Top young stars in South Tipp football showpiece

Neighbours Clonmel Commercials and Kilsheelan/Kilcash meet in the South Tipperary Clonmel Oil senior football final at Monroe on Saturday evening in a game that will showcase some of the most exciting football talent in the county.

Neighbours Clonmel Commercials and Kilsheelan/Kilcash meet in the South Tipperary Clonmel Oil senior football final at Monroe on Saturday evening in a game that will showcase some of the most exciting football talent in the county.

Among those on view will members of the Tipperary team that made the entire country sit up and take notice last Sunday when qualifying for the All Ireland minor football final - and emulating the county minor hurlers who play their All Ireland final this Sunday.

Add in members of the Tipperary under 21 side that narrowly lost the All Ireland final to Tyrone and senior stars who are earning new respect for Tipperary football and you have a mix to whet any appetite.

The clubs have contrasting records in the championship - aristocrats Commercials are seeking their 23rd title with Kilsheelan after their fifth.

When they last met in the final two years ago the town side won comfortably 1-12 to 0-6.

Kilsheelan have to go all the way back to 1970, all of forty five years ago, to when they last beat Commercials in the final, winning that day 1-7 to 0-7.

Commercials may have the legacy but Saturday evening’s final in Monroe could be close as Kilsheelan are having a fine year and are also through to the divisional intermediate hurling final.

They have a very young team that will bring great energy to the decider. Brendan Martin and Mark Kehoe were on the Tipperary minor team that did the county proud in Croke Park on Sunday and they will hope to maintain their rich vein of form.

The Maher brothers Paul and Bill were on the under 21 team that nearly secured Tipperary its first title in the grade, while Eoghan, Tommy and Jimmy Ryan will also relish the challenge against Commercials. And the last line of defence is county keeper Evan Comerford whose free-taking talents will also ensure that Commercials will need to keep their discipline.

The Clonmel side has an equally liberal sprinkling of star players with Jack Kennedy making a name for himself on the national stage on Sunday with a man of the match performance against Kildare. Ross Peters was also on the team but he has another assignment with the hurlers in Croke Park this Sunday.

One of the stars of the All Ireland winning minor team four years ago, Michael Quinlivan, has developed into one of the game’s top forwards and he will be a key man for Commercials and will require close attention from the Kilsheelan defence. Add in players such as Paul Nolan, Fergal Condon, Kevin Fahey, Ian Fahey, Jason and Alan Lonergan and Jamie Peters, and Commercials pose a serious threat to any side.

Both sides have impressed on their way to the final - Commercial had a bye into the semi-final where they trounced Ardfinnan 3-18 to 0-5; Kilsheelan beat Ballyporeen in the quarter, 3-16 to 0-6 and were too strong for Cahir in the semi-final, winning 2-15 to 0-10.

Whoever win on Saturday will have deserved it.