Kilkenny end Tipperary's 2013 Championship dreams
Published 06/07/2013 | 20:46
Brian Cody's Kilkenny warriors live on but it's the end of Tipperary's 2013 hurling championship after the Cats secured a 0-20 to 1-14 win at Nowlan Park this evening.
It's a disppointing end to the Championship for Eamonn O'Shea's team as Kilkenny go on to face Waterford in Phase III of the All-Ireland qualifiers next Saturday.
Tipp were in front when the influential Lar Corbett was forced off with a hamstring injury in the first half and Eoin Kelly and Jason Forde fluffed second half goal chances that could have altered the result.
In the end it was a deserved win for the Cats whose victory was largely thanks to a tremendous second half defensive display and the point-taking ability of Eoin Larkin.
The game began at a furious pace and both sides wasted chances before big Walter Walsh delighted the home crowd with the opening point.
Richie Hogan and Eoin Kelly traded points before Eoin Murphy was shouldered over his own endline and Kelly levelled matters with the resultant 65.
Eoin Larkin and Eoin Kelly exchanged frees before Lar Corbett earned another free and Kelly made no mistake to put Tipp back in front.
Tipp got a majot boost next when John O'Dwyer's shot was partially blocked and it fell into the waiting hand of Lar Corbett who half-volleyed the sliotar into the top corner.
Eoin Larkin responded with a free as the intensity went up a notch with super fielding from both sides.
Sublime scores from John O'Dwyer and Eoin Larkin kept the nip-tuck nature of the game going.
Richie Power latched onto a loose ball before firing over to reduce the deficit to two points after 25 minutes and Eoin Larkin's fourth point two minutes later put a solitary point between the sides and then a falling Richie Hogan levelled matters.
Tipp were dealt a huge blow to their chances in the lead up to Hogan's equaliser when Lar Corbett pulled his hamstring and he was replaced by Seamus Callanan.
Larkin put Kilkenny in front after a cynical foul by Padraic Maher but Callanan showed what he can do with a fabulous point and the sides were level at the break.
Eoin Larkin and Callanan swapped points at the beginning of the half before a tremendous point from John O'Brien pushed Tipp in front.
Eoin Kelly missed a free before seeing a goalbound shot blocked by the arm of JJ Delaney and then he missed the resultant 65.
Eoin Larkin punished those missed with a free to restore parity with 25 minutes to go.
A super catch and score from Richie Hogan put the Cats back in front but another superb point from John O'Brien levelled the score yet again.
Another Larkin free and a super score from distance from Walter Walsh after a loose puck-out by Brendan Cummins.
James Woodlock set-up Noel McGrath for a point before Jason Forde fluffed a goal chance and the Cats broke for Walter Walsh to make it a two-point game again with 17 minutes remaining.
Brendan Cummins kept Tipp in touch with a superb save to deny the impressive Matthew Ruth.
Eoin Larkin punished further Tipp indiscipline with a free but this was cancelled out by Eoin Kelly.
Larkin's ninth free was cancelled out by Kieran Bergin who had been moved out to midfield by Tipp.
Tipp were trying desperately to find scores but Jackie Tyrell, Brian Hogan and Tommy Walsh were fielding and clearing everything.
With six minutes remaining, Nowlan Park was sent into raptures when Henry Shefflin entered the fray for James Woodlock.
James Woodlock fired over a deserved point but it was almost immediately cancelled out by Larkin's 10th free.
Shefflin went on a barnstorming run before squaring for Richie Power to fire over and Colin Fennelly added to it as they led by four with 60 seconds of normal time to go.
John O'Dwyer sent over a superb score as the clock struck 70 but they couldn't conjure a goal and Kilkenny held on for a three-point win.