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Dublin: 16 °C Monday 13 July, 2020


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The more things change, the more they stay the same.

And so, as we close the book on a rollercoaster decade of hurling, it’s only fitting that we finish it the way we started it: with Tipp, Kilkenny and the mother and father of all battles to decide the All-Ireland senior hurling championship.

The two teams are out on the pitch in Croke Park, and throw-in is at 3.30pm. Stay with us right here for the rest of the afternoon and you won’t miss a single puck.

The latest from Croke Park is there we don’t expect any further changes to the teams as named earlier this week but, as we all know, that could quickly change.

The big news for now is that Kilkenny star and Young Hurler of the Year in waiting Adrian Mullen is in Croke Park. Reports this morning suggested that he was set to miss today’s decider with illness, but he looks ready to take his place in the Cats’ starting XV.

Adrian Mullan arrives Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

TEAM NEWS: A reminder of how we’re expecting both of these times to line out.

First up, the Cats. One change from the side which beat Limerick in the semi-finals with Cillian Buckley in at midfield at the expense of Richie Leahy.


1. Eoin Murphy (Glenmore) 

2. Paul Murphy (Danesfort)
3. Huw Lawlor (O’Loughlin Gaels)
4. Joey Holden (Ballyhale Shamrocks)

5. Conor Fogarty (Erin’s Own)
6. Pádraig Walsh (Tullaroan)
7. Paddy Deegan (O’Loughlin Gaels)

8. Conor Browne (James Stephens)
9. Cillian Buckley (Dicksboro)

10. John Donnelly (Thomastown)
11. TJ Reid (Ballyhale Shamrocks)(captain)
12. Walter Walsh (Tullogher Rosbercon)

13. Adrian Mullen (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
14. Colin Fennelly (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
15. Richie Hogan (Danesfort)

TEAM NEWS: The named Tipp team is the very same as the one which pulled off that heroic comeback against Wexford in the semi-final a few weeks ago.

1. Brian Hogan (Lorrha-Dorrha)

2. Cathal Barrett (Holycross-Ballycahill)
3. Barry Heffernan (Nenagh Éire Óg)
4. Ronan Maher (Thurles Sarsfields)

5. Brendan Maher (Borris-Ileigh)
6. Padraic Maher (Thurles Sarsfields)
7. Séamus Kennedy (St. Mary’s)

8. Noel McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney)
9. Michael Breen (Ballina)

10. Dan McCormack (Borris-Ileigh)
11. John O’Dwyer (Killenaule)
12. Niall O’Meara (Kilruane MacDonaghs)

13. Jason Forde (Silvermines)
14. Séamus Callanan (Drom-Inch)(captain)
15. John McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney).

As expected, there’s no shortage of colour in and around Jones Road this afternoon.

Katie Henderson Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Tipperary fans before the game Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

We’re not really sure what’s going on in the Irish rugby team’s training camp out in Portugal…

There are so many intriguing battles all over the field here, and we’ll be keeping a close eye to see who picks up who in the opening exchanges.

Will Liam Sheedy detail Brendan Maher to pick up TJ Reid?

Will Brian Cody ask Huw Lawlor to try shackle Seamus Callanan?

Who’s the man to try to shut down Noel McGrath in the midfield battle?

The pre-match formalities are now underway as Kilkenny captain TJ Reid introduces his team-mates to President Michael D Higgins.

One interesting first in today’s final is that the RTÉ (and presumably Sky Sports) production teams will have access to the audio feed from the match officials’ microphones.

It won’t be for broadcast but it bring a greater level of clarity around any contentious decisions very quickly.


In the RTÉ commentary box, Marty is doing that thing where he lists off all of the different far-flung places people are watching from.

Do you know what that means? It’s nearly throw-in time.

Seasaigí anois le haghaidh Amhrán na bhFiann.

THROW IN: James Owens gets us underway with Kilkenny playing into the Hill 16 end in the first half.


1 min — Kilkenny 0-1 Tipperary 0-0: TJ Reid has a handy free to open his and Kilkenny’s account, and he makes no mistake.


2 mins — Kilkenny 0-2 Tipperary 0-0: What a glorious chance for Colin Fennelly!!  This could have been an electric start. Walter Walsh does brilliantly to catch the ball over John McGrath’s head and he feeds Fennelly. But just as he’s about to pull the trigger on what looks to be a certain goal, McGrath gets back with a hook at the vital moment. 

Play’s brought back for a Kilkenny free, which TJ points.


3 mins — Kilkenny 0-2 Tipperary 0-1: Michael Breen gets Tipp on the board.


5 mins – The heavens have opened in Dublin 9. Let’s see what impact the slippy surface and slippy ball have now.


7 mins — Kilkenny 0-3 Tipperary 0-1: A Tipp attack breaks down in the full-forward line and Kilkenny counter quickly. Conor Browne flashes it up to Colin Fennelly, who pops it off to Richie Hogan who taps over a point.


8 mins — Kilkenny 0-4 Tipperary 0-1: Barry Heffernan wraps up TJ Reid as he bears down on goal. Kilkenny free, and TJ does the necessary.


9 mins — Kilkenny 0-4 Tipperary 0-2: HUGE CALL! Seamus Callanan is pulled down close to goal and James Owens gives a free. On first glance, it looked like Callanan was inside the square and that should have been a penalty, but Tipperary have to be content with the free. Jason Forde opens his account.


It’s not a day for tippy-tappy hurling out there at the moment, that’s for sure. Let it in and see what happens.


12 mins — Kilkenny 0-5 Tipperary 0-2: Walter Walsh twists and turns and twists his way into Brendan Maher, and then Ronan Maher, who is penalised for holding Walsh’s hurley. There was a goal chance there if he could have forced his way through but it’s a free, and another score for TJ, instead.


Rain watch: It has stopped. For now.


14 mins — Kilkenny 0-5 Tipperary 0-3: Jason Forde points a free to bring Tipp back to within two.


15 mins – Seamus Kennedy hits a wide for Tipp, and Cillian Buckley follows suit for Kilkenny at the far end.


16 mins — Kilkenny 0-6 Tipperary 0-3: Cathal Barrett catches Richie Hogan high across the faceguard with his hurl, and again, it’s a Kilkenny free in a central location. Hogan goes off as a blood sub to be replaced by Billy Ryan while TJ taps over his fifth free of the day.


19 mins — Kilkenny 0-7 Tipperary 0-3: It’s happened again! Brian Hogan plucks John Donnelly’s shot from over his crossbar and play carries on temporarily until James Owens gets word down from HawkEye, The ball was over the bar when Hogan caught it — Kilkenny point.


21 mins — Kilkenny 0-8 Tipperary 0-3: TJ Reid has a go with a free from inside his own half. It’s low but it has the legs and it’s a point. Tipp haven’t really got going up front at all and it’s the Cats who lead by five.


Here’s that John Donnelly / Brian Hogan moment:


24 mins — Kilkenny 0-8 Tipperary 0-4: Jason Forde keeps Tipp within reach with a pointed 65.


25 mins — Kilkenny 0-8 Tipperary 0-5: Clever play by Brendan Maher who drives forward and flicks the ball over Conor Fogarty, winning a free in the process. Forde points.

Flag 25Mins

GOAL FOR TIPPERARY! Kilkenny 0-8 Tipperary 1-5 (Niall O’Meara, 25′)

What a goal! Niall O’Meara has Tipp level with a magnificent strike. Paudie Maher does brilliantly further out the field, and then O’Meara goes at Paddy Deegan, turning him one way and then the other before firing a daisy-cutter that goes under Paul Murphy’s boot and gives Eoin Murphy no chance in the Kilkenny goal.

Niall O’Meara scores their first goal Source: James Crombie/INPHO


27 mins — Tipperary 1-6 Kilkenny 0-8: Tipp lead! Just like that, Kilkenny’s five-point lead has vanished as Jason Forde converts as 65 to put Tipp in front for the first time today.


30 mins — Kilkenny 0-10 Tipperary 1-6: TJ levels it up with a free and then John Donnelly, who is really making his mark in this opening half, catches and scores with a lovely piece of play. This is really coming to life now.


31 mins — Kilkenny 0-10 Tipperary 1-7: Seamus Kennedy from downtown! All square again.


32 mins — Tipperary 1-8 Kilkenny 0-10: John McGrath snaffles up a breaking ball on the edge of the Kilkenny square, takes a touch and points.

Flag 33Mins

33 mins — RED CARD! Richie Hogan is sent off for Kilkenny! 

What a huge call by James Owens and his officials. Richie Hogan collided with Cathal Barrett and caught him high with a shoulder to the head. James Owens feels that he has no choice but to show the red and Kilkenny are down to 14.

Richie Hogan receives a red card from James Owens Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO


35+1 mins — Tipperary 1-8 Kilkenny 0-11: TJ levels it up as the heavens open again.


35+3 mins — Tipperary 1-9 Kilkenny 0-11: Noel McGrath points a free and Kilkenny go into the break a point up.


“I know Richie well,” says Henry Shefflin in the RTÉ studio. “He’s not a good tackler and this is not a good tackle.”

“Harsh call” is Shefflin’s final judgement. “I wouldn’t say it was elbow.”

Anthony Daly feels that the last angle is the one that condemned Hogan.

Donal Óg Cusack says it’s a dead-cert red.

Richie Hogan leaves the field after being red carded Source: James Crombie/INPHO



SECOND HALF: We’re back underway. Can Tipp drive on and take advantage of that Hogan red card, or will Kilkenny show that sometimes 14 men are better than 15?


36 mins — Tipperary 1-9 Kilkenny 0-12: Level for the fifth time as John Donnelly pounces on breaking ball and wins a free which TJ Reid points. That’s TJ’s ninth, all from frees.

Flag 37Mins

GOAL FOR TIPPERARY! Tipperary 2-9 Kilkenny 0-12 (Callanan, 37′)

He’s done it again! Seamus Callanan has his eighth goal of the championship summer, scrambling the ball over the line. It isn’t his prettiest goal but they all count.


38 mins — Tipperary 2-10 Kilkenny 0-12: Bubbles picks out Callanan and he adds a point to his tally. Tipp lead by four.


39 mins — Tipperary 2-11 Kilkenny 0-12: And now Tipperary start to turn the screw as Bubbles gets himself on the scoresheet from out underneath the Cusack stand.


41 mins — Tipperary 2-11 Kilkenny 0-13: Paddy Deegan lets it into the full forward line, Billy Ryan helps break it and Walter Walsh fizzes it over the bar.


42 mins — Tipperary 2-12 Kilkenny 0-13: Seamus Kennedy booms over another monster point.

Flag 42Mins

GOAL FOR TIPPERARY! Tipperary 3-12 Kilkenny 0-13 (O’Dwyer, 42′)

Tipp are rolling now! It’s majestic stuff from Seamus Callanan, arguably a pass that might tilt the balance in the Hurler of the Year conversation. He picks out Bubbles on the edge of the square with a delicious pass, and Bubbles tees himself up with a touch before finishing.


47 mins — Tipperary 3-14 Kilkenny 0-14: John McGrath, and then Noel McGrath point in quick succession. Three clear goals between the sides now.


47 mins — Tipperary 3-14 Kilkenny 0-15: TJ knocks over his 11th free of the day, but it’s goals Kilkenny will need if they’re to make a game of it.


48 mins — Tipperary 3-14 Kilkenny 0-16: Barry Heffernan breaks the ball, but breaks it to Billy Ryan who points.


49 mins — Tipperary 3-15 Kilkenny 0-16: Noel McGrath picks his pass, Jason Forde is the recipient and he belts it over the bar. Smashing score.


51 mins — Tipperary 3-16 Kilkenny 0-16: For all of Kilkenny’s endeavour, there’s still three clear goals in it. There’s a scramble in front of the Tipp goal as Kilkenny let it in to the full-forwards, but Tipp clear and it comes all the way down the far end where Jason Forde scores.


53 mins — Tipperary 3-16 Kilkenny 0-17: Great score by John Donnelly from distance.


54 mins – Jason Forde brings Eoin Murphy down with a tackle that’s high and around the neck. The Kilkenny fans want to see the numbers evened out with a second red card, but it’s yellow.


57 mins — Tipperary 3-17 Kilkenny 0-18: Jason Forde adds another free for Tipp, but it’s cancelled out at the other end by Colin Fennelly’s first score of the afternoon.


58 mins — Tipperary 3-18 Kilkenny 0-18: Barry Heffernan hoovers up possession again and turns it into a chance for Mark Kehoe, who duly obliges.


60 mins — Tipperary 3-18 Kilkenny 0-19: Smashing defending by Paudie Maher who makes a big block to deny Walter Walsh a great goal opportunity, and then gathers possession to drive out from the back.

Kilkenny win it back and Padraig Walsh points. Eight points between them, 10 minutes to play.


62 mins — Tipperary 3-19 Kilkenny 0-19: Jake Morris gets in on the act now for Tipp. Kilkenny are going direct to try to find a way through but it’s not happening for them.


63 mins — Tipperary 3-20 Kilkenny 0-19: Bubbles! Tipp lead by 10.


65 mins — Tipperary 3-20 Kilkenny 0-20: Billy Ryan points for Kilkenny but it’s goals they need now.


68 mins — Tipperary 3-21 Kilkenny 0-20: Seamus Kennedy gets out in front of John Donnelly to win the ball, and feeds it to John McGrath who points.


68 mins — Tipperary 3-22 Kilkenny 0-20: Huuuuuge score from Ger Browne who bombs one over from midfield.


70 mins – Kilkenny free and TJ has no option but to go for goal. Blocked on the line by Ronan Maher. 


Three additional minutes and then Tipperary will be All-Ireland champions again.


70+2 mins — Tipperary 3-23 Kilkenny 0-20: Another Tipp sub, Willie Connors, gets in on the act. Final 90 seconds…


70+3 mins — Tipperary 3-24 Kilkenny 0-20: Willie Connors again!


Seamus Callanan taps over one last free — and that’s it! Tipperary are the All-Ireland senior hurling champions once again!

“It’s everything we’ve fucking dreamed of,” says Tipp captain Seamus Callanan live on RTÉ before catching himself. “Everything we’ve dreamed of.”

Some really lovely scenes on the line as Liam Sheedy is joined by his family to celebrate.

Tipperary are the champions for the 28th time as Seamus Callanan climbs the steps of the Hogan Stand to lift Liam MacCarthy and make his speech as the All-Ireland winning captain. There are a lot of people to thank!

Callanan finishes quite a lengthy list of thank yous with the traditional three cheers for Kilkenny and a proud Tiobraid Árann abú!

There’s gonna be some party tonight.

That’s all for now but stay with us over the course of the evening for much more reaction and analysis from Croke Park.

Congratulations to Tipperary — a phenomenal end to another thrilling summer!

About the author:

Niall Kelly


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