Tipperary hurlers and footballers will entertain Cork in Thurles

Eamonn Wynne

Reporter:

Eamonn Wynne

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ewynne@nationalist.ie

Padraic Maher

Captain Padraic Maher will lead Tipperary into Sunday's vital Munster Senior Hurling Championship clash against Cork at Semple Stadium

Cork's hurlers and footballers will be welcomed to Semple Stadium on consecutive days this weekend for three crunch GAA championship clashes against Tipperary.

First up are the footballers, who will be in opposition at 7pm on Saturday evening in the Munster Senior Championship semi-final.

Wicklow referee Anthony Nolan will be in charge and if necessary extra time will be played.

The counties will compete in a double bill of hurling on Sunday. The Minor match starts at 12 noon, with Waterford referee Thomas Walsh the man in the middle.

That will be followed at 2pm by the Senior clash, a match that represents a shot at redemption for Tipperary following last weekend's defeat by Limerick in the opening game of the round robin series.

https://www.nationalist.ie/news/sport/314073/tipperary-defeated-by-limerick-in-the-new-look-munster-senior-hurling-championship.html

The match will be shown live on RTE and the referee is Wicklow’s John Keenan. 

Tipp supporters are clinging to the hope that their team's performance won't be as bad as the insipid display against Limerick, which saw them beaten by six points and placed under immediate pressure to reach the Munster Final and the knockout stages of the All-Ireland Championship.

The defeat came in the middle of an eventful, even bizarre few days for the hurlers.

Manager Michael Ryan's team selection on Friday was greeted with incredulity in many quarters, with five players handed their championship debuts as starters. 

That gamble didn’t pay off and after the game the manager refused  to speak to the media.

However he broke his self-imposed media ban in an interview on Tipp FM on Tuesday morning, indicating that he would resume his media duties after Sunday’s match against Cork.

A win in that game is imperative, although it won't be easily achieved against a Cork side buoyed by its victory over Clare at Pairc Ui Chaoimh on Sunday.

The likelihood is that Michael Ryan and his selectors will return to a more tried and trusted format when picking the team later this week.

Above - Tipperary's Liam Boland in action against Waterford in last weekend's Munster Senior Football Championship quarter-final

FOOTBALL SEMI-FINAL

In the football game the counties meet for a third successive year, with Tipperary winning in 2016 and Cork edging to victory by a point last year.

The semi-final clashes with soccer's Champions League Final between Liverpool and Real Madrid, and Tipperary manager Liam Kearns and County Football Board chairman Barry O’Brien have appealed to all Gaelic Games followers in the county to get to Thurles and lend their support to the team.

"The players have put in a huge effort and the support could be vital in determining the result of the match", says Liam Kearns. 

"The supporters could be the difference and give us that little extra edge that we need".

Speaking after last weekend's quarter-final win over Waterford - https://www.nationalist.ie/news/sport/314020/tipp-overcome-waterford-to-set-up-semi-final-against-cork.html - Barry O'Brien said that the team deserve "massive" support.

“This game is one of the most important that Tipperary football has played in a long time, with the winners being not only assured of a Munster Final place but are also just one step away from the Super 8s". 

The winners will play Kerry or Clare in the Munster final on June 23.

MINOR HURLING

Minor hurling manager Tommy Dunne also has the task of lifting his players for the game against Cork, following their defeat by Limerick last Sunday.

https://www.nationalist.ie/news/sport/314064/tipperary-beaten-by-limerick-in-munster-minor-hurling-championship.html