Maybe not one that will make the highlight reel but Tipp were in front by two points with first-half injury-time winding down and Kilkenny in possession and hunting for the last say before the break. Cue a swarm of Tipperary defenders, hounding a succession of opponents along their own ‘45’ before Kevin Kelly dribbled a poor shot wide. Momentum Tipp.
Tipp had already responded to Kelly’s 42nd-minute goal with three points by the time Cathal Barrett burst out of defence and found John O’Dwyer. Crucially, referee Brian Gavin had played the advantage and Tipp took that to the limit with a goal from ‘Bubbles’ that saw Michael Ryan’s side kick into overdrive.
There were 15 minutes to go when Richie Hogan found Kelly with an exquisite angled pass. Another goal for Kelly then and the gap would have shrunk again to a more manageable three points but Darren Gleeson sped off his line to smother the effort to deprive Kilkenny of the boost.