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Dublin: 11°C Monday 19 April 2021


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It was the biggest game in the history of the hurling qualifiers as Kilkenny faced Tipperary in Nowlan Park.

We followed the action all the way.

Send us your thoughts and comments on all the action.

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RESULT: Kilkenny 0-20 Tipperary 1-14

It’s the big one tonight in Nowlan Park. We’re used to seeing Kilkenny and Tipperary facing off in Croke Park in a battle for All-Ireland titles but tonight it’s to survive in this year’s championship. One of this pair are set to exit tonight. It promises to be a cracker.

Nowlan Park is going to be packed to the rafters tonight. There’s been a massive crowd been building up from early on at the Kilkenny city venue.

The unreserved stand two hours before throw-in.
Twitter: @sportsdes

There’s lot of pre-match speculation about changes on both sides. The latest word is that James Woodlock is set to come in for Tipperary at midfield with Brendan Maher moving to the half-back line. Kilkenny are likely to make changes as well. Confirmation of that news when we get it.

Here’s the Kilkenny side that was named to start during the week:

KILKENNY: Eoin Murphy (Glenmore), Conor Fogarty (Erin’s Own), JJ Delaney (Fenians), Jackie Tyrell (James Stephens), Tommy Walsh, (Tullaroan), Brian Hogan (O’Loughlin Gaels), Kieran Joyce (Rower Inistioge), Michael Rice (Carrickshock), Lester Ryan (Clara), Walter Walsh (Tullogher Rosbercon), Richie Power (Carrickshock), Eoin Larkin (James Stephens), Colin Fennelly (Ballyhale), Richie Hogan (Danesfort), Aidan Fogarty (Emeralds).

Here’s the Tipperary side that was named to start:

TIPPERARY: Brendan Cummins (Ballybacon-Grange), Paddy Stapleton (Borris-Ileigh), Paul Curran (Mullinahone), Michael Cahill (Thurles Sarsfields), Conor O’Brien (Eire Og Annacarty), Conor O’Mahony (Newport), Padraic Maher (Thurles Sarsfields), Brendan Maher (Borris-Ileigh), Shane McGrath (c) (Ballinahinch), Patrick Maher (Lorrha and Dorrha), Noel McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney), John O’Brien (Toomevara), John O’Dwyer (Killenaule),  Eoin Kelly (Mullinahone),  Lar Corbett (Thurles Sarsfields).

Will this man be able to steer his side back to victory after their Leinster championship exit last week against Dublin?

Breaking news via @TrevorSpillane about the Kilkenny team and it’s that Paul Murphy, TJ Reid and Matt Ruth are all in for Conor Fogarty, Michael Rice and Aidan Fogarty.

Word is that Tipperary will start James Woodlock at midfield with Paul Curran to make way as a series of positional changes take place.

So many questions surrounding this game.

  • Can the Tipperary attack improve after a poor outing on the provincial stage and against Kilkenny in the recent league final?
  • Will Kilkenny’s attack continue to be as reliant on Eoin Larkin’s free taking for scores?
  • Will Kilkenny be fired up and determined not to lose in front of their home fans?
  • How intense and physical an encounter is this going to be?
  • And do Kilkenny have the strength in depth to cope with the loss of key men through injury?

Brian Gavin from Offaly is the man in the middle for tonight’s game.

Henry Shefflin is to wear number 28 on the Kilkenny squad.

This promises to be a cracker of a contest on a warm evening in Nowlan Park.

We’re inclined to agree with Limerick hurler Wayne McNamara. But thankfully after all the anticipation, we’re moments from throw-in. This is a potentially epic clash which could define the 2013 hurling championship.

We’re underway, Kilkenny’s Matthew Ruth fouled early on and that prompts a huge roar from the home crowd.

But Eoin Larkin shoots wide for Kilkenny.

At the opposite end John O’Brien shoots wide from distance for Tipperary.

Kilkenny 0-1 Tipperary 0-0: 3 mins – Walter Walsh points for the Cats.

Kilkenny 0-2 Tipperary 0-0: 4 mins - Lovely cross field ball from Richie Hogan for that score from Walsh and then the Danesfort attacker points himself.

Lar Corbett fouled by Kieran Joyce as he burst through on goal.

Kilkenny 0-2 Tipperary 0-1: 6 mins – Eoin Kelly smashes the free over the bar.

Wild shot by Lar Corbett goes wide. He had the time to settle himself there before shooting.

Kilkenny 0-2 Tipperary 0-2: 9 mins – The teams are level after Eoin Kelly fires over a ’65. Matthew Ruth then spurns a great chance to send Kilkenny ahead as he fires wide.

Kilkenny 0-3 Tipperary 0-2: 11 mins – Eoin Larkin converts a close-range free to send Kilkenny back in front.

It’s as fast, furious and frantic as we imagined it would be so far.

Kilkenny 0-3 Tipperary 0-3: 13 mins – Tipperary draw level courtesy of an Eoin Kelly free.

Tipperary 0-4 Kilkenny 0-3: 14 mins – Eoin Kelly shows why he has been brought back into the Tipperary team as he shoots another free to put them in front.

Goal for Tipperary from Lar Corbett!

Tipperary 1-4 Kilkenny 0-3: 15 mins – What a boost for Tipperary. Superb build-up play by the Premier with a sublime pass by John O’Dwyer to Corbett at the end of it. Corbett did drop the ball but had time to whip it past Eoin Murphy and into the net.

Tipperary 1-4 Kilkenny 0-4: 16 mins – Kilkenny fight back courtesy of an Eoin Larkin free.

Early Kilkenny change with Ger Aylward in for TJ Reid after 20 minutes. Eoin Larkin has just missed a free for the Cats.

John O’Dwyer wide for Tipperary. The standard of shooting has not been great so far but the pressure on the forwards is immense.

Tipperary 1-5 Kilkenny 0-5: 23 mins – But O’Dwyer is accurate on this occasion with a point that is vital for Tipperary and the confidence levels of the young Killenaule player. Kilkenny hit back with Larkin on target from play.

Tipperary 1-5 Kilkenny 0-6: 25 mins – Paddy Stapleton fails to gather possession for Tipperary and Richie Power bounds onto the ball and notches his first point of the game for Kilkenny.

It’s no classic so far in hurling terms but it’s as physically demanding a game as was envisaged.

Tipperary 1-5 Kilkenny 0-7: 27 mins – And now it’s back to a one-point game with Larkin converting a free from the right wing.

Bonner Maher gone to centre-forward for Tipperary with Noel McGrath moving to the wing.

Paul Murphy continues to stick close to Lar Corbett while Jackie Tyrrell is picking up John O’Dwyer.

Tipperary 1-5 Kilkenny 0-8: 28 mins – The teams are level with Richie Hogan grabbing loose possession and lobbing over a point despite being off balance.

Goalscoring hero Lar Corbett is gone off for Tipperary with Seamus Callanan coming in.

Corbett pulled a hamstring as he ran out to collect possession. He’s been hampered by that injury in the past. It’s a big setback for Tipperary.

Kilkenny 0-9 Tipperary 1-5: 33 mins – Foul by Padraic Maher on Ger Aylward and Larkin fires over a free to send Kilkenny in front.

Kilkenny 0-9 Tipperary 1-6: 36 mins – Vital score for Tipperary from Seamus Callanan.

Great work by John O’Dwyer to offload to Callanan and he shot over for Tipperary’s first score in 13 minutes. They needed that.

Half-Time: Kilkenny 0-9 Tipperary 1-6: It’s all square at the break.

So they’re level at half-time. Tipperary made the early break with Corbett’s goal but have since seen him taken off while Kilkenny reeled them in. Callanan’s late point has tied the teams.

And we’re back underway for the second-half.

Half-time change for Tipperary with Kieran Bergin in for Shane McGrath.

That’ll see Bergin slot into defence and Brendan Maher return to midfield as captain McGrath makes way.

23,307 is the attendance at a packed Nowlan Park.

Kilkenny 0-10 Tipperary 1-7: 37 mins – And Kilkenny get off the mark first through a free from Eoin Larkin before Seamus Callanan, who’s stepped up to the mark for Tipperary since coming on, replies with a point. Level for a fifth time in this game.

Tipperary 1-8 Kilkenny 0-10: 37 mins – Now Tipperary go ahead as John O’Brien strikes over his first point of the game.

Callanan has an effort for another point but his shot flies wide.

Goal chance for Tipperary but Eoin Kelly’s piledriver is blocked out for a ’65 by JJ Delaney. Great goal chance after a superb run forward by James Woodlock.

And then Kelly misses the resultant ’65. Could that be a big phase of play?

Tipperary 1-8 Kilkenny 0-11: 43 mins – Kilkenny draw level with Larkin converting a free after Brendan Maher fouls the James Stephens man.

Kilkenny 0-12 Tipperary 1-8: 46 mins – Kilkenny edge ahead with Richie Hogan on the mark from play.

Kilkenny 0-12 Tipperary 1-9: 49 mins – Very clever point by Tipperary as they worked the ball down the left wing with short passes to create an overlap and John O’Dwyer finished with a composed point.

Kilkenny 0-14 Tipperary 1-9: 50 mins – Two in a row for Kilkenny from Eoin Larkin from a free and Walter Walsh from play.

Kilkenny are starting to get on top in vital sectors. Can Tipperary respond?

Kilkenny 0-14 Tipperary 1-10: 51 mins – The answer is yes, Tipperary do fight back. Another surging run by Woodlock and he hand passes to Noel McGrath who has the space and time to pick off his point.

Jason Forde is in for his championship debut as he replaces Patrick Bonner Maher in the Tipperary attack.

Eoin Larkin wide for Kilkenny.

Aidan Fogarty is on for Kilkenny for Ger Aylward, who came into the match after 20 minutes for TJ Reid.

Kilkenny 0-15 Tipperary 1-10: 53 mins – Walter Walsh points, he’s really starting to impact for Kilkenny.

Walsh was fed brilliantly by Richie Hogan. They have been the danger men for Kilkenny in open play.

Gearoid Ryan replaces John O’Brien in the Tipperary attack.

Goal chance for Kilkenny but Matthew Ruth’s shot is smartly blocked by Brendan Cummins. Tipperary still in this game.

Tipperary struggling to win clean possession in attack. The losses of Lar Corbett and Patrick Maher could affect them in that regard.

Kilkenny 0-16 Tipperary 1-10: 56 mins – Eoin Larkin fires over his 9th point of the game, again from a free. Kilkenny in the driving seat.

Seamus Callanan wins an important free for Tipperary.

Kilkenny 0-16 Tipperary 1-11: 57 mins – Kelly converts the free for Tipperary.

Kilkenny 0-17 Tipperary 1-11: 60 mins – Another Larkin free for Kilkenny as Noel McGrath fires wide for Tipperary.

Kilkenny 0-17 Tipperary 1-12: 60 mins – Kieran Bergin notches a fine point for Tipperary, he’s gone to centre-forward.

Larkin shoots wide for Kilkenny from play.

Henry Shefflin warming up on the sideline.

Kilkenny ahead by two points but Tipperary still in with a shout. Tense finale in store.

Brian O’Meara is coming on for Tipperary for Eoin Kelly.

Henry Shefflin coming on and is greeted by a massive cheer from the home fans.

Matthew Ruth gone off.

Kilkenny 0-17 Tipperary 1-13: 65 mins – Back to a one point game thanks to James Woodlock.

Kilkenny 0-18 Tipperary 1-13: 66 mins – Eoin Larkin points free to put Kilkenny back in front by two.

Noel McGrath strikes a long-range wide for Tipperary.

Aidan Fogarty strikes Kilkenny’s 11th wide of the game. Two minutes left.

Kilkenny 0-19 Tipperary 1-13: 68 mins – Is that the insurance point for Kilkenny? Richie Power raises a white flag after Shefflin created the opening.

Kilkenny 0-20 Tipperary 1-13: 69 mins – And now Colin Fennelly taps over.

Kilkenny 0-20 Tipperary 1-14: 70 mins – John O’Dwyer point for Tipperary.

That looks to be it.

Kilkenny win by three points.

Full-Time: Kilkenny 0-20 Tipperary 1-14: All over and Kilkenny triumph by three points.

Kilkenny march on to Phase 3 of the All-Ireland hurling qualifiers where they will face Waterford next Saturday. That game will most likely be played in Thurles in a double-header with the clash between Clare and Wexford.

It’s the end of the road for Tipperary in 2013. Defeats to Limerick in Munster and Kilkenny in the qualifiers sees their championship journey end in early July.

Kilkenny deserving victors in the end as their defence took over in the second-half. Big setback for Tipperary with the loss of the injured Lar Corbett and Eoin Kelly seeing his goal bound shot blocked wide.

That’s all from us this evening, thanks for joining us and for all your comments.

About the author:

Fintan O'Toole