Cork look to have the edge on Tipperary as they bid to complete U-21 three-in-a-row
But strong Tipp team includes several of their 2011 minor All-Ireland-winning team
The talented Michael Quinlivan will line out at full-forward for Tipperary against Cork at Semple Stadium tonight.
The statistics may be damned or not but they certainly stack up in Cork’s favour as they seek a third successive Munster under-21 football title – or eighth in 10 years, and number 24 in all.
Tipperary, in starkest statistical contrast, are seeking only their second ever title, to add to their groundbreaking win in 2010. When the teams last met in this grade, in the 2011 semi-final. Cork won by 12 points, 0-21 to 2-3, and the reigning champions have already beaten Kerry to get this far.
Yet Tipperary will still fancy their chances, and for good reason. They’ve actually beaten several of these Cork players at minor level, this under-21 team is built on their All-Ireland minor success from 2011, including the highly talented Michael Quinlivan.
Tipperary do make a couple of notable changes from their semi-final win over Clare, calling up Gearóid Slattery and Darragh Kearney. Slattery regains the goalkeeping duties after Evan Comerford opted out of the panel this week for still large unexplained reasons. Kearney also returns to his full back position after missing the Clare game through illness, with Liam Treacy the player to miss out. Quinlivan is named at full forward.
Cork include captain and former senior hurler Damien Cahalane. Sean Kiely replaces Brian O’Driscoll. Their strength in depth should see them make it title number 24.