Sunday 21 January 2018

game at a glance

Tommy Walsh (Kilkenny)

Kilkenny's awesome intensity was evident from the throw-in and nobody typified it more than Walsh. He reached a high tempo early on and maintained it right through. 'Bonner' Maher tested him in the second half but he continued to get in most of the valuable work.

Turning point

Richie Hogan's goal in the 49th minute after a flowing move that started with a Tommy Walsh clearance on his own endline. It put Kilkenny eight points ahead and provided them with enough in hand to cope with Tipperary's inevitable fightback.

Talking point

The degree to which the vaunted Tipperary attack was locked away with nobody able to find the key. The starting six managed only three points from open play between them.

Ref watch

Bloodied after taking a knock to the nose from Tommy Walsh's hurley 20th minute, Brian Gavin didn't let it upset him. He refereed the game in the modern style where play is let flow as much as at all possible even if the odd rule gets broken along the way. Footballers would love to have as much leeway as the hurlers, but they don't get it.

What they said

Brian Cody

(Kikenny manager)

"We were in the very opposite place last year. We had just lost it and there is just a complete world of difference between things and it's a genuinely terrific achievement to have won, a supreme feeling for us."

Declan Ryan

(Tipperary manager)

"It's disappointing when you don't turn up with you're A game on the day. Hats off to Kilkenny, they were the hungrier team. That's the way it looked from the sideline."

Match statistics

Wides: Kilkenny 7 (3); Tipperary 3 (2)

Frees: Kilkenny 10 (6); Tipperary 14 (10)

Yellow Cards: Kilkenny 0; Tipperary 1 (D Young 66).

Attendance: 81,214

What next?

Kilkenny start planning for their third two-in-a-row bid in less than a decade; Tipperary are no longer market leaders and will have to plan accordingly for next year.


Irish Independent

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