Fire and Fury: Five National League thrillers between Tipperary and Kilkenny

Fire and Fury: Five National League thrillers between Tipperary and Kilkenny

By Enda McEvoy

2009 final

Kilkenny 2-26 Tipperary 4-17 AET

The first and most elemental battle of the ten-year war and thankfully the only one that would border on dirty. Beaten by 17 points at Nowlan Park a few weeks earlier, Liam Sheedy’s young team wired into All-Ireland champions from the throw-in. Though an understrength Kilkenny ultimately had too much, this was a statement performance by Tipp.

2013 final

Kilkenny 2-17 Tipperary 0-20

One of the few firework-free encounters. A Nowlan Park attendance of 21,447 demonstrated that the magnetism of the pairing had not palled. A brace of Michael Fennelly goals had the hosts two points up at the break and despite Brendan Maher’s 0-4 from play Eamon O’Shea’s troops came up short. It looked like a championship dress rehearsal; it was nothing of the sort.

2014 group stage

Kilkenny 5-20 Tipperary 5-14

Rollercoaster stuff at Nowlan Park. The visitors led by ten points at one stage in the first half and it can only be presumed that Seamus Callanan went home wondering how, after hitting 3-6, he’d finished up on the losing side. That was largely because Colin Fennelly responded with 3-5. Yet again the men in stripes refused to be beaten.

2014 final

Kilkenny 2-25 Tipperary 1-29 AET

A third successive league for Kilkenny title but only barely, a TJ Reid/Richie Hogan one-two from a lineball deep in lost time in injury time sealing it. Kieran Bergin’s equaliser in the 74th minute left it 2-17 to 1-20 at the end of regulation proceedings. John O’Dwyer scored the losers’ goal when touching in a sideline cut from Noel McGrath; Reid responded with two penalties. The winners got the breaks on the day.

2017 group stage

Tipperary 2-17 Kilkenny 3-14

Saturday night fever in Thurles in front of 14,763 spectators. Once more Tipperary built up an early lead after goals from John McGrath and Niall O’Meara. One more Kilkenny hauled them back, Reid weighing in with two penalties (again). The locals might have snatched it at the end following Steven O’Brien’s leveller but the draw was universally deemed a fair result.

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