Tipperary County Board has announced that the senior hurling management team have appointed Brendan Maher (Borris-Ileigh) as captain and Noel McGrath (Loughmore Castleiney) as vice captain of the Tipperary senior hurling team for 2014.
Brendan Maher was born on January 5th, 1989 and plays for the Borris-Ileigh club.
He made his Senior inter-county debut for Tipperary against Waterford in the 2009 Waterford Crystal Cup, lining out at left corner-back in a Tipperary victory. Brendan made his National Hurling League debut against Cork in February 2009, lining out at wing-back. Brendan made his Championship debut as a substitute against Cork in the 2009 Munster Senior Hurling Championship.
Brendan’s first Championship start came at left half-back in the 2009 All-Ireland semi-final vs. Limerick. Brendan was an ever present at midfield in the 2010 All-Ireland Championship, helping Tipperary to capture the All-Ireland title and scoring 2 points from play in the final.
Brendan played for the Tipperary Minor Hurlers for three years, winning 2 All-Ireland Minor medals in 2006 and in 2007 (as captain). Brendan has also a Munster Minor Hurling medal in 2007 and 3 Munster Senior Hurling medals (2009, 2011 and 2012). Brendan scored 0-12 from play in the 2007 All-Ireland Minor Hurling Championship campaign following up from his contribution of 1-4 in the 2006 campaign. Brendan was the second player from the Borris-Ileigh club to captain a Tipperary Minor team to All-Ireland success, following in the foot steps of Paddy Kenny in 1947. Brendan lined out with the Tipperary Under 21 Hurlers in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, winning Munster medals in 2008 and 2010 and an All-Ireland medal in 2010, playing at centre-back in the final. Brendan was won an All-Star award at midfield in 2010 and also captured the 2010 Young Hurler of the Year award. Brendan was shortlisted for the 2010 Bord Gáis Energy Breaking Through Player of the Year award. Brendan lined out with the Munster hurlers in the Inter-Provincial Championship in 2012 and 2013, winning a medal as captain from midfield in 2013. Brendan was Vice-Captain of the Tipperary Senior Hurling team in 2013.
Championship debut - 2009 vs. Cork; Number of Appearances - 20; Scored - 0-10
Noel McGrath was born on December 17th, 1990 and plays for the Loughmore-Castleiney club. He made his Senior inter-county debut for Tipperary against Clare in the 2009 Waterford Crystal Cup Final, scoring a point from play at right corner-forward. Noel made his National Hurling League debut against Cork in February 2009. Noel made his Championship debut at corner-forward against Cork in the 2009 Munster Senior Hurling Championship, scoring 3 points from play. Noel won a Munster Senior Hurling Medal in 2009, scoring 0-13 in three matches in that year’s Munster championship. He won further Munster Senior Hurling medals in 2011 and 2012.
Noel won the RTE man of the match award in the 2010 All-Ireland Senior Hurling semi-final versus Waterford, scoring 7 points, 5 from play in the centre-forward position. He won an All-Ireland Senior Hurling medal in 2010, scoring a goal in the final against Kilkenny. He also won an All-Ireland Under 21 Hurling medal in 2010, scoring 1-3 in the All-Ireland final defeat of Galway. Noel won the 2010 GAA Player of the Month award for August, sponsored by Vodafone. The award followed McGrath’s stunning display in Tipp’s impressive 3-19 to 1-18 victory over Waterford. McGrath hit five outstanding points from play against the Deise as he won a crucial battle against Michael ‘Brick’ Walsh.
Noel lined out with the Tipperary Minor Hurlers for three seasons, winning All-Ireland medals in 2006 and 2007, a Munster Minor medal in 2007 and a Munster Under 21 Hurling medal in 2010. Noel won the RTE man of the match award in the 2007 All-Ireland semi-final victory over Kilkenny. He played an impressive role as a second half substitute at wing-back in the 2006 All-Ireland semi-final defeat over Kilkenny. In all, Noel played 11 Championship matches for the Tipperary Minor hurlers, scoring 1-34 (0-15 frees, 0-2 sideline cuts, 1-17 from play) in total.
Noel won an All-Ireland Under 16 Hurling medal in 2006 and a Dean Ryan Cup medal with Our Ladys Templemore in 2007. Noel helped his club to win County and Munster Club Senior Hurling medals in 2007 and a county senior hurling medal in 2013. Noel’s father, Pat, played for Tipperary at Minor, Under 21 and Senior level. Noel has been nominated for All-Star awards in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, winning All-Star awards in 2009 (right corner-forward) and 2010 (centre-forward). Noel was also voted as the 2009 Young Hurler of the Year.
Championship debut - 2009 vs. Cork; Number of Appearances - 22; Scored - 3-58