Monday 22 December 2014

Ruthless Cats driven to dominate Tipp by the one that got away

Donny Mahoney

Published 07/05/2014 | 02:30

4 May 2014; Kilkenny manager Brian Cody gives some instructions to Eoin Larkin before sending him on as a substitute. Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Final, Tipperary v Kilkenny, Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
Brian Cody gives some instructions to Eoin Larkin

Death, taxes and Kilkenny beating Tipp. The older you get, the more you appreciate life's certainties.

It was no major shock to see Kilkenny win another National League final against Tipp on Sunday, though at least the manner of the victory was novel.

The extra 20 minutes must have made some Kilkenny fans sweat, but the well-worked TJ Reid winner provided an exclamation mark on a match that felt both riveting and superfluous to the real drama to be woven in the championship.

The only aberration in the recent trend between these rivals was the match that hurt the Cats the most – the 2010 All-Ireland.

The scoreline still provides shivers. Kilkenny leaked 4-17. It was the one that got away. Does Brian Cody lie awake wondering how things could have been different if the hype had been toned down or if Shefflin's Messiah act managed differently?

Meanwhile, on Sunday evening, Clare beat Galway by 12 points in a challenge match, fielding a different team in each half. Hurling's real battles lie just beyond the horizon.

Irish Independent

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