Tipperary Supporters Club

Founded 1986

Co. Tipperary

Final opportunity for some Tipp players players ahead of panel confirmation

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Source: Nenagh Guardian

GAA: Allianz National Hurling League Division 1B Round 3 Preview

By Shane Brophy


FBD Semple Stadium

Saturday, 24th February

Throw-in @ 4.00pm

Referee: Sean Cleere (Kilkenny)

Tipperary will be expected to continue their winning start to the National League on Saturday when they host Westmeath at FBD Semple Stadium.

This will be the fourth competitive meeting between the sides since 2017 where the Midlanders pushed Tipperary to the pin of their collar in an All-Ireland qualifier in Thurles with Michael Ryan’s charges only pulling away in the last ten minutes for a flattering nine point win.

The two subsequent league meetings in 2020 and 2021 were far more comfortable with Tipperary recording 20 & 23 point victories in Thurles and Mullingar respectively.

Another comfortable victory will be expected but it will depend on which Westmeath team we get, the one that lost heavily to Galway in round 1 of the league, or the one that was level with Limerick going into the final ten minutes in round 2 before falling to a six-point defeat.

Westmeath’s competitiveness in that game should ensure that Tipperary don’t take them for granted, with manager Liam Cahill looking to strike the right balance in terms of making some changes but also not taking away the momentum built up from the wins over Dublin and Galway.

Jake Morris and Bryan O’Mara won’t feature after limping off against Galway with minor hamstring injuries but should be in line to return against Limerick in round 4 on March 9th. However, Darragh Stakelum sustained a serious finger injury in his brief cameo against the tribesmen and is set for a period on the sidelines.

After a busy period of five matches in fifteen days for college and county, Gearoid O’Connor should be in line for a much needed rest, which should coordinate nicely with the return of Jason Forde who has featured so far in the campaign as he recuperates from an operation on a finger issue which was due to take sixteen weeks, the timeline for which ends around now.

Saturday’s selection is likely to see a blend of experience, with the likes of Seamus Kennedy benefitting having returned late to the set-up, building on his showing against Galway, as should Conor Stakelum who was lively off the bench. Sean Kenneally will be hoping to build on a solid debut while Sean Ryan will see it as an opportunity to get some scores on the board, after a frustrating outing against Galway, despite getting into good positions.

This game should see a lot of intensity from Tipperary considering it will be the last chance to impress with manager Liam Cahill confirming he will be finalising his panel for the remainder of the league and the championship following this game.

Those looking to impress would include Andrew Ormond, Billy Seymour, and Cian O’Dwyer who haven’t featured much since the Munster League while Cathal Quinn will hope to get an opportunity after an impressive showing for Mary Immaculate College in their Fitzgibbon Cup final win last Saturday.

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