Tipperary crowned All-Ireland Hurling Champions with 3-25 to 0-20 win over Kilkenny

Tipperary 3-25 Kilkenny 0-20 

Tipperary put Kilkenny to the sword by 3-25 to 0-20 in Croke Park on Sunday in the All-Ireland Hurling. The first 20 minutes of the game was a real dogfight with both sides going blow for blow. It was quite a scrappy first half in truth though with the weather not helping both sets of players.

TJ Reid opened the scoring within 30 seconds from a free, the Ballyhale man would make it 0-2 to 0-0 following an advantage by James Owens,  however, it probably should have been a goal for Kilkenny after John McGrath denied Colin Fennelly with an excellent hook on the edge of the small square. Richie Hogan got the first score from play on the board, but Jason Forde was proving unerring from frees. In fact, one of those frees should have been a penalty after Seamus Callanan was fouled, however, Owens decided to award a free. Kilkenny leading by 0-8 to 0-3 by the 21st minute. One of those scores came after Brian Hogan was adjudged of catching sliothar from behind the crossbar, just like in the semi-final hawk-eye was required and it was a point. John Donnelly given the credit. Michael Breen would fire a neat over from the right-wing as the rain was bucketing it down at GAA headquarters. Tipperary though came thundering into the game Jason Forde knocked over a free, then a 65 to cut the gap. Then came a crucial score, Padraic Maher caught a nice ball before delivering to Niall O’Meara, who turned Fogarty with his dazzling feet before finishing low to the net giving Glenmore man Eoin Murphy no chance in the goal. The Premier men then took the led when Forde knocked over another 65, Tipperary leading despite been outplayed for the opening 25 minutes. John Donnelly got his second on the board with a sublime effort, before John McGrath and Seamus Kennedy replied.

The games defining moment came then on 32 minutes. Danesfort club man Richie Hogan went in high with a tackle on Cathal Barrett near the sideline on the Hoganstand side of the pitch. He caught Barrett on the chin with his elbow. Hogan was dismissed on a straight red amid a chorus of boos from the Kilkenny fans. However, rules state that any dangerous challenge around the head is a red card offence. It was 1-09 to 0-11 at the break, all not lost for Kilkenny, yet!

Tipperary piled on the pressure on their near neighbours then.  They started to get more space. TJ Reid levelled the game for the final time within a minute of the half beginning, but that was the last time the Cats would get anywhere near the Premier men. Seamus Callanan got his 8th goal in 8 games when he swept home a rebound effort from John McGrath.  The Drom and Inch club man then fired over a score from play. Kilkenny could have had a goal at the other end when Walter Walsh just fired over, but wing-back Seamus Kennedy raided forward to point for Tipperary in response. The game was probably settled as a contest on 42 minutes. Kennedy picked out Callanan who was in the corner before he picked out John O’Dwyer who fired the ball to the net, 3-12 to 0-13 ahead now Tipperary.

Kilkenny probably needed goals even with a half an hour to play but they would even find that hard to come by as Tipperary were marking Fennelly tightly which limited their goalscoring opportunities. Conor Browne had a goal effort but it was very tame and easily dealt with by Brian Hogan. Padraic Maher once again showed bravery when he put his body on the line to block Walter Walsh’s goal-bound effort. Donnelly, Reid and Ryan all kept raising white flags but it was the Mahers, Ronan and Padraic, as well as Barry Heffernan who were coming out with the sliothar time and time again. Liam Sheedy opted to empty his bench and they delivered just as they did against Wexford, with Ger Browne, Willie Connors, Jake Morris and Mark Kehoe all firing over white flags. It was Tipperary’s biggest ever win over Kilkenny since 1964 and their 28th Liam McCarthy Cup in total.

Kilkenny: Eoin Murphy; Paul Murphy, Huw Lawlor, Joey Holden; Conor Fogarty, Padraig Walsh (0-01), Paddy Deegan; Conor Browne, Cillian Buckley; John Donnelly (0-03), TJ Reid (0-11, 10f), Walter Walsh (0-01); Adrian Mullen, Colin Fennelly (0-01); Richie Hogan (0-01).

Subs: Conor Delaney for Holden (38), Billy Ryan (0-02) for Mullen (40), Richie Leahy for Buckley (48), James Maher for Browne (54).

Tipperary: Brian Hogan; Cathal Barrett, Barry Heffernan, Ronan Maher; Brendan Maher, Padraic Maher, Seamus Kennedy (0-02); Noel McGrath (0-2, 1f), Michael Breen (0-01); Dan McCormack, John O’Dwyer (1-02), Niall O’Meara (1-00); Jason Forde (0-08, 2 ’65s’ 5f), Séamus Callanan (1-02, 1f), John McGrath (0-03).

Subs: Mark Kehoe (0-01) for O’Meara (52), Willie Connors (0-02) for McCormack (57), Jake Morris (0-01) for Forde (60), Sean O’Brien for Barrett (61), Ger Browne (0-01) for Breen (64).

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