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Dublin: 5 °C Wednesday 19 February, 2020

6 players to watch in Tipperary and Clare's Munster minor hurling semi-final

The counties go head to head at Semple Stadium on Thursday evening.

1. Aaron Shanagher (Clare)

Shanagher hit 1-13 in last year’s Munster minor hurling clash against Tipperary and the bad news for the Premier County is that he’s eligible again in this grade.

Shanagher’s big haul included 1-11 from placed balls but it still represented a most impressive tally  from a player tipped to make it all the way to the very top.

The Wolfe Tones player scored a whopping 6-28 in four games last season, including a 3-6 haul when Clare put 6-25 past Kerry.

Ronan Maher and Dylan Fitzelle tackle jamie Shanahan Action from the 2012 Munster minor hurling final between Tipperary and Clare. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

2. Brian McGrath (Tipperary)

Yet another member of the fabled McGrath clan from Loughmore, Brian is a younger brother of Tipp senior stars Noel and John.

An accomplished dual player, Brian hit 0-3 from centre back when Tipp beat Waterford in April, all of them from long-range placed balls.

For his club, McGrath hit 0-14 in a divisional U16 club final last year and he’s another rising young star with a big future.

John McGrath Brian McGrath is following in the footsteps of his brother John (pictured). Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

3. Nathan Fox (Clare)

Fox was a member of the Ardscoil Rís panel that surged to Harty Cup glory in 2014.

That victory helped to make up for Dean Ryan final disappointment at the hands of Midleton CBS in November 2013, when Fox was joint-captain of ASR.

A natural leader, Parteen clubman Fox will lead Clare into battle from defence as they look to repeat last year’s victory over Tipp.

4. Stephen Quirke (Tipperary)

High-fielding Moyle Rovers star Quirke was excellent for Tipperary against Waterford in their opening fixture.

The flame-haired ace is an obvious outlet for puckouts at centre forward and Tipp’s minor football boss Charlie McGeever is also utilising his skills around midfield.

Quirke’s older brother Philip won an All-Ireland minor football medal with the Premier County in 2011 and Stephen scored 0-4 in last year’s hurling defeat to Clare.

Colin O'Riordan and Stephen Quirke celebrate at the final whistle Stephen Quirke (22) celebrates Munster minor football semi-final victory over Cork in 2013. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

5. Aidan Kennedy (Clare)

When Kilmaley bridged a 40-year gap by winning the county U21 A hurling title in April, Aidan Kennedy had a big say.

The gifted forward even managed to outshine Éire Óg’s senior intercounty star Shane O’Donnell in the final.

O’Donnell managed 0-3 but Kennedy, who was once earmarked for a successful soccer career in England, hit 1-3 for the winners.

Jack Peters and Shane O'Donnell Shane O'Donnell came through the Clare minor ranks before establishing himself as a senior star. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

6. Alan Tynan (Tipperary)

History was created at the RDS in April when Cistercian College, Roscrea, won their very first Leinster schools senior cup rugby crown.

After starring in that triumph, Alan Tynan turned his attentions back to minor hurling with Tipperary and he is a survivor from last year’s squad.

Dual player Tynan didn’t score against the Déise in their opening fixture but his obvious physicality will provide Tipp with a key weapon against Clare. 

He’s been switched from attack to midfield for Thursday night’s fixture.

Alan Tynan Alan Tynan brings power to the Tipperary attack. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

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