All-Ireland final: Kilkenny v Tipperary

Michael Ryan's Tipp take on Brian Cody's defending champions in the SHC final at Croke Park

RuaidhrĂ­ Croke Sun, Sep 4
 
LIVE: All-Ireland final: Kilkenny v Tipperary

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  • Good afternoon and welcome to The Irish Times liveblog of the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship final between Kilkenny and Tipperary! I'm Ruaidhrí Croke and I'll be with you for the afternoon as the Cats look to make it three-in-a-row while Tipp will be desperate to break their duck against Brian Cody's men. Team news on the way!
  • It's certainly safe to say that these two teams are no strangers to each other having met on seven occasions in the championship over the last seven years.

    For Kilkenny the injury to 2011 Hurler of the Year Michael Fennelly is sure to be a blow with Kieran Joyce coming into the starting 15 at centre-back.

    Kevin Kelly also comes in at 13, as TJ Reid starts at midfield. Mark Bergin drops to the bench.

    For Tipperary there is just one change with John 'Bubbles' O'Dwyer coming  back into the fold as Niall O’Meara makes way.

    Kilkenny:  Eoin Murphy; Paul Murphy, Joey Holden, Shane Prendergast; Padraig Walsh, Kieran Joyce, Cillian Buckley; TJ Reid, Conor Fogarty; Walter Walsh, Richie Hogan, Eoin Larkin; Kevin Kelly, Colin Fennelly, Liam Blanchfield.  Subs:  Richie Reid, Jackie Tyrrell, Robert Lennon, Diarmuid Cody, Cono O’Shea, Lester Ryan, Jonjo Farrell, John Power, Mark Bergin, Conor Martin, Michael Malone.

    Tipperary:  Darren Gleeson; Cathal Barrett, James Barry, Michael Cahill; Seamus Kennedy, Ronan Maher, Padraic Maher; Brendan Maher, Michael Breen; Dan McCormack, Patrick Maher, Noel McGrath; John O’Dwyer, Seamus Callanan, John McGrath.

  • Surprisingly (or unsuprisingly depending on your persuasion), Tipperary are the favourites to lift the Liam McCarthy Cup today. They're evens with the bookies while Kilkenny are 6/5 and the draw is 8/1.

    We're just a half an hour from throw-in now so why not indulge yourself in some of our pre-game coverage.

    Malachy Clerkin: Tipperary have the power to face up to Brian Cody's men

    Nicky English: Tipperary's great goalscoring threat may swing tight affair

    Keith Duggan: Kilkenny - where the irreplaceable are replaced with little fuss

    Mark Duncan: Looking back on the Tipperary hurlers 1926 US Tour

    Malachy Clerkin: Late arrival James Barry becomes rock at heart of mean Tipp defence

    The teams have sprinted onto the pitch for the pre-game parade to a tumultuous atmosphere. How must those men be feeling right now? Particularly the five final debutants in the Tipp team. The tension is palpable in Croke Park!

  • Okay, time for predictions. Who do you all think will be lifting the Liam McCarthy Cup later this afternooon? Get involved using the 'Contact Us' button at the top of the blog.

    I'm going for Kilkenny by a point.

  • The teams are lined up along the red carpet and ready to be greeted by the president. The long drawn-out pre-game formalities are nearly over. Just 10 minutes until throw-in now!
  • The parade is about to begin. This is it. The players are really feeling it now. The 140th All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final is minutes away from beginning.
  • 1 min: We are underway in Croke Park!  (Kilkenny 0-0 Tipperary 0-0)
  • 2 mins: Tipperary open the scoring thanks to Seamus Callanan who spins and knocks the sliotar over the bar and into the Hill 16 end from the left hand side.  (Kilkenny 0-0 Tipperary 0-1)
  • 4 mins: 'Bubbles' O'Dwyer does very well to get up and catch a long Darren Gleeson puck out. He spins and looks to add a second Tipp point but it flies wide.  (Kilkenny 0-0 Tipperary 0-1)
  • 5 mins: A superb point from Kevin Kelly levels the scores up. He caught and turned on the halfway before launching a huge hit straight between the posts.  (Kilkenny 0-1 Tipperary 0-1)
  • 6 mins: TJ Reid's first free of the day is as expected as he spears a trademark low bullet straight over the bar.  (Kilkenny 0-2 Tipperary 0-1)
  • 7 mins: And Kilkenny quickly increase the defecit to two as Kelly again wins a high ball before finding Richie Hogan who knocks over his first point of the day.  (Kilkenny 0-3 Tipperary 0-1)
  • 8 mins: What a point from 'Bubbles' O'Dwyer! From the left sideline he bullets a perfect sideline cut over the bar.  (Kilkenny 0-3 Tipperary 0-2)
  • 9 mins: The quality of this game is already as high as expected and Walter Walsh adds to it with a point from a tight angle on the right sideline.  

    However, Noel McGrath answers straight back by getting on the end of the breaking ball from Gleeson's puck out and firing another one into the Hill.  (Kilkenny 0-4 Tipperary 0-3)

  • 11 mins: Seamus Kennedy levels the scores up with his first ever championship point. Not a bad place or occasion to get yourself off the mark!  (Kilkenny 0-4 Tipperary 0-4)
  • 12 mins: A Ronan Maher foul just inside his own 65 gives Kilkenny their second free of the day and TJ Reid once again makes no mistake to put the Cats ahead once again.  (Kilkenny 0-5 Tipperary 0-4)
  • 14 mins: John McGrath opens his final account with an excellent point over his left shoulder. That levels the scores up once again!  (Kilkenny 0-5 Tipperary 0-5)
  • 15 mins: Liam Blanchfield is sent flying by a huge Ronan Maher shoulder but the Kilkenny man isn't perturbed as he spring back to his feet and finds Eoin Larkin with a handpass. Larkin swivels and sends a point over.

    However, Tipp immediately level the scores up once again thanks to a Callanan point from the puck out.  (Kilkenny 0-6 Tipperary 0-6)

  • 17 mins: What should have been a routine point for Callanan from a close range free doesn't work out as so as his effort is blocked by the hurl of Cillian Buckley just yards away. That was a lapse in concentration from Callanan but Buckley looked to be standing very close.  (Kilkenny 0-6 Tipperary 0-6)
  • 18 mins: Colin Fennelly misses a good chance from close range! Finding himself in space and just a few metres out he looked as if he mishit his low effort at goal and Gleeson was able to get down and save with his leg. Reid takes the resulting 65 and fires it straight over the bar.  (Kilkenny 0-7 Tipperary 0-6)
  • 21 mins: After two misses in close succession Callanan gets himself back on the scoresheet. He drifted out right and into a bit of space where he caught a long pass, spun and lashed another point over the bar.  (Kilkenny 0-7 Tipperary 0-7)
  • 22 mins: Kilkenny once again go back in front within seconds as Reid fires over his third point, this one a free from the 45 metre line.  (Kilkenny 0-8 Tipperary 0-7)
  • 22 mins: Not an inch is being given by either team and Tipp ensure that that's the case on the scoreline for the time being as 'Bubbles' O'Dwyer knocks over another point.  (Kilkenny 0-8 Tipperary 0-8)
  • 25 mins: Seamus Kennedy is forced into losing possession on his 45 by some tenacious work from TJ Reid. Eoin Larkin picks up the loose ball and sticks over another Kilkenny point.

    However, it's immediately cancelled out by yet another O'Dwyer point. He's looking right on his game today.  (Kilkenny 0-9 Tipperary 0-9)

  • 26 mins: Tipperary take the lead! Callanan splits the posts from close range.  (Kilkenny 0-9 Tipperary 0-10)
  • 27 mins: But Kilkenny answer straight back! From the left sideline Cillian Buckley slots over an excellent point to level the scores for an eighth time.

    However, Tipp go straight back up the other end and score again! This time it's Dan McCormack who scores his first ever championship point.  (Kilkenny 0-10 Tipperary 0-11)

  • 29 mins: TJ Reid's frees are an absolute joy to watch with their low, spearing flight. His latest, from the right sideline, is a beauty. It levels the scores.

    But only for a few seconds. Patrick Maher breaks through the Kilkenny defence and shoots for goal from long range. His effort is too high but flies between the posts to put his side back ahead.  (Kilkenny 0-11 Tipperary 0-12)

  • 33 mins: TJ Reid adds his sixth point to level the scores for the 10th time!  (Kilkenny 0-12 Tipperary 0-12)
  • 34 mins: Callanan catches a high ball with a superb first touch right on the edge of the square. He twists and shoots at goal but it flies inches over the bar! However, it puts Tipp back ahead.  (Kilkenny 0-12 Tipperary 0-13)
  • 35 mins: Tipp lead by two! 'Bubbles' O'Dwyer is bang on form today as he fires a huge 85 metre free straight between the posts!  (Kilkenny 0-12 Tipperary 0-14)
  • HALF TIME: KILKENNY 0-12 TIPPERARY 0-14
  • Well what a first half that was! Tipperary are certainly on top but the quality of Kilkenny means they're still well in touch despite possibly not being at their best. It's been absolutely hell for leather with neither team giving an inch. The difference really has been the Tipp full forwards as Seamus Callanan and 'Bubbles' O'Dwyer are absolutely bang on form and don't look like missing. If they can maintain that form in the second half the Liam McCarthy Cup may just be heading for the Premier County.
  • 36 mins: The second half is underway!  (Kilkenny 0-12 Tipperary 0-14)
  • 37 mins: Seamus Callanan takes his first half form into the second period with a good free to putt Tipp three points ahead!  (Kilkenny 0-12 Tipperary 0-15)
  • 38 mins: Reid cancels that point out straight away with a close range free of his own.  (Kilkenny 0-13 Tipperary 0-15)
  • 39 mins: Superb defending from Tipp prevents a Kilkenny goal! Kevin Kelly turned in the square and was all set to smash one into the net but Padraic Maher managed to get back and hook the sliotar away from behind. Seamus Kennedy flicked up the breaking ball and burst clear to clear the danger. Excellent defending.  (Kilkenny 0-13 Tipperary 0-15)
  • 40 mins: From a close range free Reid opts not to go for goal and instead taps it over the narrow the defecit to just a point!  (Kilkenny 0-14 Tipperary 0-15)
  • GOAL FOR KILKENNY! (KELLY, 41')

    KILKENNY 1-14 TIPPERARY 0-15

  • 43 mins: Kilkenny have threatened since the break and finally find the net! A superb catch and handpass from Hogan in the middle found Walsh who broke through on goal on the left hand side. Gleeson came out to narrow the angle but left his goal completely clear allowing Walsh to slide it across to Kelly who tapped in from close range.  (Kilkenny 1-14 Tipperary 0-15)
  • 44 mins: Tipp need to keep their composure, they're still only two behind and they look to be doing so. Callanan knocks a long range free over and that defecit is now cut to one again.  (Kilkenny 1-14 Tipperary 0-16)
  • 46 mins: The scores are level again! Tipp are not going to give in that easily! Jason Forde, only just off the bench, flicks it up and knocks a point over from the right hand side with his very first touch of the game.  (Kilkenny 1-14 Tipperary 0-17)
  • 48 mins: What a recovery this has been from Tipp! Callanan knocks over another easy point !  (Kilkenny 1-14 Tipperary 0-18)
  • GOAL FOR TIPPERARY! (O'DWYER, 48')

    KILKENNY 1-14 TIPPERARY 1-18

  • 50 mins: This has been an absolutely remarkable recovery from Tipperary after that Kilkenny goal! That's four unanswered scores now and suddenly they lead by four. 'Bubbles' O'Dwyer has been absolutely immense all day and scores a deserved goal with a bullet from 15 metres out right into the bottom corner!  (Kilkenny 1-14 Tipperary 1-18)
  • 51 mins: Kilkenny are absolutely rocked and Tipperary are not letting up whatsoever! Padraic Maher rises above the tall figure of Walter Walsh to catch before firing over another point from the left hand side!  (Kilkenny 1-14 Tipperary 1-19)
  • 52 mins: Kilkenny need to settle back down and TJ Reid helps them do so with a routine pointed free to close the gap to four points.  (Kilkenny 1-15 Tipperary 1-19)
  • 53 mins: But Tipp just keep on scoring. Callanan knocks over another point - his ninth of the game - from a free to increase the gap to five again.  

    And that gap quickly becomes six as Noel McGrath slots over from the right hand side after Kilkenny lost the puck out in the middle! (Kilkenny 1-15 Tipperary 1-21)

  • 55 mins: And Callanan just can't miss! He slots over his 10th points of the day!

    Kilkenny are still fighting though and Padraig Walsh narrows the gap by a point with a bullet from the right hand side. (Kilkenny 1-16 Tipperary 1-22)

  • 57 mins: Seamus Callanan can't miss! From the 45 he catches, spins and sends over his 11th point to put Tipperary seven points ahead!  (Kilkenny 1-16 Tipperary 1-23)
  • 58 mins: Kilkenny need to get a grip on Callanan if they're to have any chance here. Walsh cuts the defecit back to six again but Callanan and O'Dwyer are looking absolutely lethal up the other end.

    But the latest Tipp point comes from neither of that pair as John McGrath this time slots over! Kilkenny need goals fast!  (Kilkenny 1-17 Tipperary 1-24)

  • 59 mins: Reid knocks over a routine free and the defecit is back to six. Points aren't what Kilkenny need now though as Tipperary just can't stop scoring.

    Straight from the puck out Forde catches and slots over the immediately cancel out that Reid point.  (Kilkenny 1-18 Tipperary 1-25)

  • 60 mins: Kilkenny answer back once again thanks to an excellent sideline cut from Kevin Kelly. There's still six in it though!  (Kilkenny 1-19 Tipperary 1-25)
  • GOAL FOR TIPPERARY! (J MCGRATH, 61')

    KILKENNY 1-19 TIPPERARY 2-25

  • 62 mins: Well that might just have sealed it! Noel McGrath catches and finds his younger brother John who rattles the net from a tight angle on the right!  (Kilkenny 1-19 Tipperary 2-25)
  • GOAL FOR KILKENNY! (HOGAN, 62')

    KILKENNY 2-19 TIPPERARY 2-25

  • 63 mins: This is absolutely chaotic now! It's almost impossible to keep track! Just 60 seconds after McGrath's goal Hogan gets on the end of a loose ball in the Tipp square to fire home!

    From the puck out O'Dwyer knocks over another Tipp point and the defecit is now seven once again!  (Kilkenny 2-19 Tipperary 2-26)

  • 65 mins: What a save from Eoin Murphy! From just a few yards out John McGrath fired a bullet at the top corner but Murphy somewhow managed to dive in front of it and block with his hurl!

    Callanan adds the 65 however and the gap is now eight points! Is it too much for Kilkenny?  (Kilkenny 2-19 Tipperary 2-27)

  • 68 mins: From a tight angle on the left Reid can only flick a point over with a free. Seven points in it now with two minutes left in normal time...(Kilkenny 2-20 Tipperary 2-27)
  • 69 mins: Callanan wraps it up! This is a performance for the ages! He knocks over his 13th point of the game and surely the result is beyond doubt now.  (Kilkenny 2-20 Tipperary 2-28)
  • 70 mins: Patrick Maher adss the icing on the cake with an excellent long range point after a brilliant high catch.  (Kilkenny 2-20 Tipperary 2-29)
  • FULL TIME: KILKENNY 2-20 TIPPERARY 2-29

    TIPPERARY HAVE WON THE 2016 ALL-IRELAND SENIOR HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP !

  • What a game. What a performance. A well and truly deserved All-Ireland win for Tipperary.

    To a man they were superb today and didn't let Kilkenny get into their stride at all. Seamus Callanan and John 'Bubbles' O'Dwyer will receive all of the plaudits for two of the best full-forward performances you will ever see in an All-Ireland final.  

    But every Tipperary player performed today. It was the biggest day of their lives and they stood up to the task and avenged the cruel defeat of 2014.  

    Kilkenny have been knocked off their perch but they fought all the way and you can be sure that they will be back stronger than ever next year.

    But for now, this is Tipperary's moment.

  • With that I shall leave you. We were treated to a superb 70 minutes of hurling today and a deserved winner emerged. No one outside the county of Kilkenny will begrudge Tipperary their moment. Full reports and reaction from Croke Park will be available to read on www.irishtimes.com/sport in the next few minutes so stay tuned. Thanks for reading, bye!