Tipperary’s 28th All-Ireland title came easier than expected as Richie Hogan’s first-half sending off helped to pave the way for their third Championship crown this decade.
Liam Sheedy’s side were excellent in using the numerical advantage presented to them although their defenders put in immense second-half shifts to keep Kilkenny at bay.
Leading 1-9 to 0-11 at half-time, Tipperary belied their poor hurling in the early stages to dismantle their neighbours with early second-half goals. Seamus Callanan kept up his record of scoring a goal a game this summer when in the 38th minute he reacted quickest to John McGrath’s attack being snuffed out.
Tipperary led by five points when John O’Dwyer added a third goal in the 32nd minute after Callanan expertly turned provider. From thereon in, Kilkenny were chasing shadows, resigned to lumping high ball to the edge of the square when Barry Heffernan, Ronan Maher and Pádraic Maher ruled supreme.
A deluge of rain in the opening 10 minutes and last five minutes of the first half tempered the quality of the game. However, Tipperary’s indiscipline again raised its ugly head as they had coughed up eight frees to TJ Reid by half-time.
Kilkenny were the superior side up to Niall O’Meara’s 26th minute goal, a score triggered by Pádraic Maher, who had shifted to the right wing to tag Walter Walsh, catching and feeding Seamus Kennedy to find O’Meara whose shot skidded low off the wet surface into the Kilkenny net.
Up to then, Kilkenny were winning most of the duels in particular Paul Murphy in the right corner on Jason Forde. John Donnelly was also giving Kennedy a hard time of it although Kennedy finished with two points to his name.
Soon after Colin Fennelly was expertly hooked by John McGrath when a goal beckoned, Tipperary did have a fair shout for a penalty turned down in the fourth minute when Huw Lawlor fouled Seamus Callanan in the penalty area.
Kilkenny’s second point from play from the sharp Donnelly was awarded retrospectively as, similar to the All-Ireland semi-final, HawkEye deemed Brian Hogan had caught the ball before after it had passed the crossbar.
Hogan’s exit for catching Barrett with his elbow in the 33rd minute put a dampener on this game as a contest but by the end there could be no disputing the better team.
Scorers for Tipperary: J. Forde (0-8, 4 frees, 2 65s); J. O’Dwyer, S. Callanan (0-1 free) (1-2, 0-1 free); N. O’Meara (1-0); J, McGrath (0-3); S. Kennedy, N. McGrath (1 free), W. Connors (0-2 each); M. Breen, M. Kehoe, J. Morris, G. Browne (0-1 each).
Scorers for Kilkenny: T.J. Reid (0-11, 10 frees); J. Donnelly (0-3); B. Ryan (0-2); R. Hogan, W. Walsh, C. Fennelly, P. Walsh (0-1 each).
B. Hogan; B. Heffernan, R. Maher, C. Barrett; S. Kennedy, B. Maher, P. Maher; N. McGrath, M. Breen; D. McCormack, N. O’Meara, J. McGrath; S. Callanan (c), J. O’Dwyer, J. Forde.
Subs for Tipperary: M. Kehoe for N. O’Meara (52); W. Connors for D. McCormack (57); J. Morris for J. Forde (60); S. O’Brien for C. Barrett (inj 61); G. Browne for M. Breen (64); J. Barry for P. Maher (blood, 66-68).
E. Murphy, P. Murphy, H. Lawlor, J. Holden; C. Fogarty, P. Walsh, P. Deegan; C. Browne, C. Buckley; J. Donnelly, T.J. Reid, W. Walsh; R. Hogan, C. Fennelly, A. Mullen.
Subs for Kilkenny: B. Ryan for R. Hogan (blood, 17-20); B. Ryan for A. Mullen (40); R. Leahy for C. Buckley (48); J. Maher for C. Browne (59); C. Delaney for J. Holden (inj 59).
Sent off: R. Hogan (straight, 33).
Referee: J. Owens (Wexford).