Tipperary 2-22 Kilkenny 1-13
By Michael Moynihan in Thurles
A powerful Tipperary performance earned them a big win over All-Ireland and league champions Kilkenny in Semple Stadium this afternoon.
The home side overcome a disastrous opening to beat their bitter rivals with some ease by the end.
In the opening seconds a Walter Walsh effort came back from the post for Jonjoe Farrell to finish to the Tipperary net.
However, the home side then took over, hitting 1-5 without reply, the goal a clinical Seamus Callanan finish after a good ball into space by Niall O’Meara.
Tipperary were on top for much of the first half, with the resistance being led by Richie Hogan almost single-handedly.
All spring Hogan has carried the Kilkenny standard well, but in Thurles he was immense from play and frees, torturing Tipperary every time he touched the ball.
The home side had more aces, however. John O’Dwyer and Noel McGrath were able to pick off points from range, and James Woodlock’s mobility and ball-winning gave them a platform.
Kilkenny’s resistance came in point-scoring flurries from Hogan: four points in a row, three points in a row, but the Danesfort man couldn’t be everywhere.
With half-time approaching, Tipperary moved up a gear, hitting six on the trot to go seven points clear, 1-16 to 1-9.
The second half wasn’t as exciting.
Five minutes in Kilkenny won a penalty. Eight points down, they had to go for goal, but Hogan’s effort was blocked by Brendan Maher and cleared.
Too early to declare the contest over, perhaps, but the Cats needed that shot of adrenaline to challenge for the win, and the three consecutive wides they hit after that showed the difficulty they were in.
On the other side, Niall O’Meara’s neat goal from a Callanan pass killed the game, putting Tipp 11 up with quarter of an hour left.
Manager Eamon O’Shea will have been heartened by his side’s attitude, keen all the way to the finish, when they had a dozen points to spare.
Scorers for Tipperary: S. Callanan 1-7 (0-3 fs, 0-1 65); N. O’Meara 1-2; J. O’Dwyer 0-4; N. McGrath 0-3; M. Breen 0-2; P. Maher, J. Woodlock, J. Forde and S. Bourke 0-1 each.
Scorers for Kilkenny: R. Hogan (0-6 fs) 0-10; J. Farrell 1-1; J. Power (65), M. Kelly 0-1 each.
TIPPERARY: D. Gleeson, C. Barrett, C. O’Mahony, P. Curran, M. Breen, Padraic Maher, R. Maher, K. Bergin, J. Woodlock, J. O’Dwyer, B. Maher (c), J.Forde, N. McGrath, S. Callanan, N. O’Meara.
Subs: C. O’Brien for Curran, inj, 30; S. McGrath for Forde, 50; J. McGrath for O’Meara, 57; S. Bourke for N. McGrath, 62; D. Egan for Gleeson, 64.
KILKENNY: E. Murphy, S. Prendergast, P. Murphy, J. Tyrrell, B. Kennedy, K. Joyce, C. Buckley, M. Kelly, L. Ryan, W. Walsh, R. Hogan (c), M. Ruth, J. Farrell, J. Power, G. Aylward.
Subs: J. Lyng for Buckley, 33-5 (bs); K. Kelly for Aylward, HT; J. Lyng for Ryan, 47.
Referee: J. McGrath (Westmeath)