Monday 5 December 2016

Kilkenny's rivals recede in rear-view mirrors

Published 09/09/2015 | 02:30

Brian Cody has turned Kilkenny into a dominant side since the turn of the millennium
Brian Cody has turned Kilkenny into a dominant side since the turn of the millennium

At the end of 1965, Tipperary led the All-Ireland SHC roll of honour with 21 titles, followed by Cork on 19 and Kilkenny on 15.

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Fifty championships later, Tipperary have moved up to 26, Cork to 30 and Kilkenny to 36.

That's quite a change among the 'Big 3', emphasising, in particular, the power shift towards Kilkenny, who have won 21 of the last 50 All-Irelands, compared to Cork's 11 and Tipperary's 5.

It's certainly quite a change for Tipperary, who won their previous five titles in just eight seasons between 1958 and '65.

If 21 out of 50 titles is pretty impressive by Kilkenny, their dominance under Brian Cody since the turn of the Millennium has been truly remarkable. They have won 11 of 16 titles since 2000, by far the most concentrated success rate in hurling history.

The previous best runs were by Cork, who took eight titles between '41 and '54 and by Tipperary, who also won eight titles between '49 and '65.

Mind you, Cork didn't win their next All-Ireland until 1966, while Tipp have only won five more since 1965.

Somehow, it's difficult to envisage Kilkenny hitting a similar slump. In fact, they are 6/4 favourites to complete the All-Ireland three-in-a-row for the third time next year.

Irish Independent

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