Despite being top scorers for most of the game, in front of 8,651 spectators, the Tipperary versus Kilkenny Allianz National Hurling League Division 1A encounter today became a game of two haves with Tipperary ending up beaten once again by Kilkenny in their home pitch at Nowlan Park.
Eamon O’ Shea’s Tipperary troops appeared on fire as they rattled in the goals in the first-half, to enter the dressing rooms at the half-time leading two goals ahead of their arch rivals.
However despite the determined skills of Seamus Callanan, latter who produced a hat-trick, Kilkenny took the day, walking off clear winners by six points with Kilkenny’s Colin Fennelly scoring a massive 3-05 (14 pts) for his home side.
Despite the 3-6 (15 pts), mostly struck home from play by Tipperary’s Seamus Callanan, his own personal tally just wasn’t enough to carry the boys in blue, with Kilkenny’s Henry Shefflin, Colin Fennelly and Walter Walsh collectively totting up 4-15 (27 pts) between them, to take a well deserved fighting home victory.
With 15 minutes on the stopwatch, Tipperary appeared to be the dominant team, having bagged 3-3, (12 pts) with goals scored coming from Noel McGrath, Jason Forde and Seamus Callanan.
Colin Fennelly’s first goal for Kilkenny didn’t appear until the 24th minute, but the efforts of Reid and Walsh keep Kilkenny in touch until Henry Shefflin’s goal in the 31st minute demonstrated the possibility that this game was not yet over. Kilkenny’s third goal came in the 44th minute, rifled home courtesy also of Fennelly, to be answered by Tipperary’s Callanan some six minutes later.
It took Kilkenny almost 56th minutes to eventually draw level, assisted in their quest by a goal from Fennelly and levelling the score at 4-14 (26 pts) to 5-11 (26 pts). The battle for final victory was now on with both sides continuing to level on a further three occasions.
A devastating fifth goal from Mark Kelly, together with three successive points from Hogan (2 pts), Fennelly (1 pt) all unanswered by Tipperary, would eventually seal a win for this Kilkenny home team.
Final score: Kilkenny 5-20 (35 pts) – Tipperary 5-14 (29 pts).
Tipperary Team: D. Gleeson, P. Stapleton, T. Stapleton, C. Barrett; S. McGrath, C. O’Brien, M. Cahill (0-2), P. Maher, J. Woodlock (0-1), K. Bergin, P. Murphy (0-1), B. Maher (0-1), N. McGrath (1-3), S. Callanan (3-6), J. Forde (1-0).
Subs: P. Maher for J. Forde, J. O’Dwyer for K. Bergin, D. Maher for S. McGrath, M. Heffernan for P. Murphy and R. Maher for C. O’Brien.