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All Ireland Intermediate Hurling Championship Final – Tipperary 3-13 Kilkenny 1-17
Heffernan helps Tipp restore some pride
Report from the Irish Independent newspaper
TIPPERARY 3-13 KILKENNY 1-17
THIS was more like what you would expect from Tipperary and Kilkenny. Following the senior mismatch between the two counties a fortnight ago came an Intermediate All-Ireland hurling final that went to the wire at Semple Stadium last night. The result was in doubt until James Owens blew his final whistle to signal a first crown since 2000. For Kilkenny, this was a second successive final defeat but they could argue that Tipp held the pre-match aces, in a position to choose from senior club players in the county while Kilkenny plucked from junior and intermediate clubs.
The half-time score seemed to back up that assertion as Tipp led by 3-9 to 0-6. But Kilkenny, who spent little time in the dressing room at half time, won the second half by 1-11 to 0-4. The Noresiders rattled Tipp with 1-7 without reply and with nine minutes remaining, just one point separated the teams. There was further drama to come as Kilkenny were awarded a 53rd minute penalty. Kilkenny’s leading scorer Rory Hickey stepped forward and saw his blistering drive blocked by goalkeeper James Logue. In stoppage time, Logue would also divert a rising Hickey free from the 20m line over the bar. There was just one blot on Logue’s copybook over the course of an impressive hour, when Kilkenny sub Geoff Brennan’s speculative delivery went all the way to the Tipperary net in the 42nd minute. It was a goal that gave Kilkenny real hope and they went desperately close to one of the great comebacks.
Ultimately, this was about restoring some pride from a Tipperary perspective. And in the first half, the hosts set about their task with real gusto in front of 3,022 spectators. Tipp’s full-forward line of Kieran Morris, Mikey Heffernan and David Butler thrived on a regular supply of ball and all three had registered 1-2 each by half time. But there were no obvious signs that Tipp, who scored 3-12 from play in total, would establish such a big interval lead as Kilkenny led by 0-4 to 0-2 with nine minutes on the clock.
But they wouldn’t score again for the next 13 minutes and in that time, Tipp opened up with a devastating scoring burst. Heffernan’s goal in the ninth minute was a sweet one-handed strike at the Town End and when Butler netted nine minutes later, wind-assisted Tipp were in complete control. Their third followed in the 25th minute, finished by Morris. Kilkenny rarely threatened the Tipperary goal but they had a couple of chances in first half stoppage time as Ger Aylward saw his shot stopped by Logue, before the goalkeeper did well to keep out Hickey’s blistering 20m free. Logue would also emerge as a central figure in the second half as Tipp hung on for a morale-boosting win.
Scorers — Tipperary: M Heffernan 1-4, K Morris 1-3 (0-1f), D Butler 1-2, M Gleeson, P White, S Carey, P O’Dwyer 0-1 each. Kilkenny: R Hickey 0-8 (4f, 2 65s), G Brennan 1-0, K Kelly 0-3, N Walsh 0-2, B Kennedy, L Harney, J Lyng, JJ Farrell 0-1 each.
Tipperary: J Logue; C Coughlan, K O’Gorman, G Walsh; J Barry, E Connolly, R Sherlock; M Gleeson, P White; S Carey, D O’Brien, J Gallagher; K Morris, M Heffernan, D Butler. Subs: R Ruth for Butler (38), E Sweeney for Gallagher (47), C Dillon for O’Brien (56), P O’Dwyer for White (56).
Kilkenny: R O’Neill; M Phelan, A Walsh, J Corcoran; B Kennedy, B Beckett, L Harney; J Lyng, P Murphy; N Walsh, R Hickey, K Kelly; R Walsh, JJ Farrell, G Aylward. Subs: P Hartley for Murphy (19), M Malone for R Walsh (28), G Brennan for A Walsh (30+1), C Kenny for Farrell (60).
Referee: J Owens (Wexford)
The Tipperary Intermediate Hurling team to play Kilkenny in the All Ireland final at Semple Stadium on Saturday September 1st at 6pm is unchanged from the team which started against Clare in the Munster final. The team is:
1. James Logue (Ballingarry)
2. Gerry Walsh (Carrick Swan)
3. Kevin O’Gorman (Thurles Sarsfields)
4. Christy Coughlan (Templederry Kenyons)
5. James Barry (Upperchurch Drombane)
6. Eddie Connolly (Loughmore Castleiney) CAPT
7. Ronan Sherlock (Silvermines)
8. Michael Gleeson (Thurles Sarsfields)
9. Paudie White (Clonoulty Rossmore)
10. Seán Carey (Moyle Rovers)
11. Damien O’Brien (Burgess)
12. Joe Gallagher (Kildangan)
13. Kieran Morris (Moycarkey-Borris)
14. Michael Heffernan (Nenagh Éire Óg)
15. David Butler (Drom and Inch)
KILKENNY IH: 1. Richie O’Neill (Kilmacow); 2. Mark Phelan (Glenmore), 3. Alan Walsh (Mooncoin), 4. Jason Corcoran (John Lockes); 5. Brian Kennedy (St. Lachtains), 6. Bill Beckett (St. Lachtains), 7. Luke Harney (Kilmacow); 8. Joe Lyng (Rower Inistioge), 9. Paul Murphy (Blacks & Whites); 10. Niall Walsh (Slieverue), 11. Rory Hickey (Lisdowney), 12. Kevin Kelly (St. Patrick’s); 13. Robbie Walsh (Danesfort), 14. John Joe Farrell (Thomastown), 15. Ger Aylward (Glenmore).