Kilkenny v Tipperary, Sunday, 3.30pm, Croke Park.
Kilkenny and Tipperary will battle it out on Sunday in the All-Ireland Final at Croke Park. The game throws in at 3.30pm and is live on RTE. If for some reason you can’t make the game we will be bringing you live score updates from the below link.
Kilkenny come into the game on the back of a very impressive semi-final win over Limerick. Many were writing the Cats off even I was to be fair. However, you can never really writing off a team managed by Brian Cody no matter what. Kilkenny had a good campaign in Leinster beating Dublin and Carlow, drawing with Wexford, before losing to Galway. The draw with Wexford meant they played the Yellowbeliies in the Leinster Final which they lost. Since then though they have turned things around. They were superb against Cork in the quarter-final and then again in the semi-final win over Limerick. Players like Huw Lawlor, Padraig Walsh, TJ Reid and Colin Fennelly have really stood up. Then you have the likes of Adrian Mullen who has been superb this year. Cody will look to these players et again and if they are to win these players will obviously need to be at their best.
Liam Sheedy is back in the All-Ireland Final for the first time since 2010 when he stopped Kilkenny’s five in a row bid, bear in mind now this is his second stint as manager of the Premier County and his first year back. The Portroe man would love to get a win on Sunday obviously but it will be tough against the Cats. Tipperary had a good Munster campaign only the Munster Final was the blip on the card where Limerick put them to the sword. They beat Wexford narrowly by 2 points in the semi-final in a game that could of went, either way, to be honest. What they do have is quality, the Mahers, Ronan, Padraic and Brendan are the best defenders around, while Noel McGrath is having an excellent year in midfield. In attack then players like Seamus Callanan, John McGrath, Bubbles O’Dwyer and Jason Forde all know what it’s like to play on the big stage so they will be expecting big performances.
Last Five Championship Meetings
2012 Kilkenny 4-24 Tipperary 1-15 (All-Ireland semi-final)
2013 Kilkenny 0-20 Tipperary 1-14 (All-Ireland Qualifier)
2014 Kilkenny 3-22 Tipperary 1-28 (All-Ireland semi-final)
2014 Kilkenny 2-17 Tipperary 2-14 (All-Ireland semi-final replay)
2016 Tipperary 2-29 Kilkenny 2-20 (All-Ireland Final)
Kilkenny: Cillian Buckley comes into the Cats’ starting line-up to partner Conor Browne at centre-field, with Richie Leahy dropping to the bench.
Kilkenny (All-Ireland SHC final v Tipperary): Eoin Murphy; Paul Murphy, Hue Lawlor, Joey Holden; Conor Fogarty, Padraig Walsh, Paddy Deegan; Conor Browne, Cillian Buckley; John Donnelly, TJ Reid, Walter Walsh; Adrian Mullen, Colin Fennelly Richie Hogan
Subs: Darren Brennan, Conor Delaney, Enda Morrissey, Jason Cleere, Richie Reid, Richie Leahy, James Maher, Billy Ryan, Liam Blanchfield, Ger Aylward, Alan Murphy
Tipperary (All-Ireland SHC final v Kilkenny):Brian Hogan; Cathal Barrett, Barry Heffernan, Ronan Maher; Brendan Maher, Padraic Maher, Seamus Kennedy; Noel McGrath, Michael Breen; Dan McCormack, John O’Dwyer, Niall O’Meara; Jason Forde, Seamus Callanan, John McGrath
Subs: Paul Maher, James Barry, Ger Browne, Robert Byrne, Jerome Cahill, Willie Connors, Alan Flynn, Mark Kehoe, Donagh Maher, Jake Morris, Sean O’Brien
Tipperary are slight favourites at 5/6, while Brian Cody’s charges are 11/8. The draw should be considered at odds of 8/1. Personally, I think Tipperary will come out on top though, it will be a close enough game but Tipperary have excellent forwards and if they get space they can cause damage just like 2016 final. Tipperary -1 is the bet I would do here as I believe Tipperary will win by 2 or 3 points.