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11 iconic moments from recent Kilkenny-Tipperary championship clashes

In no particular order, we take a look back at some of the highlights from the epic championship tussles between the counties since 2009.

SINCE RENEWING THEIR championship rivalry with a 2009 All-Ireland senior hurling final collision, Sunday’s opponents Kilkenny and Tipperary have served up some memorable fare.

They’ve met in finals in 2009, 2010, 2011 and again in 2014, while also contesting a semi-final in 2012 and a unique 2013 qualifier.

Here, in no particular order, we take a look back at 11 of the stand-out moments from a rivalry that will provide fresh drama and excitement next weekend.

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1. That 2014 HawkEye call

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

In stoppage time at the end of the 2014 final, John O’Dwyer was handed the chance to snatch victory for Tipperary.

Referee Barry Kelly outraged Kilkenny fans by awarding Tipp a free when Brian Hogan was blown for charging into Pádraic Maher.

It was a debatable call, no doubt, but Kilkenny’s sense of grievance would have been exacerbated had O’Dwyer converted.

It looked as if he had but after Kelly turned to HawkEye, time stood still before the video technology confirmed that O’Dwyer’s effort had drifted narrowly wide.

2. Lar Corbett’s hat-trick

Source: HurlingGoals/YouTube

Footage that Tipperary fans won’t mind watching over and over again ahead of next Sunday.

For Corbett’s first goal, he out-fielded Noel Hickey before crashing a shot past PJ Ryan.

For his second, he latched onto a defence-splitting pass from Noel McGrath and Corbett completed his treble when Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher somehow got a pass away and the Thurles Sarsfields man did the rest.

Corbett’s memorable treble halted Kilkenny’s ‘drive for 5′ and Tipp fans weren’t slow about letting their neighbours know all about it.

3. Standing ovation for King Henry…

Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

As early as the 13th minute, Henry Shefflin hobbled out of the 2010 final when his damaged knee gave way.

Shefflin sustained cruciate knee ligament damage in the semi-final victory over Cork but following intensive treatment, he was deemed fit enough to start against Tipp.

But the gifted forward wouldn’t last and as he left the field, he was afforded a standing ovation by both sets of supporters.

Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

4 …and that memorable Nowlan Park introduction

Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

The 2013 All-Ireland qualifier between Kilkenny and Tipperary at Nowlan Park was a unique occasion.

The ground was full long before throw-in and the PA announcer whipped fans into a frenzy when he revealed that Henry Shefflin, who was recovering from a foot injury, was a late inclusion on the subs bench.

With six minutes left, Shefflin came on and it was his first taste of action since the previous September’s final replay with Galway.

To make a memorable evening even better for Kilkenny fans, their heroes turned over Tipperary to dump them out of the championship.

5. JJ’s hook

Source: GaelicShinty+Hurling/YouTube

In the 18th minute of the 2014 All-Ireland final replay, Seamus Callanan steamed clear of JJ Delaney and advanced towards the Hill 16 goal.

Callanan had ‘goal’ on his mind but Delaney somehow got back to execute an outstanding hook.

When Delaney retired later that year, Callanan paid this brilliant tribute on Twitter:

6. Brian Gavin skelped by Tommy Walsh

Source: Conor Ryan/YouTube

Blood’s often spilled when Tipperary and Kilkenny go head to head but back in 2011, it was referee Brian Gavin who was left nursing a cut.

When Gavin went to intervene as tempers threatened to boil over, he was on the receiving end of a Walsh swipe.

All’s well that ends well, however, as Gavin later received a signed shirt and an apology from the former Kilkenny star.

7. PJ Ryan’s goalkeeping masterclass

Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Tipperary still feel that the 2009 All-Ireland final is one that got away.

They played incredibly well on the day but found PJ Ryan in brilliant form.

The Kilkenny goalkeeper made a couple of excellent stops from Eoin Kelly and one blinding save to keep out Seamus Callanan, as Tipp were held goalless on the day.

8. That Brendan Cummins point

Source: RTÉ Sport/YouTube

A year later, Tipperary net-minder Brendan Cummins was performing heroics of his own, with a first-half point from inside his own half setting the tone for the Premier County.

Cummins went for broke with a long-range free and hit the jackpot as the sliotar sailed over the crossbar.

At that moment, there was a feeling that it might be Tipp’s day – and it was.

9. Benny Dunne’s red card

Source: Micheal Killarney/YouTube

With 16 minutes remaining in the 2009 final, Tipp were leading Kilkenny by a point, 0-17 to 0-16.

Brendan Maher lined up a sideline ball on the Cusack Stand side of the field and when the ball dropped, Tipp’s Benny Dunne swung wildly and connected with Kilkenny’s Tommy Walsh.

Referee Diarmuid Kirwan issued a red card and Tipp finished the game with 14 men, as Kilkenny scored two late killer goals.

10. The perfect 10 for King Henry

Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

Henry Shefflin bowed out of the inter-county game in 2014 with a record 10th All-Ireland senior hurling medal.

On the same day, manager Brian Cody won his 10th title as manager and the careers of the two men were gloriously intertwined over the years.

11. Cats bare their claws in 2012

TJ Reid salutes his first goal against Tipperary in 2012. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

In the 2012 All-Ireland senior hurling semi-final, Tipperary hurling suffered one of its darkest days.

Kilkenny ran out 4-24 to 1-15 winners on a day when TJ Reid (2), Aidan Fogarty and Eoin Larkin scored goals, while Henry Shefflin chipped in with 11 points.

That 18-point loss was Tipp’s heaviest senior championship defeat since the 1800s and signalled the end of Declan Ryan’s two-year tenure.

What other moments stand out for you? Leave your feedback in the comments section below. 

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