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Tipperary Hurlers You Did Us Proud

Managers Brian-Cody-and-Liam-Sheedy

Managers Brian-Cody-and-Liam-Sheedy

Kilkenny have retained the All-Ireland hurling title for the fourth time in-a-row after beating a magnificent Tipperary team by 2-22 to 0-23 in a most entertaining hurling final at Croke Park, in Dublin.

The All Ireland Senior Hurling match yesterday didn’t just live up to expectations,  it exceeded even the  wildest dreams of hurling fans regardless of loyalties and while Limerick and Waterford lacked that necessary spirit, skill and determination to seriously test Kilkenny in their last two finals, Tipperary matched the champions in just about every department.

Yes, it all ended with Kilkenny as All-Ireland champions, but only after they had been driven to the outer limits of their endurance by a remarkable and outstanding Tipperary Team performance.

No camera angle can excuse the ugliness of the crime committed by such an experienced player like Benny Dunne, who was dismissed on a straight red car for a strike on Tommy Walsh in the 54th minute. It was a serious error of judgement by the Tipp man and referee Diarmuid Kirwan, whose lenient approach had allowing the game to flow and progress without much mishap until then, had little choice but to dismiss the Toomevara man.

However even with 14 men, Tipperary had all the signs of outgunning ‘The Kats’ and placing themselves in the winner’s enclosure, were it not for the rather controversial decision minutes from full time. Tipperary will rightly feel that the crucial 63rd-minute penalty award was the deciding factor and when reviewed, even referee Diarmuid Kirwan himself will probably acknowledge that this crucial decision was somewhat questionable.

There must have been many times during this game, when even the marble hardened determination of Kilkenny, would  have wondered if their 18th successive championship hopes would elude them, their best efforts being continuously frustrated by this magnificent Tipperary team, who certainly rose to their greatest challenge of this season.

Still, to be fair, the end results don’t lie and the overall title haul by Kilkenny which total seven All-Irelands, nine Leinster and five National Leagues, in the past ten years is something never previously reached and may possibly never ever again be achieved.

Well done Tipperary.

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