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brian.lowry@midlandtribune.ie

For the second time in two weeks, Tipperary and Limerick will lock horns in the Munster Championship but this Sunday, the coveted Munster title will be up for grabs as Liam Sheedy looks to bring some badly needed silverware back into the Premier County.

The group stage meeting of the teams two weeks ago didn’t pull up any trees but with both always likely to meet again in the final, it is fair to say there was a fair degree of shadowboxing going on.

The Gaelic Grounds in Limerick will be the venue this Sunday and come throw in at 2pm, there will be a massive atmosphere on Shannonside.

Speaking ahead of the game, Liam Sheedy agreed that Patrick Maher will be a massive loss while confirming that is extremely unlikely that Cathal Barrett will be fit enough to take up residence in the full back line.

“I'm devastated for the chap (Maher). What he has brought to the team over the last number of weeks has been exceptional.

“He has been a really strong player and was in full flow and a Bonner in full flow is a very difficult man to mark.

“I am gutted for him on a personal level but the show must go on and he will be an integral part of our team even though he won't be inside the white lines because he is a really strong leader within this group.

Barrett picked up a hamstring injury in the win over Limerick two weeks ago and Sheedy has had to realistic about his chances of taking to the field on Sunday.

“I can't see a hamstring right in two weeks. We have good guys go in, Sean O'Brien hadn't played in the last two games and went in (v Limerick) and did very well.

“Alan Flynn stepped into the breach last week so there are opportunities coming for guys and that is where we are going to learn, and unless you have that strength in depth on the panel you are not going to be competitive in the latter stages of the championship.”

Tipp went through the group stages unbeaten and cut an imposing team in which Liam Sheedy seems to be guiding expertly.

Limerick have had an up and down campaign. Having won the All Ireland last year and claimed the National League title earlier this year already, they will be hoping that they can peak again at the right time.

They lost out to Cork in their opening game before putting both Waterford and Clare to the sword in convincing wins.

Both teams will be facing their stiffest test of the year.

The form book will count for very little in the white heat of battle on Sunday as the Munster final magic comes to Limerick.

Neither side will be out of the championship come Sunday evening but one will have a serious momentum gain should they get one over on the other in a cut throat game.

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