Humiliated by the same opposition in last year’s final, Kilkenny had put in a massive preparation for the game against the favourite.
Kilkenny stayed with the champions to the break, turning over just a point down, 1-4 to 0-6, three of those points from Millea.
However, they were held scoreless by a magnificent Tipperary defence in the second half.
“Their tactics, everything, they were on top all over the field. Our defence held very well, but unfortunately we didn’t do the business at the other end, should have had a few more points on the board at half time,” Millea said.
“Back to the drawing board for another year, but at least the future looks good, a few good young players there today and that experience will stand to them,” she said.
Central to the hugely-impressive Tipperary back-line performance was full-back Una O’Dwyer, with Ciara Gaynor dominant also.
“We won the game all right, but it was a very bad performance from us,” Gaynor said.
“Kilkenny were very tough, wouldn’t let us play our game, the game we like to play, but we came out winners, and that’s the main thing,” she said.
“We’ll have to step back from this now, plan for Cork in the All-Ireland.”
Kilkenny, lining out with just two players in their programme positions, started better, and with the wind behind them, led 0-2 to 0-1 after six minutes. Then came the Tipperary goal from full-forward Deirdre Hughes.
Corner-forward Claire Grogan was also causing problems with her pace and control, but a gritty Kilkenny defence was holding tough, and with Aoife Neary making an impression at the other end, Kilkenny stayed in touch through the opening half.
After the changeover however, it was nearly all Tipperary, sub Joanne Ryan especially impressive.
Scorers for Tipperary: D. Hughes 1-0; C. Grogan 0-3; J. Ryan 0-2; P. Fogarty 0-2; N. Kennedy 0-2 (frees); E. McDonnell 0-1; C. Gaynor 0-1 (45).
Kilkenny: S. Millea 0-3 (0-1 free); A. Neary 0-2; E. Maher 0-1.
TIPPERARY: J. Delaney; P. Bulfin, U. O’Dwyer, C. Madden; S. Nealon, C. Gaynor, T. Brophy; S. Kelly, A. McDermott; P. Fogarty, E. Hayden, N. Kennedy; E. McDonnell, D. Hughes, C. Grogan. Subs: J. Ryan (Grogan, inj. 42); L. Young (Hayden 55).
KILKENNY: M. Holland; E. Kennedy, G. Dillon, E. Lyng; K. Long, F. Shore, M. Lawlor; E. Maher, L. Lyng; M. Downey, M. Costelloe, S. Millea; C. Doherty, A. Neary, B. Mullally. P. Comerford (Downey 35); M. O’Connor (Mullally 41).
Referee: Aileen Lawlor (Westmeath).