GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Phase II: Kilkenny 0-20 Tipperary 1-14
Kilkenny rolled back the years and delivered yet another incredible performance to keep their hopes of retaining the Liam MacCarthy Cup alive with a three-point defeat of Tipperary at Nowlan Park.
With the game perfectly balanced at half-time – Tipperary’s Seamus Callanan drew his side level in added time – the Cats delivered a brilliant second half defensive display, with man of the match Eoin Larkin pitching in with 0-11, to progress to Phase III, where they will meet Waterford next Saturday.
Tipperary had taken an early 1-4 to 0-3 lead after Lar Corbett grabbed a goal on the quarter-hour mark, but Tipp’s hopes were dealt a huge blow when the Thurles Sarsfields man was forced off with a hamstring injury towards the end of the first half.
John O’Brien’s fine point put Tipp 1-8 to 0-10 at the start of the second half, but when they had a great goal chance through Eoin Kelly, his shot deflected out for a 65 by the brilliant JJ Delaney.
Delaney, Jackie Tyrrell and Brian Hogan were immense in the final quarter, when Kilkenny finally started to pull away, Walter Walsh grabbing two crucial scores and Larkin increasing their lead from placed balls.
Kieran Bergin and James Woodlock pegged the Cats back with scores in the final 10 minutes, but Brian Cody decided to bring Henry Shefflin on for the final six minutes, and he set up a score for Richie Power before Colin Fennelly added another point to nudge his side four clear at the death.
Scorers for Kilkenny: E Larkin 0-11 (0-11f), W Walsh 0-3, R Hogan 0-3, R Power 0-2, C Fennelly 0-1.
Scorers for Tipperary: E Kelly 0-5 (0-4f, 0-1 ’65), L Corbett 1-0, J O’Dwyer 0-3, S Callanan 0-2, J O’Brien 0-1, N McGrath 0-1, J Woodlock 0-1, K Bergin 0-1.
Kilkenny: E Murphy; P Murphy, JJ Delaney, J Tyrell; T Walsh, B Hogan, K Joyce; M Ruth, L Ryan; TJ Reid, R Power, E Larkin; C Fennelly, W Walsh, R Hogan. Subs: Ger Aylward for Reid (20), Aidan Fogarty for Aylward (52), Henry Shefflin for Ruth (63).
Tipperary: B Cummins; C O’Brien, P Stapleton, M Cahill; B Maher, C O’Mahony, Pádraic Maher; J Woodlock, S McGrath; Patrick Maher, N McGrath, J O’Brien; J O’Dwyer, E Kelly, L Corbett. Subs: S Callanan for Corbett (28), K Bergin for S McGrath (HT), J Forde for Patrick Maher (52), G Ryan for O’Brien (54), B O’Meara for Kelly (63).