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All-Ireland SHC Final – Kilkenny v Tipperary

September 6, 2009 @ 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Cats strike late to claim famous four-in-a-row

From the web site

Sunday, September 6

Kilkenny 2-22 Tipperary 0-23

Kilkenny struck two late goals to secure the four-in-a-row and kill off Tipperary’s brave challenge in an epic All-Ireland final at Croke Park on Sunday. Tipperary appeared to be in complete control of the game until substitute Benny Dunne was sent off for a wild pull on Tommy Walsh in the 54th minute, and the Cats produced a stunning finish to end up with a five-point winning margin. However, Tipperary came closer than any other team to ending Kilkenny’s monopoly of the Liam MacCarthy Cup, and but for some poor shooting and the brilliance of Cats goalkeeper PJ Ryan, they could easily have won the title for the first time since 2001. Seamus Callanan and Eoin Kelly were denied what looked like certain goals in the second half by Ryan, who pulled off spectacular saves that will leave him a front runner for an All Star.

Kilkenny were not at their best but as usual they came good when they really needed to in the final minutes, taking their two goal-scoring chances clinically. Shefflin struck from the penalty spot after Riche Power had been hauled down and then Martin Comerford completed a remarkable turnaround when he snaffled a second just a minute later. Tipperary’s success this year has been based on their ability to score goals, but as Ryan single-handedly kept them out, they simply could not find a way past the Kilkenny defence in a thrilling final few minutes. Kilkenny nearly made their trademark quick start to the game when Richie Hogan appeared to have found a way through on goal after the ball was dropped in the Tipperary defence. However, the ball was just out of his reach and Tipperary could breathe again.

The Cats served notice of their intentions in the second minute when Jackie Tyrrell floored Callanan with a ferocious shoulder that left the Tipperary centre-forward needing treatment. The opening minutes were tough and uncompromising; with Tipperary standing up to everything the Cats threw at them in the physical stakes. Referee Diarmuid Kirwan allowed the game to flow without too much interference before stepping in later in the game when matters threatened to boil over. Shefflin and Eoin Kelly, both on free-taking duties for their respective teams, left the sides level inside eight minutes, but the big talking point of the opening exchanges came a minute later when Shefflin had a great chance to hammer home an early goal. However, the Kilkenny marksman was denied by a brilliant save from Brendan Cummins, who deflected the groundstroke out for a ’65.

Kelly and Lar Corbett, the only Tipperary players to score in the first half, were causing problems for Kilkenny’s much-heralded full-back line. Kelly was on hand to punish any fouls committed by the Kilkenny defence; Corbett was more of a threat in open play, his pace causing panic and leading to a fine point after 15 minutes. Kilkenny hit back with points from Tommy Walsh, Eoin Larkin, Eddie Brennan and Shefflin again to lead by two after 19 minutes. But Tipperary were by no means overawed by the three-time champions and hit the next three scores to take the lead once again within five minutes. After a slow start, the game really opened up and some of the point-taking was an absolute pleasure to watch. However, Kilkenny hit the last two points of the half and led by two, 0-13 to 0-11, at the break.

Ryan made the fist of his vital interventions immediately after the restart, producing perhaps the save of the season to deny Callanan after Pat Kerwick had brilliantly fashioned the opening. Callanan was becoming increasingly influential for the underdogs after a quiet first half and he hit two in a row to level the game before Shane McGrath struck the point of the game to give Tipp the lead. Shefflin responded with a free before Ryan again produced a heroic save to deny Eoin Kelly. The Tipperary full-forward was straight through on goal, but he appeared to slip at the point of contact with the ball and his shot was deflected out for a ’65 by the Cats’ goalkeeper. Kelly picked himself up to send the ensuing dead ball over.

One of the games many talking points came in the 54th minute, when Tipperary substitute Benny Dunne, who had been introduced six minutes previously, was sent to the line for a strike on Tommy Walsh. The pair contested a high ball and the Toomevara man appeared to pull prematurely on the ball, striking his opponent in the chest area for a deserved red card. The sending off appeared to have a galvanising effect on Liam Sheedy’s men and they reacted brilliantly, firing over three points in a row to take a three-point lead and all the momentum into the final ten minutes. If the game had one decisive turning point, it came in the 63rd minute, when the referee awarded the champions a hotly-debated penalty for a foul by Paul Curran on Richie Power. Power appeared to have been dragged down just outside the area, but Kirwan pointed to the spot and Shefflin hammered home to give Kilkenny the lead.

It got worse for Tipperary a minute later. Comerford, who had lost his place in the starting line-up, made space for himself and struck a low shot past Cummins for a second goal. The Premier men went in search of goals in the final minutes, but found Ryan, who saved from an angled Noel McGrath shot, in imperious form between the sticks. Jackie Tyrrell added another for the Cats, with Kelly responding, but it was Eoin Larkin who fired the final two points of the game to complete an amazing turnaround for the champions.

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
Where there’s an iron will, there’s a way

From the Irish Examiner newspaper

Kilkenny 2-22 Tipperary 0-23

By Diarmuid O’Flynn

Monday, September 07, 2009

WHAT a contest!

In this the 125th anniversary of the foundation of the GAA, hurling has been crying out for a game to suitably mark that momentous occasion. But all year all we’ve had was mediocrity. Yesterday, however in the All-Ireland final with one team going for an historic four-in-a-row and the other trying desperately to re-establish itself among hurling’s elite, all that was put right.

In front of a full house at Croke Park, two superbly conditioned teams went toe-to-toe from first bell to last, neither side taking a backward step. Seven times they were level in the first half, four times more in the second, a reflection of how evenly matched were these two magnificent teams. As the end-game beckoned, and so finely balanced was the battle that we were wondering if we were going to see the first drawn final in 50 years. That we didn’t, that Kilkenny eventually prevailed, was down to (a) a moment of madness in the 54th minute that saw Tipperary reduced to 14 men and (b) cruel misfortune, as Kilkenny were awarded a hotly-disputed penalty in the 63rd minute, from which came the first goal of the game, dispatched in emphatic fashion by Henry Shefflin.

Most of all, however, it was down, yet again, to the iron will of this Kilkenny team, the team that simply refuses to lose. Surely now it can be said, and without reservation – with the four-in-a-row completed that this is the best hurling team of all time.

This being Tipperary’s first appearance in an All-Ireland final in eight years, as against ten in the last 12 years for the Cats, there was a fear in some quarters that the challengers would be vulnerable to a fast Kilkenny start, the kind of start that had seen Kilkenny blast both Waterford (2008) and Limerick (2007) away in the first quarter in the last two finals. It never happened. Tipperary, in fact, were fastest out of the block; could have given away a goal after a mix-up in the last line of defence in the opening seconds but recovered well, and in a low-scoring opening quarter, led after 14 minutes by two points, 0-3 to 0-1.

Both teams had lined out with major changes to their forward line-ups, Aidan Fogarty the only Kilkenny forward to start as selected, in the left corner. Eddie Brennan and Richie Power – both named as inside-forwards – started on the wings, with Eoin Larkin on the 40, while newcomer Richie Hogan was in the right corner and Shefflin at full-forward. For Tipperary, the most significant move saw Lar Corbett switch from corner-forward to the centre, with Seamus Callanan going to the edge of the square and Eoin Kelly to the right corner. The switches had only limited success for Kilkenny, Brennan was most impressive with three fine first-half points proving his effectiveness out the field, but Larkin, Power, Hogan and Fogarty were all giving best to their markers, while even Henry was being well guarded by hugely impressive youngster Padraic Maher.

For Tipperary, however, there was more success; Lar was on fire, a hat-trick of points of his own while roving far and wide in an attempt to pull Brian Hogan from his comfort zone at centre-back. In fact, all over the pitch Kilkenny were pulled from their comfort zone as Tipperary tested them in ways they haven’t experienced since their great rivalry with Cork up to 2006. From very early on it was apparent this was going to be a cracker.

Inspired by the brilliant Tommy Walsh at wing-back, Kilkenny recovered from that early deficit, led after 18 minutes (0-6 to 0-4), but that was only temporary. From there to the end of a first half that was played at breakneck pace, the teams traded blow for blow. Kelly (8) and Corbett (3) were doing all the scoring for Tipperary; Shefflin and Brennan doing the bulk in reply for Kilkenny and the champions were marginally ahead at the break, 0-13 to 0-11, as we all paused for breath.

The second half continued where the first had let off, Tipperary taking the lead with a three-point burst as a hitherto subdued Seamus Callanan announced his presence. It would have been a goal and three but for a superb point-blank save by PJ Ryan from Callanan in the 37th, the first of four that PJ would make.

Those scores, however, and the goal-chances now being created, signalled the resolve of Tipperary. As the half progressed, an upset was looking more likely and by the 59th minute, PJ having been called on again with two more breath-taking saves, it was the underdogs in control, three points to the good (0-20 to 0-17). That was after sub Benny Dunne had seen red for a dangerous pull under a dropping ball on Tommy Walsh, but it didn’t seem to unsettle the Tipp men as they kept their pedal to the metal.

Then came the game’s defining moment. Given the closeness of the exchanges, a goal was always going to be pivotal; that it would come courtesy of a disputed refereeing decision was unfortunate, for both referee Diarmuid Kirwan and Tipperary. Bearing down on goal from about the 20m line, Richie Power was hauled back by a desperate Paul Curran, but outside the critical red-zone penalty area. Richie powered on, however, and by the time Kirwan’s whistle had sounded he was inside the 13m line, and the official awarded a penalty. Sheffling stepped forward, and with nerve and accuracy, rifled his shot past the despairing Tipp three-man wall.

Only seven minutes to go, 1-19 to 0-21, for the first time since the opening minutes of the half Kilkenny were now back in front, and the stands rocked to the roars from their huge support; a minute later it was even louder, the second Kilkenny goal, and it was the killer. Started, fittingly enough, with the most experienced Kilkenny player on the field, corner-back Michael Kavanagh (his tenth final, his seventh medal) who delivered a superb clearance out of defence. Eoin Larkin picked up, headed for goal, parted to substitute Martin Comerford, who gave Brendan Cummins no chance from close quarters. That goal put Kilkenny four points clear, and mightily as Tipperary tried for the remaining minutes they just could not close that gap. A long-range bomb from Jackie Tyrell and a brace from Larkin tidied things up for Kilkenny.

Hats off then to Kilkenny, four-in-a-row, worthy champions yet again. Hats off also to Tipperary; they did themselves proud yesterday, but more than that, they did hurling proud and gave us all the final we had craved.

They will be back, no doubt about it.

Team News

The Tipperary Senior Hurling team to play Kilkenny in Sunday’s All Ireland Senior Hurling Final shows no changes from the side which started against Limerick in the All Ireland semi-final. The team is:

1. Brendan Cummins (Ballybacon-Grange)

2. Paddy Stapleton (Borris-Ileigh)

3. Padraic Maher (Thurles Sarsfields)

4. Paul Curran (Mullinahone)

5. Declan Fanning (Killenaule)

6. Conor O’Mahony (Newport) (Captain)

7. Brendan Maher (Borris–Ileigh)

8. James Woodlock (Drom & Inch)

9. Shane McGrath (Ballinahinch)

10. Pat Kerwick (Killenaule)

11. Seamus Callanan (Drom & Inch)

12. John O’Brien (Toomevara)

13. Noel McGrath (Loughmore Castleiney)

14. Eoin Kelly (Mullinahone)

15. Lar Corbett (Thurles Sarsfields)

Referee for Hurling Finals Announced

The Central Referees Appointments Committee of the GAA has announced the referees for the All Ireland Hurling Finals. The GAA All Ireland Senior Hurling Final between Kilkenny and Tipperary on September 6th will be refereed by Diarmuid Kirwan of Cork. He refereed the All Ireland minor finals of 2002 and 2003 and joined the ranks of Liam MacCarthy Cup referees in 2007 at the Kilkenny V Limerick tie. Kirwan is a native of Offaly and played hurling and football with Ballyhskenagh from schoolboys up to intermediate. He has been living in Ovens in Cork for a number of years and played hurling with the local Éire Óg club.

Match Preview

Kilkenny for the four-in-a-row and their 32nd title or Tipperary for their first title since 2001 and their 26th in all? The answer will emerge in Croke Park on Sunday when Kilkenny and Tipperary meet in the GAA All-Ireland senior hurling final. It will be their first meeting in the final since 1991 when Tipperary won by four points. Throw-in will be at 3.30 and the game will be preceded at 1.15 by the minor final between Galway and Kilkenny. Kilkenny are bidding to become the first county to win the senior four-in-a-row since Cork triumphed in 1941-42-43-44.

Paths to the final


Kilkenny 2-20 Galway 3-13 (Leinster semi-final) Kilkenny 2-18 Dublin 0-18 (Leinster final) Kilkenny 2-23 Waterford 3-15 (All-Ireland semi-final)

Kilkenny Scorers

Henry Shefflin………1-30 (0-19 frees, 0-2 ‘65’) Martin Comerford…2-4 Eoin Larkin………….0-9 Eddie Brennan……..2-3 Aidan Fogarty………1-5 Derek Lyng………….0-3 Michael Rice……….0-2 TJ Reid……………….0-1 Tommy Walsh…….0-1 ‘Cha’ Fitzpatrick…0-1 Richie Power………0-1 Richie Hogan………0-1


Tipperary 1-19 Cork 0-19 (Munster quarter-final) Tipperary 3-18 Clare 1-22 (Munster semi-final) Tipperary 4-14 Waterford 2-16 (Munster final) Tipperary 6-19 Limerick 2-7 (All-Ireland semi-final)

Tipperary Scorers

Lar Corbett……………….6-7,Eoin Kelly…………………2-17 (0-15 frees) Noel McGrath……………1-15 (0-2 frees, 0-1 line ball) Seamus Callinan………..3-7 Pat Kerwick………………1-7 John O’Brien…………….1-5 Conor O’Mahony………0-4 (3 frees, 1’65’) Benny Dunne…………….0-3 Shane McGrath…………0-3 (0-1 line ball) James Woodlock……….0-1 Declan Fanning…………0-1


Players……………………………….Total……………Placed balls*……Open play…………Games Joe Canning (Galway)………..3-45 (54 pts)………1-37……………….2-8……………………..5

Eoin Kelly (Waterford………..2-47 (53pts)……….2-42……………….0-5…………………….5

Alan McCrabbe (Dublin)…….1-39 (42 pts)……..0-32……………….1-7…………………….4

Henry Shefflin (Kilkenny)…..1-30 (33pts)………0-20……………….1-13…………………..3

Lar Corbett (Tipperary)……..6-7 (25pts)………….0-0…………………6-7……………………..4

Ben O’Connor (Cork)………….0-24 (24pts)……..0-19……………….0-5…………………….3

Niall Healy (Galway)……………5-9 (24pts)………0-3…………………5-6…………………….5

Eoin Kelly (Tipperary)…………2-17 (23pts)……..0-15……………….2-2……………………4

A O’Shaughnessy (Limerick)..1-20 (23pts)…….1-13………………0-7…………………….6

Willie Hyland (Laois)……………0-21 (21pts)……0-13………………0-8…………………….3

*Includes frees, penalties, ‘65s’ and line balls.

Leading scorers in single games

Henry Shefflin (Kilkenny)………..1-14 v Waterford Joe Canning (Galway)……………..2-9 v Kilkenny Niall Healy (Galway)……………….3-5 v Laois Diarmuid Lyng (Wexford)……….1-11 v Clare Joe Canning (Galway)……………..1-10 v Laois Niall Gilligan (Clare)……………….1-10 v Wexford Eoin Kelly (Waterford)…………….1-10 v Kilkenny Eoin Kelly (Waterford)…………….0-12 v Limerick (replay) Colin Ryan (Clare)……………………0-12 v Tipperary Alan McCrabbe (Dublin)………….0-12 v Kilkenny Eoin Kelly (Waterford)…………….0-12 v Galway Brian Carroll (Offaly)……………..0-12 v Antrim

Last Clash…National League Final, 3 May, 2009 (Thurles)



(After extra-time)

Level at the end of normal time (Kilkenny 2-17 Tipperary 3-14), Kilkenny led by a point at half-time in extra-time. A Noel McGrath goal gave Tipperary a two point lead early in the second period but Kilkenny scored 0-6 to Tipperary’s 0-1 from there to the finish.

Tipperary led by 2-7 to 0-8 at half-time in normal time and went eight points clear two minutes into the second half before Kilkenny clawed their way back.

Scorers: Kilkenny: R Hogan 1-10 (0-7 frees), A Fogarty 1-5, H Shefflin 0-4 (0-1 free, 0-1 ‘65’), TJ Reid 0-4 (0-1 line ball), E Brennan 0-2, E Larkin 0-1.

Tipperary: S Callanan 1-7 (0-6 frees, 0-1 ’65’), N McGrath 1-5 (0-1 free), J O’Brien 1-1, J Woodlock 1-1, S McGrath 0-2, B Cummins 0-1 (free).

Kilkenny: PJ Ryan; M Kavanagh, JJ Delaney, J Tyrrell; T Walsh, B Hogan, J Ryall; J Tennyson, M Rice; R Hogan, H Shefflin, E Larkin; E Brennan, TJ Reid, A Fogarty.

Subs: M Comerford for Brian Hogan, M Grace for Comerford (yellow card), ‘Cha’

Fitzpatrick for Shefflin (yellow card), S Cummins for Kavanagh (yellow card).

Tipperary: B Cummins; P Stapleton, P Curran, C O’Brien; D Fanning, Padraic Maher, S Maher; T Stapleton, S McGrath; J Woodlock, S Callanan, J O’Brien; N McGrath, M Webster, L Corbett.

Subs: B Maher for Fanning (yellow card), H Maloney for S Maher, B Dunne for Maloney, S Hennessy for Woodlock, D Fitzgerald for T Stapleton, Patrick Maher for Webster, E Buckley for Padraic Maher.

Previous Kilkenny-Tipperary All-Ireland final clashes

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.


31: 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).

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 (1897-1918-21-34-36-40-73).

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)


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


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


*Kilkenny have remained unbeaten in the championship since losing to Galway in the

2005 All-Ireland semi-final. They have won 17 games since then.

*Tipperary are unbeaten in this year’s championship and lost just two games in the League, both to Kilkenny. Kilkenny won by 5-17 to 1-12 in Nowlan Park in March and by

2-26 to 4-17 (after extra-time) in the final in Thurles in early May. Kilkenny’s only defeat this year came against Waterford (2-17 to 1-16) in the League in Walsh Park in early March.

*Brian Cody is managing Kilkenny into an All-Ireland final for the 9th time. Kilkenny won it under his guidance in 2000-2002-2003-2006-2007-2008 and lost in 1999 and 2004.

*What odds a draw? The last All-Ireland hurling final to end level was all of 50 years ago in 1959 when Kilkenny and Waterford who finished all square (5-5 to 1-17). Waterford won the replay by 3-12 to 1-10.



And then there were two. 12 counties started out on the GAA All-Ireland hurling championship title trail last May and now it’s down to two following Tipperary’s 24-point win over Limerick in the second semi-final last Sunday.

Tipperary lined up a final clash with Kilkenny on Sunday, September 6 in what promises to be an outstanding contest. It will be the first time in 18 years that Kilkenny and Tipperary met in the final. Tipperary won the 1991 final by 1-16 to 0-15.

The counties clashed twice in All-Ireland semi-finals in 2002 and 2003 with Kilkenny winning both (2002: Kilkenny 1-20 Tipperary 1-16; 2003: Kilkenny 3-18 Tipperary 0-15). Tipperary have had the better of the rivalry in All-Ireland finals. They won six of the last seven final clashes, extending back to 1922 with Kilkenny’s only win in that period coming in 1967 when they won by four points.

Tipperary’s win over Limerick earned them a place in the final for the first time since 2001 while Kilkenny will be appearing in the final for the 8th time this decade as they bid to become the first county to win the four-in-a-row since Cork in 1941-42-43-44. Kilkenny and Tipperary have clashed twice already this year in the National League. Tipperary won a Division One tie by 5-17 to 1-12 in March but it was very different in the League final in early May when extra-time was needed before Kilkenny edged home by 2-26 to 4-17 after a great battle.

Previous Kilkenny All-Ireland final clashes

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.

Tipperary Press Pack

Welcome and Introduction

Welcome to the Tipperary Press Pack for the All Ireland Senior Hurling Final 2009. The purpose of this press pack is to provide you with some useful background information about the Tipperary team and the Tipperary Kilkenny rivalry over the years. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all sections of the media for their co-operation and support during the year and the generally fair manner in which they do their work. I want to thank the Tipperary Manager, Liam Sheedy, his colleagues on the management team, the Tipperary players and my fellow officers of Tipperary County Board for providing information for the Press Pack. I also want to thank most sincerely Ed Donnelly and Seamus O’Doherty for their assistance preparing this Press Pack. It would not have been possible without their research, input and hard work.

Ger Ryan

PRO, Tipperary County Board

Tel: 086 8149146


Team Announcement

The team will be announced by email and local radio at 9pm on Thursday September 3rd. It will subsequently be published on the Tipperary GAA website (

Player Profiles

Profiles and Photographs of all the Tipperary players can be found on the Tipperary GAA web site

Management Profiles

Liam Sheedy (Portroe), Eamon O’Shea (Kilruane MacDonaghs) and Michael Ryan (Upperchurch-Drombane) are in their second 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.


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 club, colleges and inter-county teams including the Limerick senior footballers.

Tipperary Path to Final:

Tipperary 6-19 Limerick 2-7 Croke Park Dublin All-Ireland S/F 16/8/09

Tipperary 4-14 Waterford 2-16 Semple Stadium Thurles Munster Final 12/7/09

Tipperary 3-18 Clare 1-22 Páirc na nGael Limerick Munster S/F 21/6/09

Tipperary 1-19 Cork 0-19 Semple Stadium Thurles Munster Q/F 31/5/09

Tipperary Team v Limerick 16/8/09

B Cummins; P Stapleton, Padraic Maher, P Curran, D Fanning, C O’Mahony (Capt), Brendan Maher; J Woodlock, S McGrath; P Kerwick, S Callanan, J O’Brien; N McGrath, E Kelly, L Corbett.

Subs: B Dunne for S McGrath (54), G Ryan for Woodlock (62), M Webster for Kerwick (63), P Kelly for E Kelly (65), W Ryan for Corbett (67).

Scorers — Tipperary: L Corbett 3-1, E Kelly 1-6 (6f), P Kerwick 1-3, N McGrath 1-2, S Callanan, C O’Mahony (2f 1 ’65) 0-3 each, J O’Brien 0-1.

Tipperary Team v Waterford 12/7/09

B Cummins; P Stapleton, P Curran, C O’Brien; D Fanning, C O’Mahony (Capt), P Maher; J Woodlock, S McGrath; P Kerwick, S Callanan, J O’Brien; N McGrath, E Kelly, L Corbett.

Subs: B Maher for Curran (35 mins), W Ryan for Kelly (half-time), B Dunne for Woodlock (46), H Maloney for Kerwick (56), M Webster for O’Brien (69).

Scorers: L Corbett 2-02, E Kelly 1-03 (0-02f), S Callanan 1-01, N McGrath 0-03 (0-01f), P Kerwick, C O’Mahony (0-01f), S McGrath, J O’Brien, B Dunne 0-01 each

Tipperary Team v Clare 21/6/09:

B Cummins; P Stapleton, P Curran, C O’Brien; D Fanning, C O’Mahony (Capt.), P Maher; J Woodlock, S McGrath; P Kerwick, S Callanan, J O’Brien; E Kelly, L Corbett, N McGrath.

Subs: B Maher for O’Mahony (ht), W Ryan for Kerwick (53), B Dunne for S McGrath (62), H Maloney for Callanan (63), P Kelly for E Kelly (66).

Scorers: N McGrath 0-7 (0-1f, 0-1 s/l), J O’Brien 1-2, L Corbett 1-1, P Kerwick, E Kelly (0-3f) 0-3 each, S Callanan 1-0, J Woodlock, D Fanning 0-1 each

Tipperary Team v Cork 31/5//09:

B Cummins; P Stapleton, P Curran, C O’Brien; D Fanning, C O’Mahony (Capt.), P Maher; J Woodlock, S McGrath; N McGrath, S Callanan, J O’Brien; E Kelly, L Corbett, M Webster.

Subs: P Kerwick for Webster (51), B Maher for O’Mahony (55), D Gleeson for Cummins (blood-sub 60), G Ryan for N McGrath (63), B Dunne for Woodlock (65), P Kelly for Callanan (68).

Scorers: S Callanan 1-3, E Kelly 0-5 (4f), N McGrath, L Corbett 0-3 each, B Dunne, S McGrath (1 line ball) 0-2 each, J O’Brien 0-1.

Last Championship Meeting All Ireland SH Semi Final August 17th 2003

Kilkenny 3-18 Tipperary 0-15

KILKENNY: J. McGarry; M. Kavanagh, N. Hickey, J. Ryall; S. Dowling, P. Barry, J.J. Delaney; D. Lyng, P. Mullally; J. Hoyne, H. Shefflin, T. Walsh; D.J. Carey, M. Comerford, E. Brennan.

Sub: J. Coogan for Walsh (56th minute).

TIPPERARY: B. Cummins; T. Costello, P. Curran, M. Maher; E. Corcoran, T. Dunne, P. Kelly; E. Enright, B. Dunne; M. O’Leary, C. Gleeson, J. Carroll; E. Kelly, L. Corbett, B. O’Meara (capt.).

Subs: N. Morris for Corbett (54th minute); P. O’Brien for O’Leary (59th); B. Horgan for Enright (62nd); D. Kennedy for Costello (64th); E. Brislane for T. Dunne (71st).

Scorers: Kilkenny H. Shefflin 1-7 (0-5 frees); E. Brennan 1-4; T. Walsh 1-0; D.J. Carey 0-3 seventies; D. Lyng 0-2; J. Hoyne and J. Coogan 0-1 each.

Tipperary: E. Kelly 0-8 (0-6 frees); C. Gleeson 0-2; P. Kelly, J. Carroll, P. O’Meara, E. Enright and P. O’Brien 0-1 each.

Referee: P. O’Connor (Limerick) Attendance: 60,087

Last Meeting National Hurling League Final May 3rd 2009

Kilkenny 2-26 Tipperary 4-17 (after extra time)

KILKENNY: P.J. Ryan; M. Kavanagh, J.J. Delaney, J. Tyrrell; T. Walsh, B. Hogan, J. Ryall; J. Tennyson, M. Rice; R. Hogan, H. Shefflin (capt.), E. Larkin; E. Brennan, T.J. Reid, A. Fogarty.

Subs: M. Comerford for B. Hogan (injured, 10); M. Grace for Comerford (yellow card, 13); J. Fitzpatrick for Shefflin (yellow card, 43); S. Cummins for Kavanagh (yellow card, 78).

TIPPERARY: B. Cummins; P. Stapleton, P. Curran, C. O’Brien; D. Fanning, P. Maher, S. Maher; T. Stapleton, S. McGrath; J. Woodlock, S. Callanan, J. O’Brien (capt.); N. McGrath, M. Webster, L. Corbett.

Subs: B. Maher for Fanning (yellow card, 12); H. Maloney for S. Maher, (injured, 14); B. Dunne for Maloney (58); S. Hennessy for Woodlock (62); D. Fitzgerald for T. Stapleton (et); Patrick Maher for Webster (80); E. Buckley for Padraic Maher (91).

Scorers for Kilkenny: R. Hogan 1-10 (0-7 frees); A. Fogarty 1-5; H. Shefflin (0-1 free, 0-1 ‘65) and T. J. Reid (0-1 sideline) 0-4 each; E. Brennan 0-2; E. Larkin 0-1.

Scorers for Tipperary: S. Callanan 1-7 (0-5 frees, 0-1 ‘65); N. McGrath 1-5; J. Woodlock and J. O’Brien 1-1 each; S. McGrath 0-2; B. Cummins 0-1 free.

Referee: J. Sexton (Cork). Attendance: 17, 087


Appearances in 09

Paul Curran is the only player who has started all 12 games Tipperary have played in League and Championship this year. Benny Dunne, John O’Brien and James Woodlock have played in all 12 games either starting or coming on as a substitute.

Championship Scorers in 09

Lar Corbett is Tipp’s top scorer in the current championship campaign with 6-7, all from play. Eoin Kelly is next with 2-17 (0-15f). He is followed jointly by Noel McGrath with 1-15 (0-2f, 0-1s/l) and then Seamus Callanan with 3-7.

Championship Debutants under Liam Sheedy

Liam Sheedy has given 9 players championship debuts in his 2 seasons as Tipp SH Manager: Seamus Callanan, Darren Gleeson, Pat Kerwick, Brendan Maher, Padraic Maher, Noel McGrath, Conor O’Brien, Gearóid Ryan and Paddy Stapleton.

Previous All Ireland Senior Final Experience

4 players on the Tipperary panel – Brendan Cummins (1997 and 2001), Lar Corbett (2001), Eoin Kelly (2001) and Paul Kelly (2001) have previously played in an All Ireland senior hurling final. Paul Curran and John O’Brien were on the panel in 2001 but did not play in the final.

Club Representation on Tipperary Panel

The 35 players on the Tipperary Senior Hurling panel represent 21 clubs (20 in Tipperary and 1 in Kilkenny) between them as follows:

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

Conor O’Mahony (Newport) and Shane McGrath (Ballinahinch) are the only players not from senior clubs. Both their clubs play at Intermediate level.

Average Age of Tipperary Players

The average age of the Tipperary panel is 24 years and 7 months. The average age of the team which started the semi-final against Limerick was 24 years and 10 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).

Best attended Tipp v Kilkenny championship games

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

It will be a major surprise if this year’s final is not the best attended ever game between the two counties.

On the double

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, which was the last championship meeting between the teams.

Defending the title

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. That was the only previous occasion that Tipperary and Kilkenny played on September 6th.

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. Seven years ago, Kilkenny won a tremendous game, 1-20 to 1-16, before an attendance of 53,385.

Playing with rivals

Paul Kelly joined O’Loughlin Gaels in 2008, where his club mates include Martin Comerford and Brian Hogan. He may be a popular and valuable player in the white and green, but the battle for supremacy will mean business takes precedence until after the game. Paul has proven his versatility for club and county over the years having played in various positions, from half back to corner forward. He played at left half back in Tipperary’s 2001 All Ireland victory and also lined out at midfield, during the campaign.

In his first competitive match for O’ Loughlin Gaels, against Fenians, at Freshford,on May 8th 2008, Paul lined out at left half forward and contributed 0-3 .The game ended in a draw at 1-14 each. His performance, at left half back, in the Co. Semi final loss to James Stephens was highly impressive.

Hurling Academy

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.

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.

Managing the clubs

This year two former Tipperary senior hurlers are involved with Kilkenny Senior Clubs. Dinny Cahill (Kilruane MacDonaghs) is with Graigue/Ballycallan, while John Leahy is again taking charge of Carrickshock, where former Tipp underage player Emmet Dunphy (Roscrea) is the goalkeeper.

Crossing the lines

Two Kilkenny men who played in Tipperary County Finals over the past thirty five years were Pat Kavanagh (Rower Inistioge / Borris-Ileigh) and Richard Dunne (Danesfort/Roscrea). Pat played in his first Tipperary Co. Final in 1977 and lost to Kilruane MacDonaghs in a replay, but he was on the winning Borris-Ileigh team against Roscrea in 1981 and was a substitute, when they next won the title , beating Loughmore Castleiney, in 1983.

Richard was unlucky to lose out with Roscrea in the 1981 Final and again the following year, when Moycarkey/Borris won the title in a replay.

The last Tipp man to play in a Kilkenny county final was James Moran (Ballylooby -Castlegrace), who played for James Stephens in their unsuccessful bid to dethrone the Shamrocks, in last year’s decider.

Other familiar faces

Tom Russell, goalkeeper on the Moyne/ Templetuohy team which won the Tipp County title in 1971 has been involved with the Galmoy club for many years. His son, Phil, plays with Laois. Mick Lonergan (Moycarkey/ Borris) who came on as a substitute for Tipperary in the All Ireland finals of 1964 and 1967, both against Kilkenny, has also been involved with that club. Mick’s sons wore the Galmoy colours and Brian won a minor All Ireland title with Kilkenny in 1993 .

The club has engaged several Tipp Managers / Coaches over the years, including Michael Doyle, Joe Tynan and Paddy Moore.

Guarding the city

It is not unusual to see some well known Tipp hurling faces around the streets of Kilkenny City. James Woodlock (Drom and Inch), Stephen Hogan (Lorrha and Dorrha) and Liam Maher (Boherlahan Dualla) are Guardians of the Peace! Liam has been involved with the Dicksboro club since his departure from Boherlahan Dualla, with whom he won a Tipp Co Senior hurling title in 1996, scoring the winning point against Toomevara. Liam made a successful championship debut for Tipp, against Clare, in 1983.

Deflation or Inflation

John Doyle’s record of fifty four championship appearances for Tipperary, which stood since 1967, was recently surpassed by Brendan Cummins, who played his fifty fifth game in the All Ireland Semi Final against Limerick. On the day that John Doyle played his last game for Tipp, the Lower Hogan Stand Section M tickets cost twenty five shillings while the match programme cost one shilling. Whatever about inflation since then, Tipp people were very disappointed that his bid for an historic ninth All Ireland medal had failed. John’s son, Michael, was the Manager in 2003 when Tipperary last played Kilkenny in the championship.

Record setting

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.

Drawn out

It is fifty 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. In view of the League Final draw (after 70 minutes) last May, the fact that the counties have never drawn in the championship and the law of averages, perhaps this might be the year?

Much travelled

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 Roscrea, Kilkenny and Cork, where he played successfully with Blackrock and St. Finbarrs in hurling and Clonakilty in football.

Cork again

The appointment of Cork referee, Diarmuid Kirwan, to take charge of the final has been noted with interest because three of Tipperary’s last four final wins, over Kilkenny, were refereed by Cork officials. Con Murphy handled the 1950 decider, Frank Murphy was in charge in 1971 and Willie Horgan was the man in the middle in 1991. On a less optimistic note from Tipperary’s point of view, Diarmuid’s father, Gerry Kirwan of Offaly was referee when Tipperary lost to Galway in the All Ireland final of 1988 and semi-final of 1987.

1991 revisited

Michael Cleary was Tipperary’s leading scorer in the five game championship campaign with a total of 3-35. Pat Fox contributed 2-17. The two managers Michael ‘Babs’ Keating and Ollie Walsh had previously faced each other as players in the finals of 1964, 1967 and 1971. Ollie was the Texaco Hurler of the Year for 1967, while ‘Babs’ took the Award in 1971. The Section G, Lower Hogan Stand, ticket was available for £19 in 1991 and a match programme cost £1.

Hot Shots

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.

Elusive Leinster

During his inter county championship career, Liam Sheedy only played against one Leinster team –Wexford in the 1997 All Ireland Semi Final. In his two year Managerial career with Tipp, this Final will be his first clash with a team from outside Munster.

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.

League of his own

Finally, something unusual from Kilkenny. The Parish Priest of Ballyragget, Canon Tom Murphy, played in four All Ireland Hurling finals for Kilkenny 1963, 1964, 1966 and 1969 winning the first and last. While his three goal scoring feat in the 1960 Minor All Ireland Final introduced him to Tipp people, he also scored three goals against London in the 1969 All Ireland senior semi final. Surprisingly, he never played a National League game for his county. As a Clerical student, at St Kieran’s College, he was only available to play during the Summer holidays.


September 6, 2009
3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
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