Munster final strolls rarely translate into Croker glory
Published 02/09/2016 | 02:30
The recent history of big Munster final wins does not provide a good omen for Tipperary in Sunday's All-Ireland final.
In the last 50 years the All-Ireland title has been won by the Munster champions on 16 occasions (Cork in 2004 and Tipperary in 2010 won by the 'back door') but only once have provincial champions who won a Munster final by double scores gone on to claim MacCarthy Cup glory too. That was Tipperary in 1989 when they beat Waterford by 12 points.
So Tipperary's 21-point win over Waterford in July looks out of place beside other Munster champions who doubled up with All-Ireland success.
Tipp's previous 21-point win over Waterford in the 2011 Munster decider was followed by a comprehensive defeat in the 2011 All-Ireland final by Kilkenny.
Tipperary have won the Munster title 15 times since 1967 but with the exception of 1989 the other big provincial final wins have promised false dawns - 1967 (12 points) and 1993 (18 points).
Since '67 there have been 13 Munster final wins by nine points or more that have not yielded subsequent All-Ireland champions in September.
Kilkenny may have a decisive edge in recent meetings between the counties in league and championship but Tipp's influence in Kilkenny club hurling is strong.
Colm Bonnar continues to manage Ballyhale Shamrocks while two other Tipp men, Toomevara's James McGrath and Roscrea's Seamus O'Doherty, are in charge of St Patrick's Ballyragget.
They'll be hoping their club-mate Kevin Kelly doesn't strike with two late goals this time, like he did to decide the league match last March.