All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Semi-Final Replay – Tyrone 1-9 Kerry 0-11

Tyrone defeated Kerry by 1-9 to 0-11 in the All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Semi-Final Replay on Saturday in Banagher.

TYRONE are through to a very first TG4 All-Ireland ladies senior football final after squeezing past Kerry in Saturday’s semi-final replay at Banagher, Offaly.

Report by Jackie Cahill

Influential centre forward Gemma Begley led the charge with a 1-3 haul as the Red Hands edged out the Kingdom by just a single point – 1-9 to 0-11. Tyrone will now meet last year’s beaten finalists Dublin in a novel decider at Croke Park on September 26 while Kerry will regroup for next year in good spirits after emerging as the surprise packets in this year’s championship.

Tyrone had to do it the hard way too as they came from three points down at half-time, 1-2 to 0-8, to secure the hard earned win. Begley netted after just 65 seconds to set the Red Hands on their way but they were outscored by 0-2 to 0-8 for the remainder of the half as Kerry came on strong. Tyrone also suffered an early blown when Neamh Woods was unlucky to receive a yellow card for a challenge on Louise Galvin and spent ten minutes in the sin-bin.

Kerry were level by the 12th minute – 0-4 to 1-1 – and moved a point in front with a superb Mags O’Donoghue score two minutes later. Kerry then had a goal disallowed for a square ball in the 20th minute when Emma Sherwood’s fisted goal from top-scorer Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh’s free. Catriona McGahan’s 22nd minute point for Tyrone levelled proceedings again at 1-2 to 0-5 but three unanswered points before half-time saw Kerry regain the initiative.

After the break, Tyrone set about eating into Kerry’s interval lead and full forward Sarah Connolly shot the opening point of the second half. By the 11th minute, Tyrone were level at 1-6 to 0-9 before Ní Mhuircheartaigh responded with her and Kerry’s second point of the half. With eleven minutes remaining, Tyrone’s Nina Murphy then hit a shot off the post with just the goalkeeper to beat but Cathy Donnelly hauled the Red Hands level again.

Points from ace corner forward Joline Donnelly and Aisling O’Kane pushed Tyrone two points clear – 1-9 to 0-10 – with three minutes remaining before Ní Mhuircheartaigh popped over her sixth point in the final minute.

Scorers

Tyrone: G Begley 1-3 (0-3f); J Donnelly (0-2, 1f), A O’Kane, C McGahan, S Connolly, C Donnelly (0-1) each

Kerry: L Ni Mhuircheartaigh (0-6, 4f), L Galvin (0-3), M O’Donoghue (0-2)

Bord Gáis Energy GAA Hurling Under 21 ‘B’ All-Ireland Championship Final – Kerry 0-22 Meath 0-12

Kerry defeated Meath 0-22 to 0-12 in the Bord Gáis Energy GAA Hurling Under 21 ‘B’ All-Ireland Championship Final on Saturday in Semple Stadium Thurles.

The scores were level at the interval on a scoreline of 0-9 to 0-9. Kerry with wind advantage dominated the second half and ran out 10 point winners.

Kerry prove too strong for Royals

Saturday, September 11, 2010

From the GAA.ie web site

Familiarity certainly played a large part as Kerry claimed their second consecutive Bord Gáis Energy U21 B hurling title at Semple Stadium on Saturday evening with a 0-22 to 0-12 win over Meath. Of the 15 that started in the Kingdom’s 10-point win over Meath, 12 had been involved with the county senior panel this year and John Meyler – manager of both teams – said that was a big help. “The fitness was good, and as well as that they were all used to playing with each other, we tried to develop a club atmosphere with this team and the seniors. “I know it’s boring to say, but there’s a lot of hard work that’s not seen, you just have to keep at it and at it and at it.”

Level at 0-9 each at half-time, Kerry turned for the second half with the wind and with 17-year-old Padraig Boyle in fine form while Darragh O’Connell was deadly accurate from frees, they pulled away from their opponents. “We made hard work of it,” Meyler said. “We had a few goal chances early in the first half and I told the lads I wasn’t happy. We knew that once the forwards picked up we’d be in a good position. “Padraig Boyle went to centre-forward and that was the turning point, he caught a few balls and put them over the bar. “We were nervous in the first half, I don’t know what it was, we were jumpy.”

Meath, for whom Keith Keoghan and full-back Michael Dunne did well, did have some goal chances, but could not get past Kerry goalkeeper John Brendan O’Halloran. Meyler praised the netminder’s performance. “We had Bernard Rochford in with the senior team and the whole idea of getting him in was to give John Brendan confidence. He’s one for the future and we’ve got to work on that with him. Today was probably the best we’ve seen him all year.”

KERRY: JB O’Halloran; N Young, D O’Sullivan, J O’Connor; A Ryle, B O’Leary, P Monson; R Kenny (0-1), D Fitzelle; P Geaney, P Costelloe, D O’Connell (0-10, 0-5f, 0-1 65); S Nolan (0-3), P Boyle (0-6), J Flaherty (0-2).

Subs: A McCarthy for Geaney (40), P O’Keeffe for Costelloe (42), Costelloe for O’Leary (45-47, blood), R Nolan for Kenny (47), PJ Keane for Young (54), S Leen for Flaherty (60).

MEATH: S McGann; D Carthy, M Dunne, W Mahady; A Watters, C Doyle (0-1), D Kennedy (0-1); K Keoghan (0-5, 0-4f, 0-1 65), G Murphy; A Douglas (0-1), E Marsh, M O’Sullivan (0-1); B Slevin (0-2), N Heffernan, D Ralleigh (0-1).

Subs: N Fagan for Watters (25), T Ralleigh for Slevin (39), C Joyce for Marsh (43), B Murray for D Ralleigh (48), K Keena for (59).

Referee: D Connolly (Kilkenny)

Team News

KERRY U21 HURLING TEAM FOR ALL IRELAND B FINAL

The Kerry U21 Hurling team for the All-Ireland B Final Vs Meath in Thurles on Saturday 11th September is as follows:

1. John Brendan O’Halloran, Kilmoyley

2. Niall Young, Kilmoyley 3. Daire O’Sullivan, Kilmoyley 4 James O’Connor, Abbeydorney 5 Adrian Royle, Kilmoyley 6. Brian O’Leary, Abbeydorney 7. Padraig Monson Glen Rovers, Cork 8. Ronan Kenny, Ballyheigue 9. David Fitzelle, Kilmoyley 10. Darragh O’Connell, Abbeydorney 11. Paudie Costelloe, Ballyduff 12. Paul Geaney, Kilmoyley 13. Shane Nolan, Captain, Crotta O’Neill’s 14. Padraig Boyle, Ballyduff 15. James Flaherty, Lixnaw Substitutes are as follows:

16. Martin Stackpoole, Lixnaw

17. Patrick O’Keefe, Glenfesk

18. Richard Nolan, Crotta O’Neills

19. P J Keane, Abbeydorney

20. Andy McCarthy, Kilmoyley

21. Stephen Leen, Ardfert

22. Owen O’Sullivan, Crotta O’Neills

23. Jonathan Caffrey, Crotta O’Neills

24. Jason Leahy,Causeway

25. Darren Twomey, Crotta O’Neills

26. Paul Carroll, Ballyduff

27. Joe McElligott, Kilmoyley

28. Anthony Carroll, Ballyduff

29. Adrian Casey, Causeway

30. Paul Costelloe, Crotta O’Neills

31. Conor Fitzell (Kilmoyley)

32. Conor Harty Causeway INJURED

Manager; John Meyler, Cork

Selectors: John Hennessy, Ballyduff

Sean O’Shea, Dr. Crokes

Trainer: Joe O’Connor

All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final – Tipperary 4-17 Kilkenny 1-18

Tipperary defeated Kilkenny in the 2010 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final on Sunday at Croke Park on a scoreline of 4-17 to 1-18.

Thunder and lightning final

Tipperary 4-17 Kilkenny 1-18

By Diarmuid O’Flynn for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Monday, September 06, 2010

IT was a grey day in Croke Park yesterday for this All-Ireland hurling final, damp and dull with light rain sporadically falling on a stadium already shrouded in mist – that’s for the weather-watchers however. On the pitch, where it all matters, Kilkenny were attempting to create history in their drive for five All-Ireland SHC titles in a row and Tipperary were trying to avoid the agony of a second successive final loss.

It was thunder and lightning from the throw-in with sparks flying as two turbo-charged teams went full-on at each other. Bone-shuddering hits were given and taken, the pace was ferocious, the intensity was massive. This was what a final should be with the two best teams in hurling going toe-to-toe for 70 plus minutes producing five goals and 35 points. Credit both teams and credit referee Michael Wadding who merits mention for the sensible and fair way he allowed the players go about their business. While the near 82,000 crowd didn’t see history being made, the team of the ages denied, they did get to see a game for the ages. A distinct impression, too, of the baton being passed with this Tipperary team boasting five U21s in the starting line-up and another introduced before game’s end. Another dynasty in the making?

Kilkenny started with John Tennyson and Henry Shefflin at centre-back and centre-forward respectively, both deemed fit to start despite suffering cruciate ligament injuries in recent times. Tennyson lasted the full game; Shefflin, however, managed just 14 minutes before pulling up. No team can simply shrug off the loss of a guy who leads the all-time scoring list and is still in his prime, and Henry Shefflin is both.

Did it effect the outcome? At that stage Tipperary had already established themselves as the team with the greater hunger, the team with the greater resolve. Even as Henry limped off, to a tremendous ovation from friend and foe alike, Tipperary were six points in front (1-4 to 0-1) and a lot of questions were in the process of being answered. Would Tipperary be able to match Kilkenny for intensity, for physicality? Would their half-back line be able to hold the first line of defence? Would their midfield match the powerful Kilkenny pair of Michael Fennelly and Cha Fitzpatrick? Would they manage to score the goals they failed to score in last year’s final? Yes, on all counts. Brendan Maher was outstanding in midfield, captain Eoin Kelly had three points from frees, John O’Brien had another, and Lar Corbett had a goal – the first of three for the flying Thurles Sars star on the day.

From that position Tipp drove on and though Kilkenny fought back to within three points in the 27th minute, mainly through Richie Power, who had taken over the free-taking duties from the departed Shefflin, the challengers had it back to six again within another five minutes. That was due to a veritable howitzer from a free inside his own 45m line by goalkeeper Brendan Cummins, then one apiece from Gearoid Ryan and O’Brien again. The period just before the interval is one of the purple periods, always, with this Kilkenny team, however, and a hat-trick of points (all by Power) had them back within a point at the break (1-10 to 1-9).

Now came even bigger questions for Tipperary, and when Kilkenny drew level within a few minutes of the restart (sublime sideline cut by team captain TJ Reid), it looked like it was just going to be the same old story, the one we’ve seen so many times over the last all-conquering four seasons for the Cats – team stays with them for a long period, then gradually, inevitably, they apply their pressure, pull level and draw away. But not yesterday, not against this fired-up Tipperary team. A point from Kelly (seven from seven on the day, and his work-rate was simply phenomenal), was followed by two rapid goals. Corbett had his second after a mighty centre by the roving Gearoid Ryan was passed off by the precocious Noel McGrath before the young tyro punished Kilkenny indecision and flicked to the net moments later. From level pegging to seven points clear in just three minutes, (3-11 to 1-10), the pendulum had swung Tipperary’s way, but just as you thought it was time to start writing Kilkenny’s obituary, back they came and it was back again to one goal.

Significantly, however, each of those Kilkenny points had to be chiselled from the rock-like Tipperary defence, Stapleton, Curran and Cahill in a tigerish full-back line, Fanning, O’Mahony and Maher the wall outside them.

Yet another Kelly pointed free steadied the Tipperary ship, and though TJ Reid managed to cancel that out almost immediately, that was it for Kilkenny. In the final ten minutes Tipp again took control; substitutes Seamus Callanan (two magnificent points), Benny Dunne and Seamus Hennessey all had points, Corbett completed his hat-trick after an on-his-knees handpass from Patrick Maher. Game over.

No question about the merit of the winners, no question either about the merit of the team they dethroned. Hail Tipperary, hail Kilkenny – champions, both.

Tipperary: Brendan Cummins (0-1); Paddy Stapleton, Paul Curran, Michael Cahill; Declan Fanning, Conor O’Mahony, Padraic Maher; Brendan Maher (0-2), Shane McGrath; Gearóid Ryan (0-1), Patrick Maher, John O’Brien (0-2); Noel McGrath (1-0), Eoin Kelly (0-7), Lar Corbett (3-0). Subs: Conor O’Brien, Seamus Callanan (0-2), Benny Dunne (0-1), David Young, Seamus Hennessy (0-1).

Kilkenny: PJ Ryan; John Dalton, Noel Hickey, Jackie Tyrrell; Tommy Walsh, John Tennyson, JJ Delaney; James ‘Cha’ Fitzpatrick, Michael Fennelly; TJ Reid (0-4), Henry Shefflin (0-1), Eoin Larkin; Eddie Brennan, Richie Power (1-9), Aidan Fogarty (0-1). Subs: Michael Rice (0-1), Derek Lyng (0-1), Martin Comerford, Richie Hogan, John Mulhall (0-1).

Referee: M Wadding (Waterford)

Rampant Tipp deny Cats immortality

Hat-trick hero Corbett inspires Premier County to sweet success as Shefflin injury derails Kilkenny ‘drive for five’

Tipperary v Kilkenny

All-Ireland SHC Final

By Martin Breheny for the Irish Independent newspaper

Monday September 06 2010

THUS far, but no further. The gods beckoned Kilkenny towards immortality’s door only to change their minds and issue an exclusion order to a team that seemed destined to become the first to win the All-Ireland five-in-a-row in either hurling or football. It fell to Tipperary to lock Kilkenny out, a task they executed with style and vigour as they won the title for the first time since 2001 and for the 26th time overall. Few will have tasted as sweet as yesterday’s success coming, as it did, a year after being denied on the home stretch. Tipperary surrendered a three-point lead in the closing 10 minutes of last year’s final, but this time they took a four-point advantage into the same period and increased it by a further four to rack up the biggest score against Kilkenny since they were hit for 5-18 by Galway in the 2005 All-Ireland semi-final.

Since then, they had won 21 successive championship games, an all-time record, but they needed one more for the elusive five-in-a-row. They threw themselves into the attempt with as much courage and perseverance as they could possibly muster, but it was Tipperary who illuminated a dank, drizzly afternoon with some spectacular finishing. None shone brighter than Lar Corbett who hit three goals, the first two of which were hugely influential in shaping what was a thrilling contest. His first, pilfered with ease in the 10th minute off a delivery by Shane McGrath, put Tipperary five points clear and into a confidence-building groove that would prove crucial. The second in the 42nd minute reasserted their authority at a time when Kilkenny’s trademark defiance had edged them back into contention.

Corbett’s third goal in stoppage time was a colourful decoration on a brilliant performance that did so much to undermine Kilkenny. There were other destructive forces at work too, which presented Kilkenny with problems that ultimately proved unsolvable. The knee injury sustained by Henry Shefflin in the semi-final was the most damaging of all, for while he lined out yesterday, his voyage lasted just 13 minutes before he had to head ashore. Kilkenny survived without him when a knee injury forced him out during the 2007 All-Ireland final against Limerick, but Tipperary were an altogether different proposition. With the exception of the inexplicable aberration against Cork in the Munster quarter-final in late May, Tipperary have been closest to Kilkenny in terms of power and efficiency for the past two years, so Shefflin’s absence was always going to prove critical. It’s impossible to quantify the precise extent of the impact, but, suffice to say, there would have been much more order to Kilkenny’s attacking game if Shefflin were around to orchestrate things.

Shefflin’s departure dramatically altered the odds and, as Kilkenny’s attacking shortcomings mounted against a well-organised defence, Eddie Brennan, Aidan Fogarty and TJ Reid were all replaced in the second half. Replacements Derek Lyng, Martin Comerford and John Mulhall did well, but so too did Tipperary substitutes Seamus Callanan, who marked his introduction with two precious points in quick succession, Benny Dunne and Seamus Hennessy, who each landed late points. The key period in a game which was played with the same level of intensity as last year’s final came early in the second half after Kilkenny had drawn level through a pointed sideline cut from Reid. It marked the completion of an excellent recovery by Kilkenny, who trailed by six points on four occasions in the first half.

Among Tipperary’s repertoire in that period was a superb point from a long-range free by Brendan Cummins, who used the wind effectively to get the distance. Tipperary led by 1-10 to 0-7 after 32 minutes, but, typical of Kilkenny, they battled back bravely with Richie Power scoring 1-2 before the interval. His goal came in the 33rd minute and he followed up with two pointed frees to leave Kilkenny just a point behind (1-10 to 1-9) at half-time. Reid’s levelling point in the 39th minute looked as if it might be the catalyst for a ‘business as usual’ surge from Kilkenny, but it wasn’t to be. Tipperary deserve enormous credit for remaining calm and focused at a time when it would have been easy to allow doubts creep into their game after having had such a big lead pegged back.

However, their response to the changed circumstances was quick, effective and ultimately proved to be the tie-breaker. Eoin Kelly pointed them back in front from a free, before Corbett and Noel McGrath struck for goals in the 42nd and 44th minutes. It’s most unusual for the Kilkenny defence to be caught for two goals in such a short space of time, but then they had security issues throughout much of the game, with Tipperary’s policy of attacking them straight down the middle proving productive. Michael Fennelly, JJ Delaney, Jackie Tyrrell, Eoin Larkin and Richie Power acted as Kilkenny’s chief rallying agents as they made a desperate bid to restore stability and keep the ‘drive for five’ alive, but they found it very difficult to make progress against a vigilant Tipperary defence, where Padraic Maher, Paul Curran and Michael Cahill were excellent.

Kilkenny pared the deficit back to three points (3-12 to 1-15) after 58 minutes, but once again Tipperary’s response to approaching danger was to meet it head-on. Callanan and Kelly scored three points between them to re-open a six-point lead, a margin that proved too much for Kilkenny, whose misery was compounded by Corbett’s late goal. The Tipperary supporters heeded the GAA’s call not to come on to the pitch afterwards, opting instead to enjoy the presentation from stand and terrace at the end of what really has been a remarkable season. A 10-point defeat after a dismal performance against Cork 14 weeks previously looked to be from a totally different age by comparison with yesterday’s powerful exhibition.

Granted, it was made considerably easier by Shefflin’s departure, but, even then, Tipperary knew they had to deliver at a level previously not reached by this team. They did it in style to restore themselves to the No 1 spot, finally dislodging a Kilkenny team that has been a force of nature for so long. The five-in-a-row proved beyond them, but they will go down in history as possibly the best team of all time. They still remain an outstanding outfit and while things didn’t go their way yesterday, they will back as strong contenders again next year. Indeed, they have already been installed as 10/11 favourites to regain the title in 2011, with Tipperary at 6/4.

Scorers — Tipperary: L Corbett 3-0, E Kelly 0-7 (0-7f), N McGrath 1-0, J O’Brien, S Callanan, B Maher 0-2 each, B Cummins (0-1f), G Ryan, B Dunne, S Hennessy 0-1 each. Kilkenny: R Power 1-9 (0-8f), TJ Reid 0-4 (0-1 line ball), H Shefflin (0-1f), A Fogarty, D Lyng, J Mulhall, M Rice 0-1 each.

Tipperary — B Cummins; P Stapleton, P Curran, M Cahill; D Fanning, C O’Mahony, Padraic Maher; B Maher, S McGrath; G Ryan, L Corbett, Patrick Maher; E Kelly, N McGrath, J O’Brien. Subs: C O’Brien for O’Mahony (57), S Callanan for J O’Brien (58), B Dunne for McGrath (62), D Young for Fanning (68), S Hennessy for B Maher (69).

Kilkenny — PJ Ryan; J Dalton, N Hickey, J Tyrrell; T Walsh, J Tennyson, JJ Delaney; J Fitzpatrick, M Fennelly; TJ Reid, H Shefflin, E Larkin; E Brennan, R Power, A Fogarty. Subs: M Rice for Shefflin (13), D Lyng for Fitzpatrick (51), M Comerford for Brennan (51), R Hogan for Fogarty (55), J Mulhall for Reid (62).

Ref — M Wadding (Waterford).

Drive for five hits Tipperary roadblock

By SEÁN MORAN at Croke Park for the Irish Times newspaper

Tipperary 4-17 Kilkenny 1-18: HISTORY’S NOT easily made. Kilkenny, the latest county to tilt at the immortality of five successive All-Irelands, found their favouritism dissolving in the autumnal rain at Croke Park, as Tipperary – at times ebbing but otherwise powerfully flowing – drove with increasing self-belief to a first Liam MacCarthy Cup in nine years. Few would have believed that the riveting drama of last year’s final could have been equalled let alone surpassed but that’s what happened as the teams collided in a full-on confrontation that outranked 12 months ago for its sheer intensity and end-to-end duelling.

Once again Kilkenny weren’t at their best and just 13 minutes in, lost their spiritual leader Henry Shefflin to injury. But they resisted defiantly every step of the way, pegging back their opponents’ leads at various stages and making sure that the greatness of their reputation and collective will-to-win would feed Tipperary’s insecurities until near the end when, as often happens in these types of liberations, a dam-burst of scores put the issue beyond doubt. It might be hard to credit in a match that was level for only about six minutes but the sense of contest was compelling and Kilkenny stayed in touch until the last 10 minutes even though shipping what looked a crippling 2-1 in the space of 180 seconds from the 41st minute.

As befits their status, the new champions had some excellent performers. Lar Corbett probably attracted most attention and if his input wasn’t as consistent as last year’s he still ended up with three goals in a display of lethal finishing. Eoin Kelly wasn’t as threatening from general play but his free-taking was flawless and vital, yielding seven points. Everyone played a part. John O’Brien hit two first-half points. Noel McGrath covered acres and followed up for the third goal, Patrick Maher hustled Tommy Walsh more effectively than any other opponent this season and Gearóid Ryan’s work-rate and tireless hurling in the second half kept ball flying up in the direction of PJ Ryan’s goal. Liam Sheedy enjoyed the satisfaction of seeing his late replacements storm into the match and accumulate four important points in the decisive closing surge. At centrefield Brendan Maher was indefatigable and kept working and running, scoring two points in the process and completing a season in which he has been Tipp’s best player and is now a leading candidate for hurler of the year. But it was a balanced display.

Paul Curran was solid at full back and beside him in the corners Paddy Stapleton, who reduced his fouling rate, and Michael Cahill, assured in his first final and an effective warden for Eddie Brennan, did their jobs. One of last year’s heroes Pádraic Maher, who has had a difficult season after being transferred out of his All Star position at full back, moved back into the centre of things when Conor O’Mahony got injured and gave a storming final 15 minutes at centre back winning ball relentlessly, taking on the hard-working Kilkenny forwards and driving his team back on the offensive. Containing so much ebullience was too great a task for the champions but no one could accuse them of taking the shocking turn of events fatalistically. They grafted furiously and managed to retrieve the match after early setbacks but by the end they looked as if they were running on empty.

Tipperary’s pace in attack created panic in the Kilkenny defence and by the end as the challengers outscored them 1-5 to 0-3 in the final quarter of an hour, the once formidable rearguard looked weary and ragged. Up front, though, the loss of Shefflin left the attack short of composure and tactical direction. There was too much hitting and hoping, too much reliance on running frantically at Tipp and although at various periods the steady supply of fouls and consequent frees kept the scoreboard moving there wasn’t the assurance and cold-blooded calm in picking the right positions and optimising the options available.

The bench were slow to act on what was clearly a misfiring performance and given Michael Rice’s stature as a centrefielder, he might have been switched to the middle earlier where Kilkenny were struggling and a couple of forwards could have been more quickly introduced given the success of Tipperary particularly in the forwards. The persistent rain made conditions less than ideal and probably didn’t help Shefflin’s knee although manager Brian Cody said afterwards that it has been just bad luck and that John Tennyson, the other cruciate sufferer, had lasted the 70 minutes. But rolling the dice on such an injury even with the great apparent recovery always carried the risk of the knee going at an early stage. So it came to pass within 13 minutes. By then Shefflin had already looked a bit out of sorts and uncharacteristically missed an early free.

By the time he had to go Tipp were 1-3 to 0-1 ahead. The goal came from a long delivery by Shane McGrath – whose energy and commitment, hooking and blocking, at that stage typified the team’s fierce application – into Corbett who plucked it from Noel Hickey and raised his first green flag. TJ Reid forced a smart save from Brendan Cummins – excellent in all he had to do, including a pointed free from his own 45 – and the match began to settle into its open, blow-for-blow patterns. After an uneasy start, Richie Power found his free-taking rhythm and although Eoin Kelly was masterful at the other end and Maher, O’Brien and Ryan all stroked nice points, there was a feeling that the Kilkenny defence was tightening its grip after some hair-raising moments as when the perpetual motion of Noel McGrath carved through the heart of the defence in the 25th minute only to finish weakly.

The match was moved again into the marginal column in the 33rd minute when Eoin Larkin, who was forceful and dynamic without getting on the scoreboard, punched a hole in the Tipperary defence and sent in Power for a well-finished goal, a breakthrough that he garnished with two more frees to leave just one between the teams at half-time. Kilkenny were right back in it and the match again teetered. Tipperary had to come again after letting the initiative slip and after conceding an equaliser to a Reid line-ball, they struck formidably. In the 42nd minute Corbett completed a sweeping combination between Ryan and Noel McGrath to race in and to nail his second goal. Two minutes later Cummins dropped in a long free and Noel McGrath pounced on the break to force the ball into the net for another seven-point lead, 3-11 to 1-10.

Still Kilkenny responded. At the back JJ Delaney’s exceptional season continued – at one stage in the first half he actually smuggled the ball out of Eoin Kelly’s possession – as the team desperately sought a game-changing intervention. Instead it was the succession of Tipperary replacements – Séamus Callanan, Benny Dunne and Séamus Hennessy all scored – who made the late impacts with the coup de grace being delivered by Corbett in the third minute of injury-time, as he again stole in behind the full backs to drive in his third goal, the first player to achieve a hat-trick in a hurling final since Cork’s Eddie O’Brien 40 years ago. It’s the county’s 26th All-Ireland and the first they have won through the qualifier dispensation and marked a joyous landfall for a team that just three months ago looked shipwrecked after hitting the rocks in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

HISTORY BECKONS IN GLAMOUR FINAL

Will Kilkenny go where no other hurling or football team have gone before by winning a GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship title for the fifth successive year? Or will Tipperary ruin their dream?

The answer will emerge in Croke Park on Sunday when Kilkenny and Tipperary line up in an eagerly-awaited hurling final (3.30pm). It will be preceded by the ESB GAA Hurling Minor All-Ireland Championship Final between Clare and Kilkenny at 1.15pm. Michael Wadding (Waterford) will referee the Senior final while Anthony Stapleton (Laois) will be in charge of the Minor final.

Kilkenny are bidding for their 22nd successive championship win and haven’t lost a game since going down to Galway in the 2005 All-Ireland semi-final.

Since then they have beaten the following: Wexford (4); Galway (4); Cork (3); Dublin (2); Offaly (2); Waterford (2); Tipperary (1), Westmeath (1); Limerick (1), Clare (1).

Last year, they became the first county since Cork in 1941-42-43-44 to win the four in a row and are now bidding for their 33rd title. Tipperary, who lost to Kilkenny by five points last year, are seeking their first All-Ireland title since

2001 and their 26th in all.

Paths to the final

Kilkenny

Kilkenny 4-19 Dublin 0-12 (Leinster semi-final) Kilkenny 1-19 Galway 1-12 (Leinster final) Kilkenny 3-22 Cork 0-19 (All-Ireland semi-final) Average For: 2-22 Average Against: 0-16

Kilkenny Scorers

Henry Shefflin………………….1-21 (0-14 frees, 0-2 ‘65s) Richie Power…………………….2-11 (0-6 frees) Aidan Fogarty…………………..3-3 Eddie Brennan………………….2-3 TJ Reid……………………………..0-6

Michael Rice……………………..0-4 Martin Comerford…………….0-3 Michael Fennelly……………….0-2 James ‘Cha’ Fitzpatrick…….0-2 Richie Hogan…………………….0-2 Eoin Larkin………………………0-2

T Walsh……………………………0-1

Tipperary

Cork 3-15 Tipperary 0-14 (Munster quarter-final) Tipperary 3-24 Wexford 0-19 (Qualifier Round 1) Tipperary 0-21 Offaly 1-12 (Qualifier Round 3) Tipperary 3-17 Galway 3-16 (All-Ireland quarter-final) Tipperary 3-19 Waterford 1-18 (All-Ireland semi-final) Average For: 2-19 Average Against: 2-15

Tipperary scorers

Eoin Kelly………………..3-36 (0-25 frees, 0-5 ‘65s’) Lar Corbett……………..3-11 Ger Ryan…………………1-9 Noel McGrath………….0-12 (0-2 frees, 0-1 ‘65’) John O’Brien……………0-9 Seamus Callanan……..1-2 Brendan Maher………..0-5 David Young…………….0-4 Darragh Egan…………..1-0 Patrick Maher………….0-3 Shane McGrath………..0-2 Timmy Hammersley…0-1 Conor O’Mahony…….0-1

Last Championship Clash….

Kilkenny 2-22 Tipperary 0-23 (2009 GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final)

Kilkenny: PJ Ryan; Michael Kavanagh, JJ Delaney, Jackie Tyrrell (0-1); Tommy Walsh (0-1), Brian Hogan, John Tennyson; Derek Lyng (0-1), Michael Rice; Eddie Brennan (0-3), Eoin Larkin (0-3), Richie Power (0-1); Richie Hogan (0-2), Henry Shefflin (1-8), Aidan Fogarty.

Subs: TJ Reid (0-1) for Fogarty; Michael Fennelly (0-1) for Lyng; Martin Comerford (1-0) for Richie Hogan.

Tipperary: Brendan Cummins; Paddy Stapleton, Padraic Maher, Paul Curran; Declan Fanning, Conor O’Mahony, Brendan Maher; James Woodlock, Shane McGrath (0-1); Pat Kerwick, Lar Corbett (0-4), John O’Brien; Eoin Kelly (0-13), Seamus Callanan (0-3), Noel McGrath (0-2).

Subs: Benny Dunne for O’Brien; Willie Ryan for Kerwick; Micheal Webster for Woodlock.

Last Competitive Clash….

Tipperary 1-14 Kilkenny 0-13 (Allianz GAA Hurling National League, 7 March 2010, Thurles)

Tipperary: B Cummins; B Maher, P Maher, P Curran; D Fanning, C O’Mahony, S Maher; T Stapleton, S McGrath (0-2); N McGrath (0-1), B Dunne, J O’Brien (0-1); E Kelly (1-7), M Webster, L Corbett (0-2).

Subs: H Maloney for Dunne, J Brennan (0-1) for Stapleton, S Callanan for O’Brien, P Kelly for Webster.

Kilkenny: PJ Ryan; C Hickey, B Hogan, J Dalton; T Walsh (0-1), J Tyrrell (0-1), JJ Delaney; PJ Delaney (0-1), J Tennyson (0-2); J Mulhall (0-3), M Rice (0-1), W O’Dwyer; R Hogan (0-3), E Larkin (0-1), A Fogarty.

Subs: M Grace for Rice, P Hogan for R Hogan.

Previous Kilkenny-Tipperary All-Ireland final clashes

2009: Kilkenny 2-22 Tipperary 0-23

1991: Tipperary 1-16 Kilkenny 0-15

1971: Tipperary 5-17 Kilkenny 5-14

1967: Kilkenny 3-8 Tipperary 2-7

1964: Tipperary 5-13 Kilkenny 2-8

1950: Tipperary 1-9 Kilkenny 1-8

1945: Tipperary 5-6 Kilkenny 3-6

1937: Tipperary 3-11 Kilkenny 0-3

1922: Kilkenny 4-2 Tipperary 2-6

1916: Tipperary 5-4 Kilkenny 3-2

1913: Kilkenny 2-4 Tipperary 1-2

1911: Kilkenny 3-3 Tipperary 2-1*

1909: Kilkenny 4-6 Tipperary 0-12

1898: Tipperary 7-13 Kilkenny 3-10

1895: Tipperary 6-8 Kilkenny 1-0

*Munster champions, Limerick refused to play Kilkenny in the final due to a dispute over the venue. Kilkenny were awarded the title. Tipperary were nominated to replace Limerick and lost to Kilkenny in a substitute final.

ALL-IRELAND HONOURS TABLE

32: KILKENNY (1904-1905-1907-1909-1911-1912-1913-1922-1932-1933-1935-1939-1947-1957-1963-1967-1969-1972-1974-1975-1979-1982-1983-1992-1993-2000-2002-2003-2006-2007-2008-2009).

30: Cork (1890-1892-1893-1894-1902-1903-1919-1926-1928-1929-1931-1941-1942-1943-1944-1946-1952-1953-1954-1966-1970-1976-1977-1978-1984-1986-1990-1999-2004-2005).

25: TIPPERARY (1887-1895-1896-1898-1899-1900-1906-1908-1916-1925-1930-1937-1945-1949-1950-1951-1958-1961-962-1964-1965-1971-1989-1991-2001).

7: Limerick (1897-1918-1921-1934-1936-1940-1973).

6: Dublin (1889-1917-1920-1924-1927-1938).

6: Wexford (1910-1955-1956-1960-1968-1996)

4: Galway (1923-1980-1987-1988)

4: Offaly (1981-1985-1994-1998)

3: Clare (1914-1995-1997)

2: Waterford (1948-1959)

1: Kerry (1891)

1: Laois (1915)

1: London (1901)

HOW KILKENNY WON THEIR 32 ALL-IRELAND TITLES

1904 – Kilkenny 1-9 Cork 1-8

1905 – Kilkenny 7-7 Cork 2-9

1907 – Kilkenny 3-12 Cork 4-8

1909 – Kilkenny 4-6 Tipperary 0-12

1911 – Kilkenny 3-3 Tipperary 2-1

1912 – Kilkenny 2-1 Cork 1-3

1913 – Kilkenny 2-4 Tipperary 1-2

1922 – Kilkenny 4-2 Tipperary 2-6

1932 – Kilkenny 3-3 Clare 2-3

1933 – Kilkenny 1-7 Limerick 0-6

1935 – Kilkenny 2-5 Limerick 2-4

1939 – Kilkenny 2-7 Cork 3-3

1947 – Kilkenny 0-14 Cork 2-7

1957 – Kilkenny 4-10 Waterford 3-12

1963 – Kilkenny 4-17 Waterford 6-8

1967 – Kilkenny 3-8 Tipperary 2-7

1969 – Kilkenny 2-15 Cork 2-9

1972 – Kilkenny 3-24 Cork 5-11

1974 – Kilkenny 3-19 Limerick 1-13

1975 – Kilkenny 2-22 Galway 2-10

1979 – Kilkenny 2-12 Galway 1-8

1982 – Kilkenny 3-18 Cork 1-13

1983 – Kilkenny 2-14 Cork 2-12

1992 – Kilkenny 3-10 Cork 1-12

1993 – Kilkenny 2-17 Galway 1-15

2000 – Kilkenny 5-15 Offaly 1-14

2002 – Kilkenny 2-20 Clare 0-19

2003 – Kilkenny 1-14 Cork 1-11

2006 – Kilkenny 1-16 Cork 1-13

2007 – Kilkenny 2-19 Limerick 1-15

2008 – Kilkenny 3-30 Waterford 1-13

2009 – Kilkenny 2-22 Tipperary 0-23

HOW TIPPERARY WON THEIR 25 ALL-IRELAND TITLES

1887 – Tipperary 1-1 Galway 0-0

1895 – Tipperary 6-8 Kilkenny 1-0

1896 – Tipperary 8-14 Dublin 0-4

1898 – Tipperary 7-13 Kilkenny 3-10

1899 – Tipperary 3-12 Wexford 1-4

1900 – Tipperary 2-5 London 0-6

1906 – Tipperary 3-16 Dublin 3-8

1908 – Tipperary 3-15 Dublin 1-5 (replay)

1908 – Tipperary 2-5 Dublin 1-8 (draw)

1916 – Tipperary 5-4 Kilkenny 3-2

1925 – Tipperary 5-6 Galway 1-5

1930 – Tipperary 2-7 Dublin 1-3

1937 – Tipperary 3-11 Kilkenny 0-3

1945 – Tipperary 5-6 Kilkenny 3-6

1949 – Tipperary 3-11 Laois 0-3

1950 – Tipperary 1-9 Kilkenny 1-8

1951 – Tipperary 7-7 Wexford 3-9

1958 – Tipperary 4-9 Galway 2-5

1961 – Tipperary 0-16 Dublin 1-12

1962 – Tipperary 3-10 Wexford 2-11

1964 – Tipperary 5-13 Kilkenny 2-8

1965 – Tipperary 2-16 Wexford 0-10

1971 – Tipperary 5-17 Kilkenny 5-14

1989 – Tipperary 4-24 Antrim 3-9

1991 – Tipperary 1-16 Kilkenny 0-15

2001 – Tipperary 2-18 Galway 2-15

Five-in-a-row….never previously achieved Three counties, Wexford, Cork and Kerry have attempted to win the five in a row without success in hurling and football. Wexford footballers won the football title in 1915-16-17-18 but lost the 1919 Leinster semi-final to Dublin.

Cork hurlers were seeking a fifth successive title in 1945 but were beaten by Tipperary in the Munster semi-final. Kerry footballers have twice tried to win the five in a row. In 1933, they won the Munster title but lost the All-Ireland semifinal to Kerry. In 1982, they were again on the five-in-a-row trail but lost the All- Ireland final to Offaly for whom Seamus Darby scored a late match-winning goal.

Tipperary Senior Hurlers – Press Pack

Team Announcement

The team will be announced by email and local radio at 9pm on Thursday September 2nd. It will subsequently be published on the Tipperary GAA website (www.tipperary.gaa.ie)

Player Profiles

Check out the player profiles at http://tipperary.gaa.ie/seniorhurlingplayerprofiles.html

Management Profiles

Liam Sheedy (Portroe), Eamon O’Shea (Kilruane MacDonaghs) and Michael Ryan (Upperchurch-Drombane) are in their third season in charge of the Tipperary Senior Hurling team.

Liam Sheedy who is team manager, was previously a senior hurling selector in 2003 and was Manager of the Tipperary Minor Hurling team in 2005 and 2006, winning an All-Ireland title in 2006. He also served as Manager of the Intermediate Hurling team. He played 7 senior hurling championship games for Tipperary between 1997 and 1999. He won Munster and All Ireland U-21 hurling championships in 1989, a Munster U-21 hurling championship in 1990 and a Munster minor hurling championship in 1987. He won a NHL title in 1999. He also won Munster and All-Ireland junior hurling championship medals in 1989 and 1991.

Eamon O’Shea who is team coach, played 5 senior hurling championship games for Tipperary between 1979 and 1986. He also played senior inter-county hurling with Dublin. He won Munster and All-Ireland minor hurling championships with Tipperary in 1976, Munster and All-Ireland U-21 hurling championships in 1979, a Munster U-21 hurling championship in 1978 and a NHL title in 1979. He won 4 County SH championships with Kilruane MacDonaghs and won an All-Ireland club title with them in the 1985/86 season.

Michael Ryan played 24 senior hurling championship games for Tipperary in a senior inter-county career that started in 1991 versus Limerick and ended with his retirement in 2000. He won Munster and All-Ireland SH championships in 1991. He won Munster and All Ireland U-21 hurling championships in 1989, a Munster U-21 hurling championship in 1990 and a Munster minor hurling championship in 1987.  He also won two NHL titles in 1994 and 1999.

Trainer
Dr. Cian O’Neill, from the Moorefield Club in Kildare and a lecturer and course director in Sports Science in University of Limerick (UL), is the team trainer. He has extensive experience training and coaching club, colleges and inter-county teams including the Limerick senior footballers and the Newtownshandrum senior hurlers.  He also coached the Kildare minor football team in 2010.

Tipperary Path to Final:

Tipperary 3-19 Waterford 1-18 Croke Park    SHC S/f 15/8/10
Tipperary 3-17 Galway 3-16 Croke Park   SHC Q/f 25/7/10
Tipperary 0-21 Offaly 1-12 O’Moore Park Portlaoise SHC Qualifier 18/7/10
Tipperary 3-24 Wexford 0-19  Semple Stadium   SHC Qualifier 3/7/10
Cork 3-15 Tipperary 0-14 Páirc Uí Chaoimh  Munster SHC Q/f 30/5/10

Tipperary Team v Waterford 15/8/10
B Cummins; P Stapleton, P Curran, M Cahill; D Fanning, C O’Mahony, Padraic Maher; B Maher, S McGrath (0-1); G Ryan, Patrick Maher, J O’Brien (0-6); N McGrath (0-7, 0-1f, 0-1 65), E Kelly (2-3, 0-2f), L Corbett (1-2).
Subs used: S Callanan for Ryan (50), P Bourke for Patrick Maher (62)

Tipperary Team v Galway 25/7/10
B Cummins; P Stapleton, P Curran, M Cahill; D Fanning, C O’Mahony, Padraic Maher; B Maher (0-2), D Young; G Ryan (1-2), Patrick Maher (0-1), S McGrath; N McGrath (0-1), L Corbett (0-3), E Kelly (1-7, 0-6f).
Subs used: S Callanan (1-0) for Young (31), J O’Brien (0-1) for N McGrath (54), C O’Brien for Fanning (63), P Bourke for Patrick Maher (66)

Tipperary Team v Offaly 18/7/10
B Cummins; P Stapleton, P Curran, M Cahill; D Fanning, C O’Mahony (0-1f), Padraic Maher; B Maher (0-2), D Young; G Ryan (0-3), S McGrath (0-1), Patrick Maher; N McGrath (0-1), L Corbett (0-2), E Kelly (0-11, 8f, 2 65s)
Subs used: S Callanan for Patrick Maher (56 mins), S Hennessy for Young (61), P Bourke for N McGrath (62), C O’Brien for B Maher (67), J O’Brien for S McGrath (69).

Tipperary Team v Wexford 3/7/10
B Cummins; M Cahill, D Fanning, C O’Brien; D Young (0-3), C O’Mahony, Padraic Maher; B Maher, S McGrath; G Ryan (0-4), S Callanan (0-1), Patrick Maher (0-2); N McGrath (0-3, 1f), L Corbett (2-3), E Kelly (0-8, 3f, 2 65s).
Subs: P Curran for Fanning (inj, 2 – blood sub), J O’Brien for Callanan (50), S Hennessy for Kelly (58), D Egan (1-0) for S McGrath (64), S Maher for B Maher (68), M Heffernan for Ryan (70).

Tipperary Team v Cork 30/5/10
B Cummins; P Stapleton, P Maher, P Curran; D Fanning, C O’Mahony, M Cahill; B Maher (0-1), S McGrath; N McGrath, S Callanan (0-1), J O’Brien (0-2); E Kelly (0-7, 0-5f, 0-2 ’65), B O’Meara, L Corbett (0-2).
Subs: S Hennessy for O’Meara ’43, G Ryan for C O’Mahony ’57, T Hammersley (0-1) for N McGrath ’62, J Brennan for J O’Brien ’66, C O’Brien for McGrath ’68.

Appearances
26 players lined out for Tipperary during the 5 matches

Scorers
12 players have scored to date in the championship as follows:
Eoin Kelly (3-36), Lar Corbett (3-11), Noel McGrath (0-12), Gearóid Ryan (1-9), John O’Brien (0-9), Seamus Callanan (1-2), Brendan Maher (0-5), David Young (0-4), Patrick Maher (0-3), Shane McGrath (0-2), Conor O’Mahony (0-1), Timmy Hammersley (0-1).

Tipperary have scored 9-95 and conceded 7-80 in this year’s championship.

Tipperary V Kilkenny: Previous Championship Meetings

Tipperary and Kilkenny have met 20 times previously in the championship with Tipperary winning 12 times, Kilkenny 8 times and no draws.

Date Stage Result  Tipp Top Scorer
2009 All Ireland Final  Kilkenny 2-22
Tipperary 0-23
Eoin Kelly
0-13
2003 All Ireland Semi-final Kilkenny 3 -18
Tipperary 0-15 Eoin Kelly
0-8

2002 All Ireland Semi-final  Kilkenny 1-20
Tipperary 1-16 Eoin Kelly
0-4

1991 All Ireland Final   Tipperary 1-16
Kilkenny 0-15 Michael Cleary
1-6

1971 All Ireland Final  Tipperary 5-17
Kilkenny 5-14 Michael “Babs” Keating 0-7

1967 All Ireland Final Kilkenny 3-8
Tipperary 2-7 Donie Nealon
2-0

1964 All Ireland Final  Tipperary 5-13
Kilkenny 2-8 Jimmy Doyle
0-10

1958 All Ireland Semi-final Tipperary 1-13
Kilkenny 1-8 Jimmy Doyle
1-8

1950 All Ireland Final  Tipperary 1-9
Kilkenny 1-8 Paddy Kenny
1-2

1945 All Ireland Final   Tipperary 5-6
Kilkenny 3-6

1937 All Ireland Final  Tipperary 3-11
Kilkenny 0-3
Played in Killarney
1922 All Ireland Final  Kilkenny 4-2
Tipperary 2-6

1916 All Ireland Final   Tipperary (Boherlahan) 5-4 Kilkenny (Tullaroan) 3-2

1913 All Ireland Final Kilkenny (Mooncoin) 2-4
Tipperary (Toomevara) 1-2

1911 All Ireland Final
(Limerick withdrew and Tipp were nominated to replace them in an unofficial final)
Kilkenny (Tullaroan) 3-3 Tipperary(Thurles) 1-2

1909 All Ireland Final
Kilkenny (Mooncoin) 4-6
Tipperary (Thurles) 0-12

1900 All Ireland Semi-Final
Tipperary (Two Mile Borris) 1-11
Kilkenny (Mooncoin) 1-8

1898 All Ireland Final
Tipperary (Tubberadora) 7-13
Kilkenny (Threecastles) 3-10
1895 All Ireland Final
Tipperary (Tubberadora) 6-8
Kilkenny (Tullaroan) 1-0
First final at Jones Road
1887 All Ireland Semi-Final
Tipperary (Thurles) 4-7
Kilkenny (Tuillaroan) 0-0

Last Championship Meeting
All Ireland SH Final September 6th 2009

Kilkenny 2-22  Tipperary 0-23

Kilkenny: PJ Ryan; M Kavanagh, JJ Delaney, J Tyrrell (0-1); T Walsh (0-1), B Hogan, J Tennyson; D Lyng (0-1), M Rice; R Hogan (0-2), H Shefflin (1-9, 0-8f, 1-0 pen), E Larkin (0-3); E Brennan (0-2), R Power (0-1), A Fogarty.
Subs: TJ Reid (0-1) for A Fogarty ’50, M Fennelly (0-1) for D Lyng ’50, M Comerford (1-0) for R Hogan ’55.

Tipperary: B Cummins; P Stapleton, P Maher, P Crran; D Fanning, C O’Mahony, B Maher; J Woodlock, S McGrath (0-1); P Kerwick, S Callanan (0-3), J O’Brien; N McGrath (0-2), E Kelly (0-13, 0-8f, 0-3 ’65), L Corbett (0-4).
Subs: B Dunne for J O’Brien ’47, W Ryan for P Kerwick ’66, M Webster for J Woodlock ’68.

Referee: D Kirwan (Cork)  Attendance: 82,106

Snippets

Club Representation on Tipperary Panel
The 33 players on the Tipperary Senior Hurling panel represent 21 clubs between them as follows:

Thurles Sarsfields – 4, Mullinahone – 3, Toomevara – 3, Drom and Inch – 2, Killenaule – 2, Borris-Ileigh – 2, Kilruane MacDonaghs – 2, Nenagh Éire Óg – 2, Burgess – 1, Loughmore-Castleiney – 1, Templederry Kenyons – 1,  Ballybacon Grange – 1, Clonoulty Rossmore – 1, Éire Óg Annacarty – 1, Ballinahinch –  1, Kildangan – 1, Lorrha and Dorrha – 1, Newport – 1, Portroe – 1, Moneygall – 1 and Uppercurch Drombane – 1.

Average Age of Tipperary Players

The average age of the Tipperary panel is 25 years and 8 months. The average age of the last Tipperary starting 15 to win All-Ireland Senior Hurling honours in 2001 was 24 years 2 months with 10 players aged 24 or less. Brendan Cummins was the third oldest player on that team aged 26 trailing only Declan Ryan (33) and Eddie Enright (27). Brendan is now the oldest player on the Tipperary panel aged 35 years and 4 months. Noel McGrath is the youngest at 19 years and 9 months.

2 Years in a Row
The last time Tipperary appeared in an All-Ireland final for the second year in succession was in 1989 when they defeated Antrim to win their 23rd title and their first in 18 years. Tipperary’s winning margin against Antrim was 18 points and Nicky English’s scoring contribution was also 18 points (2-12). Incidentally they were also in the Under 21 final that year.

Encore
It is unusual for an All-Ireland Hurling final pairing to be repeated the following year and the 2010 final will be the first time it happened since Kilkenny and Cork came face to face and shared the honours in 2003 and 2004. Prior to that it happened in 1982/83 Kilkenny v Cork, 1976/77 Cork v Wexford, 1973/74 Kilkenny v Limerick, 1946/47 Cork v Kilkenny, 1941/42 Cork v Dublin, 1935/36 Kilkenny v Limerick, 1928/29 Cork v Galway, 1919/20 Cork v Dublin, 1904/05 Kilkenny v Cork and 1901/02/03 Cork v London.

Double All Ireland appearance
The 8 under 21 players on the Tipperary panel will be involved in 2 All Irelands finals in 6 days with the under 21 final taking place on September 11th. They are Padraic Maher (U-21 captain), Michael Cahill, Michael Heffernan, Seamus Hennessy, Brendan Maher, Patrick Maher, Noel McGrath and Brian O’Meara.

Best attended Tipp v Kilkenny championship games
2009 Final   82,106
1964 Final   71,282.
1945 Final   69,459
1950 Final   67,629
1991 Final   64,500
1967 Final   64,241
1971 Final   61,393
2003 Semi Final  60,087

First and Last
When Kilkenny beat Tipperary in the 1922 Final , played on September 9th  1923, it was the last occasion that the counties played without numbers on their jerseys. If identification wasn’t hard enough, many of the players wore caps, in the fashion of the time. Played with the Tipperary v Sligo All Ireland Football Semi Final of 1922, the crowd was calculated at 26,000. Kilkenny’s two late goals by Paddy Donoghue and Dick Tobin won the day, after the teams had been level at half time. Team captain, Wattie Dunphy, became the first Kilkenny man to receive the Liam Mac Carthy cup.

Both Sides
The last hurler to play in the Senior Championship with Tipperary and Kilkenny was Denis Byrne (Graigue/Ballycallan (Kilkenny) & Mullinahone (Tipperary). Having played with Kilkenny and captained them to the Leinster title in 1999, he changed club and county allegiance in 2003, making his championship debut for Tipperary v. Laois, at Portlaoise, in a qualifier game on June 14th. Denis lined out at full forward and scored 0-6. He also played against Galway in the next round and came on as a substitute against Offaly in the Quarter Final victory at Croke Park. He didn’t play against Kilkenny in the semi-final.

Dethroning the champions
When Kilkenny met Tipp in the 1964 All Ireland final they were defending the title, won against Waterford in a high scoring decider (4-17 to 6-8) the previous year. The Leinster champions were favourites to win the game, but were beaten by double scores 5-13 to 2-8. Tipperary led by 1-8 to 0-6 at half time. The game was refereed by Aubrey Higgins from Galway – the last time a Connacht man refereed the All-Ireland final.

Tipperary had previously dethroned Kilkenny in the 1958 semi-final, again after the black and amber had beaten Waterford in the previous decider.

Kilkenny have also dethroned Tipperary on two occasions, the 1909 Final and the 2002 All Ireland semi-final respectively.

Hurling Hotbed
During his time as a student, at St Kieran’s College, Kilkenny, Eoin Kelly played in two Colleges’ All Ireland Finals. Despite scoring 1-7 in the 1999 final at Croke Park, he lost to a St Flannan’s College team, captained by Ballinahinch’s Dermot Gleeson and powered by Toomevara’s Benny Dunne, who scored 0-3. There was a happy ending to the 2000 Final at Nenagh, when Eoin, who lined out at centre forward and scored 0-7, avenged the previous year’s defeat. His colleagues on that winning team included current Kilkenny senior hurlers Tommy Walsh, Brian Hogan, Jackie Tyrrell and Michael Rice, who is now a teacher in the college.

Eoin’s story
Tipperary’s captain Eoin Kelly has played against Kilkenny on three occasions in the championship, but has yet to play on the winning team. His scoring returns are impressive, with 0-25 recorded, for an average of  8 .33 points per game.

Managers Debuts
Liam Sheedy made his Senior championship debut for Tipperary against Down in the 1997 All Ireland quarter final at Clones. It was the first quarter final in the new back door system and Tipperary won by 3-24 to 3-8. Liam lined out at right half back and held a place on the team until the end of the 1999 campaign.

Brian Cody made his Senior championship debut for Kilkenny at left half back in the 1973 All Ireland final loss to Limerick. Following their Leinster Final win over Wexford, Kilkenny lost four players through injury and emigration before they played Limerick. Brian had captained the All Ireland winning Minor team the previous year.

Interestingly, neither Manager played championship hurling against his upcoming opponents.

Padraic Maher – The 840 Minute Man
All Star full back and captain of the Tipperary U-21 team, Padraic Maher, is the only player to have played for all 70 minutes in each of Tipp’s 12 games in League and Championship this year. He is also the only player to have played in all 12 games. Padraic also became the first player from Thurles Sarsfields to captain Tipperary to a Munster U-21 title this year. Mullinahone clubmates, Eoin Kelly and Paul Curran have each played in 11 games. Kelly missed the League game v Waterford while Curran missed the League game against Cork. That was the only League or championship game Curran missed in 2009 and 2010.
Golden Gate
Tipperary’s victory over Kilkenny in the 1950 decider might not have produced the highest final attendance but the gate receipts of £6,103 -14 -2 set a new record for a hurling final.

Overdrawn
It is fifty one years since the All-Ireland Hurling final ended in a draw and it was a Waterford man, Seamus Power, a North Tipp Senior Hurling Championship winner with Roscrea in 1949 who scored the equalising goal. The Decies beat Kilkenny in the replay by 3-12 to 1-10 for their last All Ireland success.

A Star Trio of Counties
The late Mick Ryan (Roscrea) won a Kilkenny County Senior Hurling title with Dicksboro in 1950. They beat Éire Óg (city) in a final replay by 4-6 to 1-5. He lined out at centre forward in the club’s first victory for twenty four years. His team mates included Dan Kennedy, who had faced Mick in the All-Ireland final a couple of months earlier. Mick died in 2007, but is remembered fondly in Tipperary, Kilkenny and Cork, where he played successfully with Blackrock and St. Finbarrs in hurling and Clonakilty in football.

Marksmen Supreme
When you consider that Kilkenny’s Eddie Keher shot an amazing 0-14 in the sixty minute 1963 All Ireland Final against Waterford, it was always possible that he would surpass it in the years ahead. The introduction of the eighty minute games (1970) improved his chances and in the 1971 Final against Tipperary, Eddie scored 2-11 in Kilkenny’s three point loss to establish a new record. The games were reduced to seventy minutes for the 1975 championship and it took a tour de force from Nicky English in the 1989 Final when he scored 2-12 against Antrim to break Keher’s eighteen year old record. Eoin Kelly’s performance in last year’s 70 minute final with 0-13 is very worthy of mention among final scoring achievements.

Out of Munster
During his inter county championship career, Liam Sheedy only played against one Leinster team –Wexford in the 1997 All Ireland Semi Final.

Michael Ryan only played championship hurling against Kilkenny on one occasion. That was a successful outing in his first year on the team – the 1991 All Ireland final – when he lined out at left corner back. Tipperary won by four points 1-16 to 0-15.

Missing each other
Following their meeting in the 2003 All Ireland Semi final on 17/8/2003, Tipperary and Kilkenny didn’t meet again in the championship, until the Final of 2009. During that time Tipperary played twenty six games against eight different counties .When you consider the number of top flight teams there are and the total of games Tipp played, their avoidance of Kilkenny was amazing . During that sequence, Tipperary played Limerick 8 times, Cork 6 times, Waterford 5 times, Clare 3 times , Galway, Offaly, Wexford and Dublin once .

Final referees
Both counties have provided several referees for the All-Ireland Senior Hurling final and the details are-

Tipperary  –
Seamus Roche   2005
Willie Barrett     1994 & 2000
George Ryan    1979 & 1985
John Moloney    1974
Bob Stakelum     1955
Phil Purcell   1947
Willie O’ Donnell  1941
JJ Callanan   1940

Kilkenny-
Paschal Long   1984
Paddy Johnson   1976
Jack Mulcahy   1954
John Lalor   1914
John Mc Carthy  1900, 01 & 03

JJ Callanan was the only All Ireland winning captain (1930), who also refereed an All-Ireland Final.

Patrick White (Offaly), who refereed the first All-Ireland Final between Tipperary and Galway, which was played at Birr, on April 1st 1888, was a native of Blakefield, in the parish of Toomevara. He was living and working in Birr at the time and Galway (Meelick) had no objection to his appointment or performance.

Michael Wadding’s day
Having been linesman and standby referee for last year’s decider, Waterford’s Michael Wadding takes charge of his first All-Ireland Senior Final on Sunday. A member of the Roanmore club in the city, Michael, becomes the fifth Waterford man to referee the Final and the first since John Moore took charge of Cork v Galway, in 1990. He holds the distinction of refereeing Tipperary’s first ever Qualifier game in the Hurling Championship, a 2-19 to 1-9 win over Offaly, at Portlaoise, on July 13th 2002.The previous final referees from Waterford were –

Dan Fraher  1892.
Willie Walsh   1915,1916,1917,1918,1919,1921 and the second replay, in 1931.
Vincent Baston  1945
John Moore  1990.

On the two previous occasions (1916 and 1945) that a Tipperary v. Kilkenny All Ireland Final was refereed by a Waterford man, the Premier County emerged victorious.

On this date
There were two previous Finals between Tipperary and Kilkenny played, on September 5th.  Tipperary won both, the 1937 decider in Killarney and the 1971 Final at Croke Park.

Liam 2
The original Liam Mac Carthy Cup was first won by Limerick (1921) led by Bob Mc Conkey and Tipperary’s Declan Carr (Holycross-Ballycahill) had the pleasure of being the last man to receive it, after Tipperary’s win over Kilkenny, in the 1991 decider. The new Liam Mac Carthy Cup was presented to Liam Fennelly after Kilkenny beat Cork in 1992 and of course, Liam had also received the original Cup, in 1983, when Kilkenny pipped Cork.

A little history- last 10 championship meetings

1945 Final Tipperary 5-6 Kilkenny 3-6
This was a refreshing pairing after Cork’s four in a row as both counties tried to restore former glories. Kilkenny hadn’t been champions since 1939, while Tipp had been out of the big time since 1937. John Maher (Killinan), a survivor from the 1930 and 1937 teams was the Tipperary captain, while Kilkenny were led by Peter Blanchfield. Having led by 4-3 to 0-3 at half time (goals from Eddie Gleeson, 2, John Coffey and Mutt Ryan), Tipp had to withstand relentless pressure in the twenty minutes after half time, as Kilkenny reduced the lead to four points, However, the brilliance of Jimmy Maher in goal and Jim Devitt in defence ensured that Tipperary were not overtaken and Tony Brennan’s late scoring burst made it comfortable. Tommy Maher, later Fr. and Monsgr. replaced the injured Liam Reidy for the final and lined out at left half forward for Kilkenny. He became one of the greatest ever hurling coaches, in the decades which followed. The attendance of 69,459 set a new record for an All-Ireland Hurling Final. Tipperary were awarded only four frees to Kilkenny’s ten, while Tipp shot four wides compared to Kilkenny’s ten. Tipp earned one ‘70’, while their opponents got two.

1950 Final Tipperary 1-9 Kilkenny 1-8
Tipperary had beaten Kilkenny in the NHL ‘Home’ Final four months earlier and as defending All Ireland Champions and conquerors of Limerick, Clare, Cork and Galway, they were fancied to retain their title. Kilkenny played superbly in the first half against the wind and sun and leading by two points (0-7 to 0-5), they looked poised for victory. However a series of missed opportunities in the second half didn’t help their cause .The first half saw ten frees each and the teams level five times. The exchanges were tough, but a future GAA President and then Central Council representative, Con Murphy (Cork), kept control throughout. Team captain, Sean Kenny was a key man for Tipp having switched to centre forward early on. Tipp’s midfield dominance in the second half was significant with Phil Shanahan and Seamus Bannon improving significantly after the break. The goals arrived late, with Tipp’s Paddy Kenny scoring the first one, two minutes from the end and Jimmy Kelly replying for Kilkenny, just before full time. Having won six previous Finals by a point, Kilkenny had many regrets about losing this one. Tipperary’s top scorer was Paddy Kenny with 1-2, while Jim Langton, on 0-6, topped Kilkenny’s scoring returns. Another future GAA President, Paddy Buggy, came on as a sub for Kilkenny.

1958 Semi Final Tipperary 1-13 Kilkenny 1-8
Tipperary dethroned Waterford in Munster and claimed the Provincial title for the first time since 1951. They now faced the All-Ireland Champions, Kilkenny in the semi-final knowing that victory would probably guarantee the title, as untested Galway had received a bye to the decider. It was the first time that the counties had met at the All-Ireland semi Final stage since 1900. Mick Brophy’s early dominance at midfield helped Kilkenny and thanks to Dick Rockett’s goal they led by 1-4 to 0-3 after 20 minutes. A scoring burst from Jimmy Doyle, which included a goal from a free helped Tipp to a one point half time lead. Five unanswered points in the opening 12 minutes of the second half swung the game decisively Tipp’s way. The hero on a wet and unsuitable hurling day was Jimmy Doyle, who scored 1-8, in his county’s five point victory (1-13 to 1-8). Tipperary’s coming team had too much power for their rivals and the start of a wonderful era began with this victory. New names like Mick Maher, Tony Wall the captain, Theo English, Donie Nealon and Liam Devaney, who scored 0-3, became more widely known. The record attendance at this semi-final, 53,337, was 6,000 more than attended the subsequent final between Tipp and Galway.

1964 Final Tipperary 5-13 Kilkenny 2-8
Kilkenny were defending champions again, when the counties met in the 1964 final. A new attendance record for a championship clash between Tipp and Kilkenny was set at 71,282. It was thought that Kilkenny would be too strong for the challengers, who had preceded them as champions, but by half time Tipp were ahead 1-8 to 0-6 and the game was on.  ‘Mackey’ Mc Kenna scored the Tipp goal after 10 minutes. Kilkenny tried valiantly to get back into contention and John Teehan’s goal after 3 minutes gave them hope, but Tipp scored goals for fun with Donie Nealon getting three and Sean Mc Loughlin another. Tom Walsh scored a goal from a free after 20 minutes of the half, but it was nowhere near enough.  Jimmy Doyle popped over ten points and at the end it was Mick Murphy of Thurles Sarsfields, who received the Mac Carthy Cup, from GAA President Alf Murray. The winning margin was an amazing fourteen points –double scores. Not even the loss of the injured Mick Maher from full back early in the second half, bothered Tipp. Interestingly the BBC took a telecast of the game –their first time to do so.

1967 Final Kilkenny 3-8 Tipperary 2-7
Another windy Final day and forty five years since Kilkenny had beaten Tipp in the Championship. The Noresiders had overcome Tipp in the 1966 League ‘Home’ Final by 0-9 to 0-7 and confirmed their dominance with a three goal win in a League match at Nowlan Park in March 1967. They had no fear this time despite Tipp’s impressive Munster Campaign, where they beat Waterford by ten points and Clare by twelve. Tipp had the wind in the first half but the crucial score was Paddy Moran’s 5th minute goal for Kilkenny. Despite that setback, Tipp got into the game and by half time they were six points up 2-6 to 1-3. Donie Nealon scored both goals, Jimmy Doyle scored four points and Mick Roche two. Ollie Walsh was the hero for Kilkenny as he made a series of spectacular saves, especially in the first half. Kilkenny were level after Martin Brennan scored a goal nine minutes into the second half. Tom Walsh scored another after 12 minutes and that was that. Tipp’s ageing team was over run and failed to score until Jimmy Doyle popped over a free near the end. John Doyle’s bid for a ninth All Ireland medal failed and the general feeling was that if Kilkenny hadn’t lost Eddie Keher and Tom Walsh to injury in the second half, they would have won by more than four points. Len Gaynor was considered to have been Tipp’s best performer.

1971 Final Tipperary 5-17 Kilkenny 5-14
This was the first All Ireland Final to be televised in colour and as a spectacle, it was better than the 1967 decider. This game was the second of eighty minutes duration and that guaranteed plenty of scores, including a ten goal feast. Tipp led by six points at half time 2-10 to 2-4, with four splendid points from Francis Loughnane and goals by Noel O’ Dwyer and John Flanagan. Kilkenny came back in the second half and after Kieran Purcell’s great goal in the 22nd minute had levelled the game, Frank Cummins put Kilkenny ahead two minutes later with a point. Tipp recovered however and goals from Roger Ryan (2) and Dinny Ryan proved decisive as Kilkenny came again with a late rally. Tipp held on to win by three points with ‘Babs’ Keating the top scorer on 0-7. He won the Texaco Hurler of the Year for his outstanding performances in Tipperary’s successful campaign. The first official ALL STAR teams were selected that year and Tipperary had four players chosen – Captain Tadhg O’ Connor , Mick Roche, Francis Loughnane and ‘Babs’ Keating. A new All Ireland Final scoring record of 2-11 (2-8 from frees) was set by Eddie Keher and it survived until Nicky English scored 2-12 (0-8 frees, 1 pen), against Antrim in the 1989 decider. The statistics showed that Tipp were awarded 16 frees and conceded 20, both teams shot 13 wides and earned 2 ‘ 70s’. The referee was Frank Murphy from Blackrock in Cork and facing him for the throw in was his club mate, Frank Cummins, who was playing with Kilkenny!

1991 Final Tipperary 1-16 Kilkenny 0-15
After their heroics in Munster, where they beat Cork in a replay after being nine points down with about twenty five minutes to go and without the injured Nicky English, Tipp went into this game as favourites. Their preparations for the final were boosted by a ten point win over Galway in the semi Final, but injuries to Nicky English and Cormac Bonnar were a worry, as the team prepared for a first championship meeting with Kilkenny, in twenty years. Kilkenny had been unimpressive in Leinster beating Wexford and Dublin by two points, before repeating the margin against Antrim. Despite that they started well and with their captain Christy Heffernan in fine form at centre forward, the Tipp defence was under severe pressure for most of the half. No goal was scored in the opening period and with the teams level at the break, 0-9 each, the title was up for grabs.

The crucial score came when Michael Cleary’s second half free was deflected to the net after 45 minutes. With English and Bonnar, unable to perform as effectively as usual and being replaced by Donie O’ Connell and Conor Stakelum in the second half, Pat Fox had taken on a major responsibility in the full forward line. It was his clinching point near the end, which gave Tipp a four point win in a tense game. Michael Cleary scored 1-6 for Tipperary, while DJ Carey scored 0-9 for Kilkenny.

2002 Semi Final Kilkenny 1-20 Tipperary 1-16
Tipperary were defending All Ireland champions, but after good wins over Clare and Limerick they fell unexpectedly to Waterford in the Munster Final. As Provincial finalists, Tipperary came back into the reckoning and wins over Offaly and Antrim gave them encouragement. Kilkenny had won the Leinster title for the fifth year in a row and were an accomplished team, having won the All-Ireland title in 2000.

This was probably the best game between the counties for many years until last year’s Final, with some wonderful skill, teamwork and courage in abundance. In front of an attendance of 53,385, Tipp led by 0-5 to 0-3 after 18 minutes and notwithstanding Brendan Cummins’ 9th minute save from Eddie Brennan, they were deserving of parity at the break, 0-10 each. An early second half trio of Kilkenny points was cancelled by John Carroll’s goal. Cummins saved well from a Charlie Carter shot.

A vital score was registered when DJ Carey slipped a clever pass to Jimmy Coogan on his left, when the defence anticipated that Charlie Carter on the right, would be the target. The Tullaroan man fired the sliotar low to the Tipp net, at the Railway end, to give Kilkenny a timely lead. Tipp came again with points from captain Thomas Dunne, Brian O’Meara and John O’ Brien to level, but Henry Shefflin edged Kilkenny ahead again in the 67th minute of a pulsating game. Even though Tipp kept trying, Kilkenny finished stronger and landed three late points by Lyng, Shefflin and DJ Carey to win on a 1-20 to 1-16 score line. It was generally agreed, that the game could have gone either way.

2003 Semi Final Kilkenny 3-18 Tipperary 0-15
Tipperary lost an epic League Final to Kilkenny at Croke Park, 5-14 to 5-13, having led comfortably for much of the game. However it was the loss of full back Philip Maher, through injury, that hurt Tipp more and his absence less than two weeks later saw Clare turn the tide and beat their rivals by nine points. Tipp recovered and returned to Croke Park, via the qualifiers, beating Laois and Galway, before seeing Offaly away in the quarter Final.

The semi Final had a few unusual aspects. Former Kilkenny captain Denis Byrne was in the Tipp squad, Tommy Dunne lined out at centre back and the Premier County led at half time, by two points 0-11 to 0-9 after the teams had been level on seven occasions. However, it was the second half that stayed in the memory. Despite Brendan Cummins’ heroics in goal, Kilkenny eventually got through for a goal from Eddie Brennan after 45 minutes. Another followed four minutes later from Tommy Walsh and Kilkenny had it all wrapped up long before Henry Shefflin’s goal in the 70th minute. Twelve points was the eventual winning margin. Tipperary’s line out included Brendan Cummins, Paul Curran, Eoin Kelly and Lar Corbett.

2009 Final Kilkenny 2-22 Tipperary 0-23
Last year’s final was one of the great finals of modern times. Tipperary were outsiders, but they performed heroically all through on a wet and gloomy day. Every exchange was fiercely contested and all scores were hard earned. Having conceded three goals to Galway and Waterford, there was a feeling that Kilkenny might have been slipping. The champions led at half time ( 0-13 to 0-11 ) and the game was there to be won. However, it was their goalkeeper PJ Ryan who emerged as the hero, with two critical saves from Eoin Kelly and Seamus Callanan in the second half, when Tipperary were dominating the play. The game turned on a referee’s decision to award a penalty to Kilkenny in the 63rd minute, which Henry Shefflin drove to the net to put his team one point ahead. Martin Comerford, who had been introduced as a substitute, slipped in for another goal, which was followed by a two point Eoin Larkin contribution.  Kilkenny had their four in a row, with a five point winning margin. They were worthy champions. Tipperary’s All Ireland day inexperience was only to be expected, but nobody could fault any of the players for effort. The performances were recognised at the year’s end, when four players, Padraic Maher, Conor O’ Mahony, Noel McGrath and Lar Corbett were chosen on the All Stars team.

All-Ireland Premier Junior Camogie Championship Final – Waterford v Down

Waterford will play Down in the 2011 All Ireland Premier Junior Championship Final on Sunday September 11th at 12:00pm in Croke Park.

Fixture Details

Sunday 11th September 2011

All Ireland Premier Junior Camogie Championship Final in association with RTE Sport

Down v Waterford
Referee – Walter Cole
Croke Park 12:00

ESB GAA Hurling All-Ireland Minor Championship Final – Kilkenny 2-10 Clare 0-14

Kilkenny defeated Clare by 2-10 to 0-14 in the ESB GAA Hurling All-Ireland Minor Championship Final on Sundayat Croke Park.

Kilkenny pushed to the limit

Kilkenny 2-10 Clare 0-14

By Fintan O’Toole for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Monday, September 06, 2010

IT was not as facile as their runaway last four win over Galway, but after a white knuckle ride at Croke Park yesterday Kilkenny were crowned All-Ireland minor hurling champions.

Richie Mulrooney’s charges were made to work hard before securing yesterday’s title as they atoned for last season’s final defeat. The manner in which they crushed Galway at the semi-final stage last month left them unbackable favourites, but Clare produced a wonderful performance that tested the Cats to the limit.

The Banner youngsters tore into the tie from the start and showed scant regard for their opponent’s reputations.

Clare settled quickly and bossed the first-half exchanges. When an excellent point by wing-back Enda Boyce had them six clear by the half hour mark it looked like a shock was on the cards.. But their opponents refused to panic. They remained calm and composed, engineering a route back into contention and seizing the openings that fell their way.

A quickfire burst of two points before the break, courtesy of John Power from a placed ball and Michael Brennan from play, cut the gap to four points (0-9 to 0-5) at the interval.

Then came two goals which shaped the outcome of this clash. The first arrived in the 35th minute when Ger Aylward scooped up possession and off-loaded to corner-forward Michael Brennan in space. The latter’s finish was clinical as he shot low across Clare goalkeeper Ronan Taaffe into the bottom corner of the net.

Seven minutes later and Kilkenny had another green flag with Brennan once more at the heart of the move. Again it was Aylward who broke the ball into space for Brennan to race onto and with the Clare defence in close pursuit, Brennan intelligently opted to kick rather than strike past Taaffe. The ball was destined for the net but its flight was interrupted by Kilkenny substitute Paul Buggy, who got the finishing touch before it crossed the line.

It mean that the sides were level (2-5 to 0-11) and the momentum was with the Leinster men. A lengthy stoppage ensued after that second goal following a serious leg injury to Clare corner-back Haulie Vaughan, but when play resumed it was obvious Kilkenny had an extra pep in their step. They finally began to tap into the hot streak of form that had swept them to GAA headquarters with midfielder Kevin Kelly scything through for two points and Aylward lashing over another.

Clare’s resilience surfaced again in the finale. David O’Halloran buzzed around the attack to claim two points, with John Power firing one in between for Kilkenny. When substitute Aaron Cunningham knocked over a point under pressure in the 58th minute, the margin between them was wafer thin (2-9 to 0-14).

Clare missed some chances in those final minutes but credit also the Kilkenny defensive effort with Jason Corcoran, Willie Phelan and Owen McGrath in sterling form. The coup de grace was applied to the Cats victory when Brennan popped over a 64th minute point after a searing run forward by Aylward had initiated the opening.

That score copperfastened Kilkenny’s success, but the fact they did not depart with victory should not diminish the excellence of Clare’s performance. They played with hunger and determination, particularly in the first-half as they obliterated Kilkenny in the aerial battles and gobbled up multiple breaks around the middle third. Some of the game’s best performers wore saffron and blue jerseys. Paul Flanagan and Seadna Morey were immense in the full-back line, Clare destroyed Kilkenny at midfield courtesy of Colm Galvin and the excellent Tony Kelly, while Paudge Collins and Jamie Shanahan were shone in the half-forward line.

A Collins point in the 9th minute tied the game at 0-2 apiece and for the rest of the half Clare took over with O’Halloran, Daire Keane, Kelly and Boyce all landing superb points. Clare even overcame the concession of a contentious penalty in the 24th minute. The foul on Kevin Kelly was soft but despite it clearly taking place outside the large parallelogram, referee Anthony Stapleton awarded a penalty. Power was denied a goal though by a combination of Ronan Taaffe and Paul Flanagan. After that Clare were in buoyant mood but Kilkenny’s savvy, maturity and opportunism in front of goal just wore them down in the second-half.

Scorers for Kilkenny: M Brennan 1-2; P Buggy 1-0; O McGrath (two frees), K Kelly, J Power (one free) 0-2 each; G Aylward, C Buckley 0-1 each.

Scorers for Clare: D O’Halloran 0-5 (three frees); T Kelly, P Collins, N Arthur (two frees) 0-2 each; D Keane, E Boyce, A Cunningham 0-1 each.

Subs for Kilkenny: P Buggy for O’Hanrahan (37), P Holden for Walsh (39), R Reid for Holden (56).

Subs for Clare: A Cunningham for Malone (41), A Mulready for Vaughan (inj) (46), D McInerney for Arthur (58).

Referee: Anthony Stapleton (Laois)

Shelbourne Park Greyhound Stadium Semi-Finals

Up in Dublin for the weekend?

Shelbourne Park Greyhound Stadium Semi-Finals

Saturday September 4th

First Race at 7:55pm

Admission just €10

Wear your Jersey & receive 1/2 price admission on the night