GAA Hurling All-Ireland Semi-Final: Tipperary 1-15 Kilkenny 4-24
Tipperary led by 1-10 to 1-9 at the break after an extremely tight first half, and after 44 minutes there was still just two points between the teams.
However, it was then that Kilkenny turned up the heat, first through a superb individual goal from Aidan Fogarty, and then shortly afterwards with another three-pointer from Eoin Larkin.
Those goals helped forge a gap of 10 points with 15 minutes to go, but Kilkenny reserved their most dominant spell for the final stages.
Kilkenny were 0-4 to 0-2 ahead after 10 minutes after Fogarty’s second point, but then a superb score from Conor O’Mahony, and points from Bourke and Noel McGrath, either side of a brilliant effort from Richie Power, left it 0-5 apiece.
The sides then exchanged the next four scores, but it was around this stage that Kilkenny began to gain the initiative, and they moved two points clear at 0-9 to 0-7 when a Henry Shefflin free followed a fine score from Colin Fennelly.
Then, Kilkenny struck for goal. Shefflin, who had been very quiet to that point, brilliantly caught a ball in midfield, raced towards goal and passed beautifully to TJ Reid, who fired smartly and low to the net.
That score put Kilkenny five ahead with time running out in the first half, but the Tipperary response was exemplary.
Just three minutes after the goal, Tipp plundered one of their own. Kilkenny goalkeeper David Herity won a race for possession with two Tipp attackers, but upon winning the ball, he was dispossessed, and Pa Bourke was on hand to tap into an empty net.
Tipp then finished the half with three unanswered points to go in at the break ahead, Bourke (2) and Noel McGrath fizzing balls over the bar for them. Both sides flashed over scores after the restart, but then two powerful set-pieces from Richie Power put Kilkenny 1-14 to 1-12 ahead as they went on to qualify to meet Galway in the final.
Scorers for Tipperary: P Bourke 1-8 (4f, 4 ’65), J O’Neill 0-2, N McGrath 0-2, S McGrath 0-1, C O’Mahony 0-1, J O’Brien 0-1
Scorers for Kilkenny: H Shefflin 0-11 (9f, 1 ’65), TJ Reid 2-2, A Fogarty 1-3, R Power 0-3 (1f, 1 ’65), E Larkin 1-0, M Fennelly 0-1, M Rice 0-1, C Fennelly 0-1, C Buckley 0-1, B Hogan 0-1
Tipperary: B Cummins; C O’Brien, P Curran, M Cahill; T Stapleton, C O’Mahony, Padraic Maher; B Maher, S McGrath; P Bourke, Patrick Maher, L Corbett; B O’Meara, J O’Brien, N McGrath.
Subs: S Bourke for B O’Meara (46), P Stapleton for T Stapleton (46), D Maher for P Curran (61), J O’Neill for J O’Brien (63), J Woodlock for B Maher (66).
Kilkenny: D Herity; P Murphy, JJ Delaney, J Tyrrell; T Walsh, B Hogan, K Joyce; M Fennelly, M Rice; H Shefflin, TJ Reid, E Larkin; C Fennelly, R Power, A Fogarty.
Subs: C Buckley for M Rice (19), R Doyle for P Murphy (64), N Hickey for K Joyce (64), M Ruth for C Fennelly (64), C Fogarty for A Fogarty (67).
Attendance: 50,220 Report from www.gaa.ie