Tipperary 2-14 Kilkenny 2-11
Tipperary were made work hard before securing their seventh All-Ireland IHC title in an entertaining final at Nowlan Park on Saturday.
The winners were by far the better team in the first half yet had only a one point lead to show for their efforts (1-7 to 1-6) as they hit wide after wide. A Ruairi Gleeson goal in the 38th minute fired them 2-8 to 1-6 clear and seemingly in command but again they failed to kill off the Kilkenny challenge.
And when Jonjo Farrell plundered his second goal for the Cats it left only two points between the sides with two minutes remaining. Tipp roused themselves for one last effort and a point from Gleeson earned them victory.
The disparity in the rules of the competition, which allows junior, intermediate and senior club players to be involved showed in the obvious difference in class between the counties.
Tipperary fielded a second string senior side. Their touch and strength in the tackle were superior to that of the opposition, who were confined to players from junior and intermediate clubs.
"It is a great competition, and the players love it, but this aspect of it will have to be examined if it is to be continued," Kilkenny boss Pat O’Grady said afterwards.
"Tipperary were good and they deserved their victory. We congratulate them on that, but we played well and we never really looked like winning because of the difference in class between the players involved."
Scorers for Tipperary: R Gleeson (2-1); T Hammersley (0-5, 2f, 1, 65); N O’Meara (0-4); D Fox (0-1f); W Ryan, D O’Hanlon, C Kenny (0-1 each).
Scorers for Kilkenny: J Farrell (2-0); R Hickey (0-5, 3f); L Harney, C Phelan, D Langton, J Brennan, D Walton, P Holden (0-1 each).
TIPPERARY: D Egan; S O’Brien, M Butler, T Treacy; J O’Keeffe, D Young, P Heffernan; B Fox, W Ryan; O Quirke, T Butler, N O’Meara; R Gleeson, D O’Hanlon, T Hammersley.
Subs: J McLoughney for Quirke (29); P Molloy for O’Hanlon (ht); C Kenny for Butler (46); P Shortt for P Molloy (59).
KILKENNY: R O’Neill; S Cummins, M Walsh, S Prendergast; L Harney, P Hartley, M Moloney; B Kennedy, D Langton; B Beckett, R Hickey, C Phelan; J Brennan, J Farrell, D Walton.
Subs: J Lyng for Beckett (38); P Holden for Walton (45); S Donnelly for J Brennan (55).
Referee: T Carroll (Offaly).