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Dublin: 5 °C Monday 25 March, 2019
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0-15 for Kilkenny's Reid, 2-12 for Tipperary's Forde and another league title for Brian Cody

An attendance of 17,608 saw the Cats triumph in Nowlan Park today.

Tipperary's Ronan Maher and Kilkenny's TJ Reid battle for possession.
Tipperary's Ronan Maher and Kilkenny's TJ Reid battle for possession.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Kilkenny 2-23
Tipperary 2-17

Fintan O’Toole reports from Nowlan Park

ANOTHER SEASON OF spring hurling concludes with Kilkenny again standing tall and clutching silverware.

The home fans were treated to a power-packed second-half display this afternoon as a two-point interval deficit morphed into an ultimate six-point victory.

Brian Cody’s side were exceptional in the second half with Paddy Deegan in towering form in defence and TJ Reid shooting the lights out in attack as he amassed 0-15 over the course of this encounter.

Walter Walsh and Conor Fogarty raised the green flags after half-time that severely wounded Tipperary’s challenge. Their star turn to date in 2018 did rack up 2-12 but Jason Forde’s exploits could not prevent a second successive league final loss for the Premier.

In a scrappy first-half, Tipperary illuminated the exchanges with the opening goal of the game in the 24th minute. Forde’s finish was low, hard and clinical but plenty praise needed to be showered upon John McGrath for his vision and ingenuity in finding Forde with a pass from close range.

The boost Kilkenny were searching for at the interval arrived early in the second half. Conor Delaney’s delivery from his wing-back berth was pinpoint and once Walsh escaped from the clutches of the Tipperary rearguard, he advanced before smashing home a goal.

That score ignited their comeback and substitute Fogarty sealed their success when he crowned an individual run in the 63rd minute with a key goal.

Cillian Buckley celebrates with the trophy Kilkenny captain Cillian Buckley celebrates their league final victory. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Tipperary enjoyed a 1-10 to 0-11 advantage at the break but Kilkenny’s scoring spree saw them in front 1-20 to 1-14 by the midway mark of the second half. They were grateful to the intervention of goalkeeper Eoin Murphy as well in the 40th minute when he produced a terrific save to deny substitute John O’Dwyer from finding the net for Tipperary.

Michael Ryan’s side were too reliant on Forde’s accuracy from placed balls to provide scoring inspiration but he did drag them within five points, 1-21 to 1-16, by the 59th minute.

Then Kilkenny upped the ante with Walsh picking off a pair of points and after Forde arced over a sideline, Fogarty scythed through for the goal that essentially finished off Tipperary’s hopes of getting something from this decider.

Forde’s shot from a 20-yard free in the 65 minute squirmed past the Kilkenny rearguard for a second Tipperary goal but that was the close of the scoring as Brian Cody’s side protected their six-point cushion to the finish.

Scorers for Kilkenny: TJ Reid 0-15 (0-11f, 0-1 sideline), Walter Walsh 1-2, Conor Fogarty 1-0, John Donnelly 0-2, Eoin Murphy (0-1f), Richie Leahy, Martin Keoghan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Tipperary: Jason Forde 2-12 (1-9f, 0-1 sideline, 0-1 ’65), John McGrath 0-2, Séamus Kennedy, Seán Curran, Willie Connors 0-1 each.

Kilkenny

1. Eoin Murphy (Glenmore)

2. Joey Holden (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
3. Pádraig Walsh (Tullaroan)
4. Paddy Deegan (O’Loughlin Gaels)

5. Conor Delaney (Erin’s Own)
6. Cillian Buckley (Dicksboro) (captain)
7. Enda Morrissey (Bennettsbridge)

8. Richie Leahy (Rower Inistioge)
9. James Maher (St Lachtain’s)

10. Martin Keoghan (Tullaroan)
11. TJ Reid (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
12. John Donnelly (Thomastown)

13. Bill Sheehan (Dicksboro)
14. Walter Walsh (Tullogher Rosbercon)
15. Alan Murphy (Glenmore)

Subs

22. Liam Blanchfield (Bennettsbridge) for Alan Murphy (41)
24. Luke Scanlon (James Stephens) for Sheehan (44)
21. Conor Fogarty (Erins Own) for Leahy (48)
25. Conor Martin (Emeralds) for Donnelly (63)

Tipperary

1. Darragh Mooney (Eire Og Annacarty-Donohill)

2. Alan Flynn (Kildangan)
3. James Barry (Upperchurch-Dombane)
4. Michael Cahill (Thurles Sarsfields)

5. Barry Heffernan (Nenagh Eire Og)
6. Padraic Maher (Thurles Sarsfields)
7. Ronan Maher (Thurles Sarsfields)

8. Brendan Maher (Borris-Ileigh)
9. Seamus Kennedy (St Mary’s Clonmel)

10. Seán Curran (Mullinahone)
11. Billy McCarthy (Thurles Sarsfields)
12. John McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney)

13. Michael Breen (Ballina)
14. Jason Forde (Silvermines)
15. Willie Connors (Kiladangan)

Subs

25. John O’Dwyer (Killenaule) for Breen (half-time)
17. Cathal Barrett (Holycross-Ballycahill) for Kennedy (44)
26. Mark Russell (Lattin-Cullen) for Curran (59)
22. Donagh Maher (Burgess) for Barry (61)
19. Cian Darcy (Kilruane McDonaghs) for McCarthy (65)

Referee: Alan Kelly (Galway)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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