inter-county level, there’s no doubting that Lar Corbett is as good a club hurler you’re likely to see.

While he took his sensational scoring form this far, he was a substitute in the semi-final win over Templederry Kenyons. Corbett appeared off the bench after 46 minutes and the run of weekly games clearly took its toll on the 33-year-old’s body. His fitness will be critical for Sarsfields tomorrow.

3. Thurles Sarsfields looking to restablish their dominance

Three-times the champions since 2009, Sarsfields were dumped out in the first round of last year’s championship to eventual finalists Nenagh Éire Óg. Sars have taken over from Toomevara as the dominant side in Tipp hurling in recent times, but Loughmore-Castleiney have their kingpin status within their sights.

Liam McGrath is congratulated by Cian Hennessy after scoring Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

4. Loughmore-Castleiney searching for first ever double

With only three titles in their entire history, Loughmore-Castleiney are on the verge of completing a historic double for the club by retaining back to back hurling titles for the firs time in their history.

Originally more of a football club, where they’ve been senior champions 12 -times, Loughmore-Castleiney made history last year by recording a football-hurling senior double and winning back-to-back senior titles would be another remarkable achievement for the two villages.

Eddie Connolly 18/11/2007 Source: James Crombie/INPHO

5. Possible fairytale ending for Eddie Connolly

Eddie Connolly was introduced as a substitute to a rousing reception in the late stages of Loughmore-Castleiney’s semi-final victory. Connolly was taken ill last year, after being diagnosed with a brain tumour, but received some good news from doctors in the last couple of weeks and was able to tog out alongside his team-mates last weekend.

A senior championship medal would be a fairytale ending to a difficult 12 months for Connolly.

Loughmore-Castleiney hammer their way past Mullinahone and into Tipperary hurling final

Thurles Sarsfields see off Templederry to make fourth Tipp SHC final in six seasons

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Kevin O'Brien

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