Irish: CLG Tiobraid Árann
County Ground: Semple Stadium Thurles
Together with Cork and Kilkenny, Tipperary is one of hurling’s so-called “Holy Trinity.” They are the third most successful team, having won 25 All-Ireland titles as of 2008. They have also achieved the coveted distinction of twice winning three All-Ireland Finals in a row (1898, 1899, 1900) and (1949, 1950, 1951). The Tipperary team of the 1960s is considered one of the greatest of all time.
They dominated hurling at the beginning; winning seven out of the first 15 All Irelands and all seemed great. By the end of the 1940s, they had fallen on lean times, winning just three of the previous twenty All Irelands, but this was not caused by failure to get good hurlers. They had been overshadowed by the great Kilkenny team of the 20’s, the legendary Limerick team of the 30’s and the even more incredible Cork team of the 40’s (who won the first and only All Ireland hurling four in a row). But in 1941, 50 and 51, they replicated what the other teams took twenty years to achieve. This was because of the great players, some of whom would appear in the year 2000 on the hurling Team of the millennium. John Doyle, Tony Reddin, Mickey ‘The Rattler’ Byrne and Tommy Doyle were just some of these Tipperary legends. They contested evenly with Cork and Kilkenny till the 1960s, in which was considered the greatest Tipperary team in history. This included the legendary Jimmy Doyle of Thurles Sarsfields. He would prove to be Tipps greatest forward of all time. He achieved nearly everything in hurling and holds some records. He is only one of four people to captain The county Seniors and Minors to an All Ireland victory (the rest are fellow clubman Tony Wall, Cork’s Sean Condon and Kilkenny’s Brian Cody) He (plus clubman Michael Craddock) are the only players to win three All Ireland Minor titles. He is the only player to be in four minor All Ireland hurling finals.
As said, this Tipperary team was unstoppable. Their full back line of John Doyle, Keiran Carey and Michael Maher is one of the greatest in history, it’s nickname was ‘Hell’s Kitchen.’ Had they not had an off-day on the Munster final in 1963, it’s likely that Tipp would have won an unprecedented five All Ireland’s in a row. If Waterford hadn’t beaten them, it’s unlikely that eventual champions Kilkenny would have stood in their way. In 1964 and 1965, including the notably one sided final against Kilkenny in 64, nobody managed to give Tipp a decent game. In 1964, the closest anyone came to Tipp was fourteen points, in 1965 it was twelve. In 1971, not even the greatest hurling pessimist would have predicted that after Tipp won the All Ireland, they wouldn’t see another All Ireland title in 18 years. It’s not that between 1972 and 1986 that Tipp had not got the breaks with the big boys or they had been narrowly been missing out on provincial honours. Most days, they were hardly at the races at all. But this all changed thanks to ‘Babs’ Keating. They won the Munster final 1987. It was an historic moment in Tipperary hurling. For the next few years, they won 4 more Munsters and two All Irelands and in 1991 competed in what was said to the greatest ever hurling match, against Cork, which took a last minute point to tie it up to bring it to a replay and then a brilliant re-encounter in Thurles. In 2001, The star of the last team, Nicky English went on to manage Tipp to the National league, Munster and All Ireland in 2001, just when rumours of another famine were coming. In 1971, Tipp had the most All Irelands with 22 All Irelands. After 18 years of nothing, they were still second place, which proves that they are and always will be a dominant force in Hurling. They have three players on the Team of the millennium,, Tony Reddin (Keeper), John Doyle (Left Full Back) and Jimmy Doyle (Right Full Forward).
2008 Marked out another great year for Tipperary Hurling. They started out Retaining their Waterford Crystal Cup and going on to win the National League against Galway. They then entered the Championship against old Rivals Cork, this was to be one of the games of the year. Tipp beat Cork and went on to face Clare, who had knocked out former champions Waterford and 2007 Ireland Finalist, Limerick. Tipp started out great and at half time led by a substansial amount of points. But Clare came back to within 5 points as Tipp fell asleep but were just too good and raced away to another Munster title. The Minors were beaten in the Munster final against Cork, the Intermediate against Limerick and Tipp beat Clare in a very Controversial game in the U-21 final against Clare. Tipp were now in their first Semi final since 2002 and were real favorites against Waterford. But Tipp fell to a better more experienced Waterford team. the week before 3 in a row favorites Tipp were beaten by Kilkenny in the Minor Semi final. Tipp had now only one hurling team left in the championship, the u-21s who went on to lose the All Ireland final against Kilkenny who completed a clean sweep of all 4 hurling All Irelands for the year. The Tipp senior team were unbeaten in all competitions before the Waterford Semi final.
County Ground: Semple Stadium Thurles
Parking is available in various locations around the town centre and in the vicinity of the grounds. Amongst the areas where parking may be available are Dr Morris Park and Sarsfields GAA Grounds.
Semple Stadium is close to Thurles town centre on the north-west. The town is approx 10 kms off the N8 via the N62. From the north use the N62 (Roscrea/Birr) and from the west the R498 from Nenagh.
Thurles is situated on the Cork-Dublin train route. The Train station is located off the Abbey Rd, approximately 5 minutes walk from the stadium. The Bus Éireann services are located near the town centre.