Sunday 17 December 2017

Kilkenny lay early season marker with late blitz to see off Tipp challenge

Kilkenny 2-17 Tipperary 0-18

Kilkenny's Joey Holden in action against Noel McGrath at Nowlan Park. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
Kilkenny's Joey Holden in action against Noel McGrath at Nowlan Park. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
Kilkenny and Tipperary in action during the 2015 National League
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A brace from Kilkenny’s Kevin Kelly in the last five minutes sealed an impressive comeback victory for the Cats over rivals Tipperary at Nowlan Park.

Brian Cody’s side trailed for large stages of the game and looked to be on their way to a second successive National league defeat until Farrell finished with aplomb to claim the two points in front of a crowd of 10,892 spectators.

At times the quality was not what you would expect from the All-Ireland contenders, with both sides guilty of poor shooting in the first half in particular.

The premier had the better of the opening 35 minutes and should have entered the break with more than a one-point advantage. Conor Kenny spurned a goal opportunity in the opening minute, while the McGrath brothers John and Noel caused the Kilkenny rearguard big problems in the inside forward line.

James Maher chipped in with a couple of scores for the Cats, while TJ Reid’s frees kept the scoreboard ticking over.

Maher’s fourth point of the afternoon levelled matters at 0-12 apiece, but McGrath (Noel) and John O’Dwyer kept the pressure on the hosts.

With 66 minutes on the clock the tie looked to be going the way of the visitors until Kelly goaled with four minutes remaining on the clock, before grabbing a second in injury time to seal a five-point victory.

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