Scoring started in the first minute with a point from Kilkenny’s Colin Fennelly immediately cancelled by Tipperary’s John O’Dwyer. The game was on between the two giants of hurling Tipperary and Kilkenny with Tipperary playing into the Hill in the first half.
And what an enthralling game of skill it turned out to be, with Noel McGrath and Lar Corbett truly outstanding and on top in most sectors of the field for Tipperary.
For the first 20 minutes it was a classic game of ‘tit for tat’ hurling with the scoreboard registering Kilkenny 0-06 pts to Tipperary’s 0-08 pts; same points coming courtesy of Tipperary’s Shane McGrath, Seamus Callanan, Noel McGrath, Lar Corbett and James Woodlock and Kilkenny’s Conor Fogarty, TJ Reid and Colin Fennelly.
Then in the 21 minute, to the delight of blue and gold supporters, Tipperary’s Patrick Maher fielded a Gleeson puck-out, to beat his marker and rifles past Kilkenny goalkeeper Eoin Murphy, for the first goal of the match.
Tipperary were 5 points in the lead; 1-08 (11 pts) to Kilkenny’s 0-06.
One minute later Tipp’s Patrick Maker is brought down in rugby tackle style by Cats Paul Murphy and Callanan steps up to take the resulting penalty. Alas it’s saved by Murphy and two minutes later a briefly unmarked Richie Power, despite the best efforts of Gleeson, taps the ball in the back of Tipperary’s net.
Tipperary are now 1-09 (12 pts) to Kilkenny 1-07 (10 pts).
Right up to the last seconds of the first half the game moved backwards and forwards, with both teams displaying the ultimate in skill, with points coming from Tipp’s Callanan and McGrath quickly cancelled by Kilkenny’s Reid, Fogarty and Fennelly thus registering a first half score of Tipperary1-13 (16 pts) – Kilkenny 1-11 (14 pts).
First half saw the issue of two yellow cards; one for Tipp’s John O’Dwyer and one for Kilkenny’s Conor Fogarty.
Second Half: 2014 All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship
In front of 82,179 supporters and with 36 minutes of play under their belt, both teams returned to do battle with no changes made on either side from the first half selection.
Kilkenny start the scoring immediately with TJ Reid turning on a sixpence to blast home a goal; Kilkenny 2-11 (17 pts) Tipperary 1-13 (16 pts), but Tipp’s Shane McGrath immediately levelled it up for the seventh time in the game with yet another superb point.
The battle for All Ireland hurling supremacy now began in earnest with both teams winning and losing advantage.
Then in the 49th minute Kilkenny’s Richie Power gathered again, rifling a goal past Gleeson, followed by a quick point from Richie Hogan and with the scoreboard reading Kilkenny 3-16 (25 pts) to Tipperary’s 1-18 (21 points) Tipperary had uphill work on hand. And climb that hill Tipperary did; aided by substitutes Mickey Cahill (on for Gearoid Ryan), Eoin Kelly (on for James Woodlock) and despite Kilkenny’s Henry Shefflin (on for Colin Fennelly).
As both teams traded points; (Tipperary: Noel McGrath, Lar Corbett, Mickey Cahill, Gearoid Ryan, John O’Dwyer, Patrick Maher and Seamus Callanan. Kilkenny: TJ Reid, Walter Walsh and Richie Hogan), by the 69th minute and with 4 minutes, including injury time, left to play, Tipperary’s John O’Dwyer, from the tightest of angle, recorded a brilliant point leaving both teams level pegging once again; Kilkenny 3-22 (31 pts) Tipperary 1-28 (31 pts).
In the dying moments of full-time Kilkenny’s Brian Hogan was found guilty of charging; resulting in a free for Tipperary some 97 metres out. Hawk-Eye was brought into play for the third time during this match confirming a near miss wide right of the Kilkenny goal post.
Full Time Score: Kilkenny 3-22 (31 pts) Tipperary 1-28 (31 pts). Both teams must now return to do battle once again in 3 weeks time.