Noel McGrath (hurler)

For other people with the same name, see Noel McGrath.
Noel McGrath
Personal information
Irish name Nollaig Mac Craith
Sport Hurling
Position Right Corner Forward
Born (1990-12-17) 17 December 1990
Loughmore, Ireland
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Occupation Student
Years Club
2007- Loughmore-Castleiney
Club titles
  Football Hurling
Tipperary titles 3 2
Munster titles 0 1
Years County Apps (scores)
2009- Tipperary 28 (3-77)
Inter-county titles
Munster titles 4
All-Irelands 2
All Stars 2
*Inter County team apps and scores correct as of 22 September 2012.

Noel McGrath (born 17 December 1990) is an Irish hurler who currently plays as a centre-forward for the Tipperary senior team.[1]

McGrath joined the team straight out of the minor grade during the 2009 championship and immediately became a regular member of the starting fifteen the following year. Since then he has won one All-Ireland winners' medal and three Munster winners' medals. He has ended up as an All-Ireland runner-up on two occasions.

McGrath has a number of personal achievements. He won back-to-back All-Star awards during his first two seasons of championship hurling. Also in 2009 he won the All-Star Young Hurler of the Year award.

At club level McGrath is a one-time Munster medalist with Loughmore-Casteleiney. He has also won two county club championship medals.


Noel McGrath was born in Loughmore, County Tipperary in 1990, the son of former Tipp footballer and hurler Pat McGrath.[2] He was educated at the local national school before later attending Our Lady's Secondary School in nearby Templemore. Here McGrath's hurling talents first came to the fore, and he was a regular on the school's senior team. In 2006 Our Lady's qualified for the final of the Dean Ryan Cup competition. Waterford's De La Salle provided the opposition and a close game developed. McGrath ended the game as the top scorer, having bagged 1-3 as the Tipperary side won the game by 1-10 to 2-4.[3]

Following the completion of his Leaving Certificate McGrath attended the Limerick Institute of Technology where he studied until 2010 before moving to University College Dublin where he currently is studying.

On 17 April 2015, McGrath underwent surgery to help treat testicular cancer.[4] He returned to the Tipperary hurling panel in August 2015 and came on as a substitute in the All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Galway on 16 August. [5][6][7]

In February 2016, McGrath was named as the Tipperary Person of the Year for 2015 by the Tipperary Association Dublin.[8]

Playing career


McGrath plays his club hurling and Football with his local Loughmore-Castleiney club and, even at a young age, he has enjoyed much success.

In 2007 he was only sixteen years-old when he played with the club's senior team in the county championship. That year Loughmore-Castleiney reached the county final for the first time since 1989. Drom-Inch provided the opposition, however, the game turned into a rout and was a largely disappointing affair due to its one-sided nature. McGrath chipped in with five points to help his team to a 0-22 to 0-13 victory. It was his first county senior championship winners' medals.[9] This win allowed Loughmore-Castleiney to represent the county in the subsequent provincial series of games. McGrath's club had little difficulty in reaching the final where Clare side Tulla provided the opposition. In atrocious conditions Loughmore-Castleiney emerged the winners by 1-6 to 0-7 giving McGrath a Munster club winners' medal.[10] Loughmore-Castleiney's next game was an All-Ireland semi-final meeting with Portumna. The club's great run of success came to a halt in this game, in spite of McGrath scoring 1-4, as the Galway side powered to a 2-13 to 2-9 victory.[11]

He played in the 2010 Tipperary Senior Football Championship final but was on the losing side as Aherlow ran out 2-04 to 1-06 winners on the day.

In 2013 his Loughmore-Castleiney side made history becoming the first club in Tipperary to win a football & hurling county championship double. Mcgrath tasted further success by winning the Tipperary Senior Football Championship in 2014 and again in 2016.

Minor & under-21

McGrath first came to prominence on the inter-county scene as a member of the Tipperary under-16 team. He won an All-Ireland title with that team before later making a bigger impact on the inter-county scene.

In 2006 McGrath was only fifteen years-old, however, he became a key member of the Tipperary minor hurling team. That year the Tipp minors reached the Munster final and played Cork. McGrath was introduced as a late substitute as a high-scoring game followed, however, at the full-time whistle victory went to 'the Rebels' by 2-20 to 1-15.[12] In spite of this defeat, Tipperary still had a chance to claim the All-Ireland title via the 'back-door' route. Subsequent defeats of Carlow and Kilkenny allowed Tipperary to advance to the All-Ireland final where Galway provided the opposition. The westerners had won the previous two championship deciders and were going for a coveted three-in-a-row. Tipperary proved too strong for the reigning champions and powered to a 2-18 to 2-7 victory.[13] It was McGrath's first All-Ireland winners' medal in the minor grade.

In 2007 McGrath was still a key member of the Tipperary minor team. For the second year in succession he lined out in the Munster final with Cork providing the opposition once again. On this occasion the result was reversed as Tipp won the game by 0-18 to 1-11.[14] It was McGrath's first Munster winners' medal in the minor grade. Tipp subsequently defeated Kilkenny to qualify for the All-Ireland final. Cork, the defeated Munster finalists, provided the opposition and a high-scoring game developed over the course of the hour. At the full-time whistle Tipp were the champions by 3-14 to 2-11 and McGrath added a second consecutive All-Ireland medal to his collection.[15]

In 2008 McGrath was in his final year as a member of the Tipp minor hurling team and for the third year in succession Tipperary lined out against Cork in the provincial decider. A close game developed with neither side taking an extensive lead, however, two late points deep into injury-time allowed Cork to take the title by 0-19 to 0-18.[16] Tipp later trounced Antrim in the All-Ireland quarter-final before losing out to Kilkenny in the penultimate stage of the championship.

McGrath graduated onto the Tipperary under-21 hurling team in 2009, however, his debut season ended in early defeat. 2010 was different as Tipp defeated Clare in the provincial decider by 1-22 to 1-17, giving McGrath his first Munster under-21 winners' medal.[17] Tipp subsequently qualified for an All-Ireland meeting with Galway, however, the game turned into an absolute rout. McGrath chipped in with 1-3, the goal coming from a long-range free that deceived the goalkeeper, as Tipperary powered to a 5-21 to 0-11 victory.[18] It was McGrath's first All-Ireland under-21 winners' medal.


McGrath made his senior inter-county debut for Tipperary against Clare in the final of the Waterford Crystal Cup in 2009. He scored a point from play at right corner-forward, however, Tipp were defeated in that game. McGrath went on to make his National Hurling League debut against Cork in a special Saturday night game under floodlights at Semple Stadium. Tipp later went on th qualify for the final of that competition, with Kilkenny providing the opposition. McGrath's stormed into a decisive lead as they took the game by the scruff of the neck; however, ‘the Cats’ clawed their way back into the game. At the end of normal time both sides were level. A period of extra-time followed, however, in spite of a 2-26 to 4-17 defeat, Tipp were widely lauded for their performance.[19] The subsequent championship campaign saw McGrath make his debut in a quarter-final defeat of Cork. He went on to score seven points against Clare in the semi-final,[20] allowing Tipp to advance to the provincial decider. Waterford, the team that had put Tipp to the sword in the All-Ireland semi-final the previous year provided the opposition. McGrath's side raced into a decisive lead at the interval, however, the Decies fought back to narrow the deficit and maybe cause an upset. In the end Tipp won the game by 4-14 to 2-16.[21] It was McGrath's first Munster winners' medal in the senior grade and allowed Tipperary to advance to an All-Ireland semi-final meeting with Limerick in Croke Park. Tipperary went on to defeat Limerick in the All Ireland Semi-Final by 6-19 to 2-7 on 16 August 2009, to set up a final meeting with Kilkenny, McGrath scored 1-03 in the Semi-final.[22] In the final on the 6 September, Tipperary lost to Kilkenny by 2-22 to 0-23 in a match described as one of the best finals ever, with McGrath scoring two points.[23]

In September 2009, McGrath was nominated for the 2009 All Star Team, and also for the All Star Young Hurler of the Year award.[24] On the 16 October 2009, he was presented with his first All Star award in the corner forward position, and was also named as young hurler of the year for 2009.[25][26]

On 5 September 2010, McGrath started at centre-forward and scored a goal as Tipperary won their 26th All Ireland title, beating reigning champions Killkenny by 4-17 to 1-18 in the final, preventing Kilkenny from achieving an historic 5-in-a-row, it was McGrath's first All-Ireland winners medal in his second final.[27] He later picked up a second All Star Award for his performances.

On 4 September 2016, McGrath won his second All-Ireland Senior hurling title when Tipperary defeated Kilkenny in the final by 2-29 to 2-20. His brother John also played alongside him in the match.[28][29][30]




  1. "Profile: Noel McGrath". Hurling Stats website. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  2. "McGrath boys determined to write new story for Tipp". Irish Independent. 3 September 2016. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  3. "Our Lady's fulfil Dean Ryan dream". Irish Examiner. 2006-12-07. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
  4. "Tipperary hurler Noel McGrath to undergo surgery for testicular cancer this week". Irish Independent. 15 April 2015. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  5. "Fit-again Tipperary star Noel McGrath set to feature against Galway". Irish Examiner. 14 August 2015. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  6. "Watch Croke Park rise to its feet to welcome Noel McGrath back to action". The 42. 16 August 2015. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  7. "Noel McGrath: 'I felt a lump and hoped it was from hurling, but it was testicular cancer'". Irish Independent. 6 September 2015. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  8. "I'm mad for games - Noel McGrath ready to move on from cancer nightmare". Irish Independent. 9 February 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  9. "Sweeney the star player as Loughmore take title". Irish Independent. 2007-10-22. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
  10. "Loughmore-Castleiney secure Munster club title". RTÉ Sport. 2007-12-02. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
  11. "Portumna 2-13 Loughmore-Castleiney 2-09". RTÉ Sport. 2008-02-24. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
  12. "Rebel goals rattle Tipp". Irish Examiner. 2006-06-26. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
  13. "2006". Premier View. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
  14. "Rebel goals rattle Tipp". Irish Examiner. 2007-07-09. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
  15. "Dunne: Minor must get time to develop". Irish Examiner. 2007-09-03. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
  16. "Cork's crown as Collins and Farrell strike late". Irish Examiner. 2008-07-14. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
  17. "Tipperary settle after early Clare blitz and finish strongly". Irish Times. 2010-07-29. Retrieved 2010-07-31.
  18. "Tipperary claim Under-21 hurling crown". RTÉ Sport. 2010-09-11. Retrieved 2010-09-12.
  19. "RTÉ Sport GAA Championship: Kilkenny 2-26 Tipperary 4-17 (AET)". RTÉ Sport. 2009-05-03. Retrieved 2009-07-29.
  20. "Tipperary 3-18 Clare 1-22". RTÉ Sport. 2009-06-21. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
  21. "Classy Corbett Tipps the scales". Irish Independent. 2009-07-13. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
  22. "Tipperary 6-19 Limerick 2-07". RTÉ Sport. 2009-08-16. Retrieved 2009-08-26.
  23. "Kilkenny cement their greatness". Irish Independent. 2009-09-07. Retrieved 2009-09-10.
  24. "Hurling All Star nominations revealed". RTÉ Sport. 2009-09-23. Retrieved 2009-10-07.
  25. "Kilkenny take six All Stars". RTÉ Sport. 2009-10-15. Retrieved 2009-11-16.
  26. "Tommy Walsh wins Hurler of Year award". Irish Independent. 2009-10-17. Retrieved 2009-11-16.
  27. "Rampant Tipp deny Cats immortality". Irish Independent. 2010-09-06. Retrieved 2010-09-08.
  28. "Tipperary 2-29 Kilkenny 2-20". Munster GAA. 5 September 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  29. "Analysis: How Tipperary finally overcame Kilkenny to claim All-Ireland senior hurling glory". The 42. 5 September 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  30. "Three All-Ireland medals in one day! Photo captures heartwarming moment the McGraths came together at Croker". Irish Independent. 5 September 2016. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
Preceded by
Joe Canning
Vodafone Young Hurler of the Year
Succeeded by
Brendan Maher

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