Tipperary met Kilkenny in Croke Park today to decide the All-Ireland Hurling replay champions for 2014, playing in front of an official attendance of 81,753 loyal hurling fans. But it was not to be Tipperary’s day with Kilkenny claiming a 35th All-Ireland title by just three points, thus taking home the Liam MacCarthy Cup and granting manager Brian Cody his 10th career success.
All-Ireland Hurling Replay First Half
Tipperary opened the scoring, taking the lead for the first 8 minutes with points from Noel McGrath and Shane McGrath. First matching scores from Kilkenny came from two points from Richie Hogan in the 8th and 11th minute respectively, making it all square.
Kilkenny now moved into the lead with points from Kilkenny’s Eoin Larkin and TJ Reid answered by Tipperary’s O’Dwyer and Callanan making it all square for the second time. Michael Fennelly restores Kilkenny’s lead by the seventeenth minute and despite Tipperary manufacturing two excellent goal chances through Callanan and O’Dwyer; both just 10 yards out, Kilkenny managed to clear courtesy of J. J. Delaney.
T.J. Reid taped over another point following a foul on Colin Fennelly but same is soon answered by Shane McGrath, latter who runs 30 yards to find his target from 65 yards.
Then in the 28th minute Lar Corbett picks out Callanan in front of the Kilkenny goal and the latter taps past an out-rushing Murphy to rifle into the goal mouth, scoring the first and only goal of the first half. The score now stands Tipperary 1-05 (8 pts) – Kilkenny 0-06 (6 pts).
A point from Reid conceded by a Woodlock free soon reduces Kilkenny’s deficit, but a point from Tipperary’s Callanan in the 33rd minute, following a Kieran Joyce charge, cancels this efforts.
Following points from both Michael Fennelly, and a beautiful over his shoulder point from Shane McGrath the half time whistle finds the scoreboard reading Tipperary 1-07 (10 pts) – Kilkenny 0-08 (8 pts).
All-Ireland Hurling Replay Second Half
The second half saw both teams return to do battle with no changes to either of the sides made at half-time.
Kilkenny’s Richie Power opens the scoring with a point, followed quickly by two points from Reid and two points from Fennelly, making it five in a row for the ‘Cats’.
Tipperary had to wait over 13 minutes before Callanan registers their first score of the second half; a point from a free by Paul Murphy on Noel McGrath. Same is answered by John Power with 50 minutes on the clock, but Tipperary’s John O’Dwyer replies straight away. In the 56th minute Tipperary are granted a penalty and Callanan opted to put the ball over the bar for a point, 13 minutes from time.
Fate however was to deal a cruel blow to Tipp, when Kilkenny danger-man Richie Power wins the ball close in and rifles into Gleeson’s net in the 59th minute. Tipperary 1-11 (14 pts) to Kilkenny 1-15 (18 pts).
Despite another point from Callanan, worse was yet to come when Tipperary failed to clear their lines and Kilkenny’s John Power, taps home another goal from just 2 yards out, leaving Tipperary with a 6 point hill to climb; Tipperary 1-12 (15 pts) to Kilkenny 2-15 (21 pts).
But there was still fight in Tipperary and John O’Dwyer got on target with a point from a free with just 5 minutes of ordinary time remaining, but with 5 points behind.
Brendan Maher takes a further point in the 67th minute and two minutes later Callanan smashes the sliotar into Murphy’s and the Kilkenny net just 1 minute from stoppage time. The game now had taken on all the appearance of a grandstand finish.
Regrettably with just 3 minutes of stoppage time left to play, Colin Fennelly gets a further point and Tipperary now needed a miracle goal. But it was not to be this time out, despite Tipperary battling valiantly all the way to the very end. Perhaps it was that 13 minute barren spell they endured on the scoreboard early in the second half, which finally was to seal their fate.
Alas, final result: Kilkenny 2-17 (23 pts) – Tipperary 2-14 (20 pts).
Tipperary Team: D. Gleeson, C. Barrett, J. Barry, P. Stapleton, B. Maher, Pádraic Maher, K. Bergin, S.McGrath, J.Woodlock, G. Ryan, J. O’Dwyer, L. Corbett; N. McGrath, S. Callanan and P. Maher.
Subs: M. Cahill for S. McGrath, C. O’Mahony for Ryan, S. Bourke for L. Corbett, J. Forde for N. McGrath and J O’Brien for J. O’Dwyer.
Referee: B. Gavin, (Offaly).