|Irish name||Breandán Ó Meachair|
5 January 1989 |
Borrisoleigh, County Tipperary, Ireland
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Occupation||Primary school teacher |
|2006-2009||Mary Immaculate College|
|*Inter County team apps and scores correct as of 18:03, 8 September 2016.|
Born in Borrisoleigh, County Tipperary, Maher first played competitive hurling in his youth. He played at juvenile levels with the Borris-Ileigh club before later enjoying some success at St. Joseph's College, Borrisoleigh. Maher simultaneously became a member of the Borris-Ileigh senior team, winning North Tipperary championship medals in 2005 and 2007.
Maher made his debut on the inter-county scene at the age of sixteen when he joined the Tipperary minor team. After little success in his debut year, he won an All-Ireland medal in 2006 having been earlier defeated in the Munster Championship. Still eligible for the grade in 2007, Maher collected a second All-Ireland medal and a first Munster medal as captain of the team. That same year he began the first of four seasons with the under-21 team, culminating with the winning of an All-Ireland medal in 2010. Maher made his senior debut during the 2009 league and immediately became a regular member of the team. An All-Ireland medal winner in 2010, he has since won a second All-Ireland medal as captain of the team in 2016. Maher has also won five Munster medals, two All-Stars and was named Young Hurler of the Year in 2010.
Maher plays his club hurling with the Borris-Ileigh club and has enjoyed some success. After enjoying little success at underage levels, he graduated onto the senior team where he won North Tipperary county titles in 2005 and 2007. Maher, however, is still waiting to line out in a senior county championship decider.
Minor and under-21
Maher first came to prominence on the inter-county scene as a member of the Tipperary minor hurling team in 2005. He enjoyed little success in his first year, however, Tipperary reached the All-Ireland decider via the "back-door" in 2006. Three-in-a-row hopefuls Galway provided the opposition, however, Tipp powered to 2–18 to 2–7 victory. It was Maher's first All-Ireland medal in that grade.
In 2007 Maher was appointed captain of the Tipperary minor team. He won a Munster medal in that grade that year following an 0-18 to 1-11 defeat of Cork. Both sides met again in the All-Ireland decider, however, Cork also failed on that occasion. A 3-14 to 2-11 victory gave Maher a second successive All-Ireland medal.
Maher joined the Tipperary under-21 team in 2008. He won a Munster medal in this grade in his debut season following a controversial one-point defeat of Clare. Tipp later reached the All-Ireland, however, Maher's side were defeated by Kilkenny.
After surrendering their provincial crown in 2009, Tipperary bounced back the following year. A 1-22 to 1-17 defeat of Clare gave Maher a second Munster medal. Tipp later played Galway in the All-Ireland final and went on to trounce the westerners by 5-22 to 0-12. It was Maher's first All-Ireland medal in that grade.
Maher made his first appearance for the Tipperary senior team on 14 February 2009 when he played at right wing-back in a 2-15 to 0-9 defeat of Cork in the National Hurling League. Later that year on 31 May, he made his championship debut when he came on as a substitute in Tipperary's 1-19 to 0-19 Munster quarter-final defeat of Cork. Tipperary subsequently qualified for the Munster final, however, Maher started the game on the bench. He was introduced as a substitute for Paul Curran just before the interval as Tipperary ended the half with a 3-10 to 2-4 lead. Lar Corbett, Eoin Kelly and Séamus Callanan were the goal-scorers throughout the game as Tipperary secured a 4-14 to 2-16 victory. It was Maher's first Munster medal. The All-Ireland semi-final defeat of Limerick saw Maher make his first championship start, while he was retained in the left wing-forward position for the All-Ireland final against Kilkenny on 6 September 2009. "The Cats" were poised to become the second team ever in the history of hurling to win four successive All-Ireland championships, however, for long periods Tipperary looked the likely winners. Late goals from Henry Shefflin (penalty) and substitute Martin Comerford finally killed off their efforts to secure a 2-22 to 0-23 victory.
Maher was switched to midfield in 2010 as Tipperary surrendered their provincial title to Cork in the Munster quarter-final. The team regrouped through the qualifiers and qualified for a second successive All-Ireland final meeting with Kilkenny on 5 September 2010. Kilkenny were on course for a record-breaking fifth successive championship title, however, they lost talisman Henry Shefflin to an injury after ten minutes. Tipperary got off to a great start which was bolstered by an early Lar Corbett goal. He subsequently completed a hat-trick of goals and Tipperary had a fourth by Noel McGrath to deny Kilkenny's drive-for-five and secure a remarkable and convincing 4-17 to 1-18 victory. It was Maher's first All-Ireland medal. Following the completion of the championship he picked up his first All-Star award while he was also named Young Hurler of the Year.
A fractured fibula in March 2011 brought Maher's involvement in the latter stages of the league to an end, while he also missed Tipperary's opening games of the championship. He returned to action when he was introduced as a substitute in the Munster final against Waterford. Tipperary's Lar Corbett and Eoin Kelly ran riot and scored 6-10 between them as Tipperary powered to a 7-19 to 0-19 victory. It was Maher's second Munster medal. Tipperary subsequently faced Kilkenny in the All-Ireland decider on 4 September 2011 and, after starting the game on the bench, Maher was introduced as a substitute once again. Goals by Michael Fennelly and Richie Hogan in either half gave Kilkenny, who many viewed as the underdogs going into the game, a 2–17 to 1–16 victory. It was Maher's second All-Ireland defeat.
Maher was restored to the starting fifteen in 2012 as Tipperary qualified for another Munster final. Waterford were the opponents once again, however, the sides couldn't be separated at half time. A second-half Shane Bourke goal was vital in securing a 2-17 to 0-16 victory and a third Munster medal for Maher. Tipperary later faced a humiliating 4-24 to 1-15 defeat by eventual champions Kilkenny in the All-Ireland semi-final.
After a disastrous 2013 season, Tipperary bounced back in 2014 with Maher taking over the captaincy of the team. After an early defeat in the provincial championship the team regrouped in the qualifiers and qualified for an All-Ireland final meeting with Kilkenny on 7 September 2014. In what some consider to be the greatest game of all time, the sides were level when Tipperary were awarded a controversial last-minute free. John O'Dwyer had the chance to win the game, however, his late free drifted wide resulting in a draw. The replay on 27 September 2014 was also a close affair, with J. J. Delaney's hook on Séamus Callanan thwarting an almost certain goal. Goals from brothers Richie and John Power inspired Kilkenny to a 2–17 to 2–14 victory. It was Maher's third All-Ireland final defeat, however, he ended the year with a second All-Star.
Maher retained the captaincy in 2015 as Tipperary qualified for a first Munster final in three years. Once again it was Waterford who provided the opposition, with both sides adopting defensive systems. As a result of this goals were at a premium, however, Tipperary won by 0-21 to 0-16. It was a fourth Munster medal for Maher, while he also had the honour of lifting the Munster Cup as captain. Tipperary's All-Ireland ambitions ended with a one-point All-Ireland semi-final defeat by Galway.
For the third successive year Maher captained Tipperary for the 2016 championship campaign. Tipperary qualified for a second successive Munster final that year, with Waterford providing the opposition once again. Forwards Séamus Callanan and John McGrath ran riot and scored 4-13 between them as Tipperary powered to a 5-19 to 0-13 victory. It was Maher's fifth Munster medal while it was his second time captaining the team to the provincial title. Tipperary subsequently qualified for an All-Ireland final meeting with Kilkenny on 5 September 2016. While just two points separated the sides at the interval, Tipperary completely outplayed Kilkenny for the second half. A total of 2-21 for their inside forward line of Séamus Callanan, John McGrath and John O'Dwyer helped them to a huge 2-29 to 2-20 victory. It was Tipperary's first All-Ireland title in six years. It was a second All-Ireland medal for Maher, who also collected the Liam MacCarthy Cup as captain. He also became only the fifth player to captain both a minor and senior hurling team to All-Ireland victory.
In 2011 Maher was included on the Ireland team for the composite rules shinty–hurling series of games. Two defeats of Scotland gave victory to Ireland and gave Maher a winners' medal in this competition.
- As of match played 4 September 2016.
- All-Ireland Mini 7s Championship (1): 2015
- North Tipperary Senior Club Hurling Championship (2): 2005, 2007
- Mary Immaculate College
- Ryan Cup (1): 2009
- All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship (2): 2010, 2016 (c)
- Munster Senior Hurling Championship (5): 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015 (c), 2016 (c)
- All-Ireland Under-21 Hurling Championship (1): 2010
- Munster Under-21 Hurling Championship (2): 2008, 2010
- All-Ireland Minor Hurling Championship (2): 2006, 2007 (c)
- Munster Minor Hurling Championship (1): 2007 (c)
- Composite Rules Shinty–Hurling Series (2): 2011, 2013
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- McGoldrick, Seán (4 September 2016). "Majestic Tipperary are All Ireland champions after victory over Kilkenny in Croke Park". Irish Independent. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
- "Tipperary captain Brendan Maher matched one of Brian Cody's proudest achievements last Sunday". Irish Independent. 7 September 2016. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
- "Ireland win Shinty series". Irish Examiner. 30 October 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2011.