TIPPERARY minor boss Willie Maher has made four changes for tomorrow’s Electric Ireland Munster MHC semi-final against Waterford in Semple Stadium from their first round victory over Kerry. Barry Heffernan comes into the side at left half-back, Tadhg Gallagher is named at midfield, Steven O’Brien will line out at left half-forward and Sean Ryan is drafted in at left corner-forward. Luke Mullally, Tom Kirwan, Sean Nally and Kevin Slattery are the four players to make way.
Gallagher and O’Brien were both members of the Nenagh CBS side that won the All-Ireland college senior hurling title in April, with corner-back Jack Peters also a member of that side. O’Brien is one of five players who lined out on the Tipperary minor football team that defeated Cork in last month’s Munster semi-final to set up a final date with Kerry on Sunday week. Dylan Fitzelle, Bill Maher, John McGrath and Jack Shelly all featured on that occasion as well. And McGrath and corner-back Ronan Maher are younger brothers of Tipperary seniors Noel McGrath and Padraic Maher respectively.
TIPPERARY MH: P Maher (Moyne-Templetuohy); R Maher (Thurles Sarsfields), M Breen (Ballina), J Peters (Kilruane McDonaghs); D Fitzelle (Cashel King Cormacs), T Hamill (Killea), B Heffernan (Éire Óg Nenagh); B Maher (Kilsheelan-Kilcash), T Gallagher (Kildangan); J McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney), J Shelly (Mullinahone), S O’Brien (Ballina); S Cahill (Thurles Sarsfields), M McCarthy (Toomevara), S Ryan (Sean Treacy’s).
Opponents Waterford have also made four changes with David O’Brien drafted in at right half-back, Colin Dunford at midfield, Austin Gleeson at centre-forward and Brendan Phelan at full-forward. Cian Leamy, Conor Sheehan, Adam O’Sullivan and Cathal Curran are the four players to lose out.
There are five members of the Colaiste na nDéise side that claimed the Dr Harty Cup crown this year in the Waterford line-up – full-back Tadhg Bourke, wing-back Kieran Power, midfielder duo Tom Devine and Dunford, and wing-forward Michéal Harney. It will be a massive occasion for the Bennett family as well with brothers Kieran, Shane and Stephen lining out at right corner-back, left corner-back and right corner-forward respectively. The trio are sons of the former Waterford senior selector Pat.
WATERFORD MH: S Barry (Lismore); K Bennett (Ballysaggart), T Bourke (Clashmore/Kinsalebeg), Shane Bennett (Ballysaggart); D O’Brien (Tourin), S McNulty (De La Salle), K Power (Kilrossanty); T Devine (Modeligo), C Dunford (Colligan); DJ Foran (Portlaw), A Gleeson (Mount Sion), M Harney (Bunmahon); Stephen Bennett (Ballysaggart), B Phelan (Ballinameela), D Flynn (Erins Own).