Tuesday 7 February 2023 Dublin: 7°C
# Young Guns
6 players to watch in Galway and Tipperary's All-Ireland minor hurling final
This sextet will have a big say in the destination of the Irish Press Cup.

Updated at 17.00

1. Tommy Nolan (Tipperary)

Donall Farmer / INPHO Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

Drom & Inch hitman Nolan was one of the stars of Tipp’s hard-fought semi-final victory over Dublin, hitting 1-3 from play.

He was also in good form during the Munster final victory over Limerick, notching three points from play, and Nolan also collected 1-1 in the provincial semi-final defeat of Clare.

Nolan lined out at midfield alongside Jack Kennedy last Sunday when the county’s minor footballers advanced to an All-Ireland final clash with Kerry on 20 September.

It could be a memorable few weeks for Nolan and his fellow dual stars as the Premier County eye minor glory on the double.

2. Evan Niland (Galway)

Donall Farmer / INPHO Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

Tipperary know that if they concede any placed balls within scoring range, Evan Niland will punish them.

The Clarinbridge star landed 0-9 the All-Ireland quarter-final victory over Limerick, eight in drawn All-Ireland semi-final against Kilkenny and five more in the replay.

Out of the 0-22 mined by Niland over the course of three games, 19 have been landed from dead ball situations.

Niland is an exceptionally skilful young player and he scored 0-8 last March when Presentation College Athenry retained their Connacht Colleges senior hurling A title.

3. Brian McGrath (Tipperary)

Ryan Byrne / INPHO Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

McGrath is the latest member of the Loughmore-Castleiney clan to make his mark in the colours of Tipperary.

Younger brother of Noel and John, and cousin of 2011 All-Ireland minor football winning captain Liam, Brian has been one of the key men for Tipp’s minors in both grades this summer.

He’s the centre back anchor for the hurlers, blessed with an eye for a long-range score from play and placed balls.

And McGrath scored one of the crucial points against Kildare last Sunday as the footballers advanced to the All-Ireland decider.

4. Jack Grealish (Galway)

Cathal Noonan / INPHO Cathal Noonan / INPHO / INPHO

He might still be a minor but Jack Grealish is already an established senior club hurler for Gort and he claimed a county medal last year.

A survivor from last year’s Galway minor crop, Grealish was the man who scored the crucial goal against Limerick in the All-Ireland quarter-final and the midfield powerhouse is a key player for the Westerners.

Grealish and Jack Coyne have forged an impressive and hard-working midfield partnership and both players have a keen eye for a score.

Coyne scored 1-2 in the replay victory over Kilkenny and while Grealish was scoreless, he contributed a point in the drawn match.

5. Emmet Moloney (Tipperary)

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Another member of the Drom & Inch clan, Moloney has been operating at full-back for the minor hurlers.

Despite picking up an early injury during the All-Ireland semi-final victory over Dublin, Moloney battled to the finish and had the better of his individual duel with Sky Blue dangerman Alex Considine.

Moloney, a first cousin of former dual underage star Dylan Fitzell, is also one of the key defensive lynchpins for the minor footballers but was sent off for two bookings against Kildare at Croke Park last Sunday.

He’s been nursing niggling injury for the majority of the season but Moloney’s commitment to the cause has seen him crash through the pain barrier.

6. Tom Monaghan (Galway)

Donall Farmer / INPHO Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

Galway will hope that Tom Monaghan can continue in his rich recent vein of form on Sunday.

The Craughwell player made a big impact in the drawn semi-final against Kilkenny, scoring 1-3 before going off injured.

He recovered in time to shoot another vital point in the replay victory and in each of Galway’s three outings this year, Monaghan has contributed to the scoreboard.

He also notched a point in the win over Limerick and Monaghan’s ball-winning ability and foraging around the middle third are key weapons for the young Tribesmen.

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