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Hat-trick for TJ but late O'Brien point sees Tipp force draw with Kilkenny in Semple thriller

Steven O’Brien’s late point rescued the home side in Thurles.

Alan Murphy and Colin Fennelly with Michael Cahill and Padraic Maher Padraic Maher bursts clear of Kilkenny challenges. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Tipperary 2-17
Kilkenny 3-14

Fintan O’Toole reports from Semple Stadium

A FRANTIC AND ENTHRALLING contest eventually concluded tonight with Tipperary and Kilkenny refusing to be separated, substitute Steven O’Brien’s 69th minute point for the home side proving to be the score that delivered a draw in this Division 1A Allianz Hurling League tie.

TJ Reid struck a hat-trick of goals – including two bullets to the net from penalties – as he finished with 3-5 but Kilkenny just missed out on staging an improbable comeback to victory.

John McGrath and Niall O’Meara both raised green flags in the first half for a rampant Tipperary team that were ahead by eight points at one juncture, 2-7 to 1-2.

However Kilkenny rallied to be only four points adrift at the interval and they grew in stature as the game progressed with Richie Hogan and Cillian Buckley becoming two of the most dominant performers on the pitch.

TJ Reid on his way to scoring a goal TJ Reid bursts through before being fouled for a penalty.

The game opened in frenetic fashion with McGrath and Reid exchanging goals in the first five minutes, the latter an outstanding strike past Tipperary goalkeeper Darragh Mooney.

However Tipperary then took over with McGrath and Dan McCormack especially prominent before O’Meara picked his spot for an expertly-taken goal in the 22nd minute, after John O’Dwyer displayed great vision to find him through on goal.

Reid stepped up forcefully for Kilkenny before the interval, firing home a penalty after Alan Murphy was fouled by Michael Cahill in the 30th minute, and clipping over some points to leave Kilkenny 2-11 to 2-7 adrift at the break.

Paddy Deegan, Conor Fogarty and Jason Cleere with Niall O’Meara Tipperary's Niall O'Meara cuts through the Kilkenny defence. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Tipperary maintained that margin on the scoreboard early in the second half before Kilkenny were awarded another penalty in the 52nd minute, Padraic Maher fouling Liam Blanchfield. Reid slammed home his third goal of the night and from there the match sparked into life with a pulsating finale ensuing.

Hogan and Callanan slung over some marvellous points from play before Kilkenny went ahead for the first time in the game when Cillian Buckley split the posts in the 66th minute.

Moments previously Eoin Murphy had made a splendid save to deny McGrath banging in his second goal for Tipperary and with accuracy eluding both teams, Kilkenny looked set to hold on for a narrow victory. Then O’Brien intervened and neither side were able to manufacture a winner from there.

Scorers for Tipperary: Seamus Callanan 0-6 (0-3f, 0-1 ’65), John McGrath 1-2, Niall O’Meara 1-1, Sean Curran, Dan McCormack 0-2 each, Noel McGrath, Padraic Maher, John O’Dwyer, Steven O’Brien 0-1 each.

Scorers for Kilkenny: TJ Reid 3-5 (2-0 pen, 0-4f), Richie Hogan 0-4, Cillian Buckley 0-3, Walter Walsh 0-2.

Tipperary

1. Darragh Mooney (Éire Óg Annacarty-Donohill)

25. John O’Keeffe (Clonoulty-Rossmore)
3. James Barry (Upperchurch-Drombane)
4. Michael Cahill (Thurles Sarsfields)

5. Tomás Hamill (Moyne-Templetuohy)
6. Ronan Maher (Thurles Sarsfields)
7. Padraic Maher (capt; Thurles Sarsfields)

8. Sean Curran (Mullinahone)
9. Michael Breen (Ballina)

10. Dan McCormack (Borris-Ileigh)
11. Niall O’Meara (Kilruane MacDonaghs)
12. Noel McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney)

13. John O’Dwyer (Killenaule)
14. Seamus Callanan (Drom & Inch)
15. John McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney)

Subs

17. Kieran Bergin (Killenaule) for Breen (35)
19. Jason Forde (Silvermines) for McCormack (55)
21. Seamus Kennedy (St Mary’s) for Cahill (58)
24. Steven O’Brien (Ballina) for O’Meara (67)

Kilkenny

1. Eoin Murphy (Glenmore)

2. Paul Murphy (Danesfort)
3. Padraig Walsh (Tullaroan)
4. Conor O’Shea (Clara)

5. Conor Fogarty (Erin’s Own)
6. Shane Prendergast (Clara)
7. Jason Cleere (Bennettsbridge)

8. Paddy Deegan (O’Loughlin Gaels)
9. Cillian Buckley (Dicksboro)

12. Colin Fennelly (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
10. Richie Hogan (Danesfort)
11. TJ Reid (Ballyhale Shamrocks)

13. Alan Murphy (Glenmore)
15. Walter Walsh (Tullogher Rosbercon)
14. Liam Blanchfield (Bennettsbridge)

Subs

24. James Maher (St Lachtain’s) for Alan Murphy (40)

Referee: James Owens (Wexford)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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