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JOURNEY WITH US back through the mists of time to a September Sunday from five years ago when this modern Tipperary and Kilkenny hurling rivalry really took off.

We’re live (in a retro sort of way) with all the action from Croke Park.

As always, we’d love to hear your comments. Send them to fintan@thescore.ie, tweet them @TheScoreGAA, find us on Facebook, or leave a comment below.


Afternoon and welcome along to our coverage of the 2009 All-Ireland senior hurling final. Or should that be welcome back in time? Either way we’re going all retro as we go minute-by-minute for the clash from five years ago that really started this modern hurling rivalry between Kilkenny and Tipperary.

It’s a super September Sunday relived on a Thursday afternoon. Throw-in coming up at 3.30pm.

So here’s how Kilkenny shaped up:

PJ Ryan

Michael Kavanagh
JJ Delaney
Jackie Tyrell

Tommy Walsh
Brian Hogan
John Tennyson

Derek Lyng
Michael Rice

Richie Hogan
Henry Shefflin
Eoin Larkin

Eddie Brennan
Richie Power
Aidan Fogarty

And here’s Tipperary’s side.

Brendan Cummins

Paddy Stapleton
Pauric Maher
Paul Curran

Declan Fanning
Conor O’Mahony
Brendan Maher

James Woodlock
Shane McGrath

Pat Kerwick
Seamus Callanan
John O’Brien

Noel McGrath
Eoin Kelly
Lar Corbett

Diarmuid Kirwan is the man in the middle officiating this game.

Let’s remind ourselves just what form the teams were in before this game. Kilkenny were chasing a four-in-a-row after title wins in 2006 over Cork, 2007 over Limerick and 2008 over Waterford. Tipperary hadn’t lifted the Liam MacCarthy Cup since 2001.

2009 was a summer where Kilkenny beat Galway in a gripping Leinster semi-final by 2-20 to 3-13 despite Joe Canning hitting 2-9 that night in Tullamore. They then had six points to spare over Dublin in the Leinster final and enjoyed a 2-23 to 3-15 All-Ireland semi-final victory against Waterford.

Tipperary retained their Munster title thanks to a three-point win over Cork, a two-point win over Clare and a four-point win over Waterford. Then they crushed Limerick 6-19 to 2-7 in the All-Ireland semi-final.

Of course the previous May the sides had served up a classic league final clash. Just the six goals and 43 points served up in an epic that went all the way to extra-time.


It wasn’t the greatest day weather wise in Dublin on September 6th 2009. But thankfully the rain began to halt just before throw-in.

Speaking of throw-in, let’s do this then shall we? We’re away for the 2009 All-Ireland final.

Early changes all over the Kilkenny attack as they shoved Henry inside to the full-forward line and brought out Eddie Brennan.

Remember Pat ‘Festy’ Kerwick? Well, he had the first shot of the day but the ball drifted wide. That inaccuracy wasn’t a sign of things to come.

This was the day when physicality, intensity and ferocity were lifted to another level. Seamus Callanan met with a withering shoulder into his midriff by Jackie Tyrell early on. He was down for quite a while before then coming back up for air.

Kilkenny 0-1 Tipperary 0-0
5 mins – And the scoring is under way! King Henry slots a free. His scoring rates haven’t exactly dropped in the intervening years.

OOOF! James Woodlock goes to the ground after Tommy Walsh’s hurley collides with James Woodlock’s helmet. Looked accidental to be fair.

Kilkenny 0-1 Tipperary 0-1
8 mins – ‘One of the great freetakers of all time’, was Michael Duignan’s description in the commentary of Eoin Kelly and the Mullinahone man showed why with his opening free of the day.

Henry got a sniff of a goal early on when the got in behind Pauric Maher and whipped a low shot that Cummins tipped away. Then he missed the resultant ’65. Mortal after all.

Tipperary 0-2 Kilkenny 0-1
13 mins – It was a bit of a slow-burner this one on the scoreboard. Just the three points in the first 13 minutes and all of those frees with Kelly (2) and Shefflin (1) on target.

The combat was ferocious though, defence choking the life out of attacks.

Tipperary 0-3 Kilkenny 0-1
14 mins – And there is was! The first point of play for the day. Lar gets clear of Tommy – those two would face each other in Croke Park again – and points in style. Not a bad old point in response from Eddie Brennan, the lad off The Sunday Game these days, either.

Tipperary 0-4 Kilkenny 0-3
15 mins – He hasn’t been a key figure this year due to injury but in 2009 Eoin Kelly was THE man in the Tipp attack. This time he whacks over a great point from the Cusack Stand side. Then Tommy Walsh steps forward and bombs one over from distance.

Kilkenny 0-6 Tipperary 0-4
19 mins – We saw this so much in the 06-09 era from Kilkenny. Opponents started sprightly but then Cody’s charges opened their shoulders. Larkin, Brennan and Shefflin all on target and all pointing. Looked like they’d taken the sting out of Tipp.

A little cameo around the middle when Shane McGrath got the ball but was hit with a couple of furious Kilkenny tacklers. Fire and brimstone aplenty as referee Diarmuid Kirwan let the game flow incessantly.

Tipperary 0-7 Kilkenny 0-6
24 mins – Back in 2001, Eoin Kelly and Lar Corbett were the young ‘uns in the Tipperary team being looked after by elder statesmen like Declan Ryan and Tommy Dunne. Eight years on they were the main men having endured plenty of lean years. Showed leadership in spades though in taking the fight to Kilkenny. Kelly from a free, Corbett from play and Kelly again to put Tipp back ahead.

Remembers the day when there were no helmets? Michael Kavanagh wasn’t backing down here.

Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

Kilkenny 0-8 Tipperary 0-8
25 mins – How hard did Kilkenny have to work for points? Derek Lyng and Richie Hogan had to ship a lot of challenges before notching those points. Then Kelly split the posts and we were level. Tipp refused to go away.

Tipperary 0-10 Kilkenny 0-8
30 mins – Kelly or Corbett, made little difference to Tipp who got the scores that day. What was certain was that pair flew out of the traps from the off. Kelly knocked a free after Lar was fouled and the Lar skated down the right wing before launching over a beauty. Tipp were really happy with a half hour gone.

Kilkenny 0-11 Tipperary 0-10
31 mins – That’s why Kilkenny were the champs. Questions were asked and they answered emphatically with Shefflin, Brennan and Shefflin again pointing.

Tipperary 0-11 Kilkenny 0-11
35 mins – James Woodlock hasn’t had the easiest of sporting rides since the 2009 All-Ireland final. Injuries stalled his progress but back then he was first showing the bustling, dynamic midfield play that he’s produced this summer. On this occasion he cut Kilkenny’s defence apart and set up Eoin Kelly who lofted a stunning over-the-shoulder point.

Half-Time: Kilkenny 0-13 Tipperary 0-11
Shefflin and Power pushed Kilkenny ahead at the break.

So it was delicately poised at the break then. Kilkenny had been pushed all the way by Tipp but that rate of scoring was phenomenal.

So the 2nd-half of the 2009 All-Ireland final is about to start. I’ve no idea what will happen but I’ll liveblog it anyway. Could Benny Dunne and Martin Comerford have a role to play in influencing the outcome?

82,106 packed into Croke Park that day. No one was budging for the second-half.

WHAT…A…SAVE…Seamus Callanan looks odds on to score but PJ Ryan defies belief to tip the ball away.

Tipperary 0-14 Kilkenny 0-13
42 mins – This is why Tipp fans started to believe they were going to win the All-Ireland. Despite that goal miss they kept powering on with Callanan making amends for that goal miss as he banged over a brace and then Shane McGrath nudged them ahead.

And there was another big goal chance! Great play by Lar Corbett as he sent a super pass to Eoin Kelly but his low shot was tipped away by PJ Ryan. You’d have backed him to net there.

Kilkenny 0-15 Tipperary 0-15
47 mins – We had a game now, ladies and gentlemen. Shefflin and Kelly swapped points, then Richie Hogan brought us level. Balanced on a knife edge was this game.

Benny Dunne is on for Tipp, John O’Brien departs the fray.

TJ Reid and Michael Fennelly were only subs back then. Those young lads came on.

Tipperary 0-17 Kilkenny 0-15
52 mins – Midway through the second-half and Tipperary’s belief grew even more. Kelly and Lar again the men with points.

Tipperary 0-17 Kilkenny 0-16
53 mins -That’s what Michael Fennelly is doing now and showing glimpses of back then. A fine point from a player who is now an outstanding component in the Kilkenny setup.

Uh-oh. Wild pull there by Benny Dunne.

And it’s a red card! Benny Dunne off for that foul on Tommy Walsh.

Tipperary 0-17 Kilkenny 0-17
55 mins – Were they headed for a draw? Shefflin smacks over the free.

Tipperary 0-20 Kilkenny 0-17
59 mins – What a response by Tipp. Kelly landed yet another brace and then Callanan pounced for another point.

Tipperary 0-20 Kilkenny 0-18
60 mins – TJ Reid retrieved a point for Kilkenny.

Tipperary 0-21 Kilkenny 0-19
63 mins – McGrath and Shefflin swapped points. Tipp still in control.

Penalty for Kilkenny! Tipp are furious!

Was there a more controversial penalty call in an All-Ireland hurling final? Tipp fans will still protest this one as it looked like Paul Curran had stood up Richie Power but Diarmuid Kirwan had other ideas.



Kilkenny 2-19 Tipperary 0-21
65 mins – And that was that. Shefflin smashed home the penalty but then to hammer home the blow for Kilkenny, the ball was fired downfield by Mick Kavanagh and spilled loose. It was seized by Eoin Larkin and ferried in to Martin Comerford who smashed home.

Kilkenny 2-20 Tipperary 0-23
68 mins – Points traded with McGrath, Tyrell and Kelly all scoring. The Cats were ahead by three.

Kilkenny 2-22 Tipperary 0-23
70 mins – And that sealed it. Eoin Larkin popped up with a brace.

FULL-TIME: Kilkenny 2-22 Tipperary 0-23

That’s that. Kilkenny secured the four-in-a-row while there was devastation for Tipperary. Five years on and that penalty call still looks like a huge moment in the game. Kilkenny would be back for a five-in-a-row attempt the following year but couldn’t quite manage it as Tipperary had their revenge.

Thanks for stepping back in time with us this afternoon. Now back to the modern day and we’ll look forward to Sunday in Croke Park for the 2014 version.

About the author:

Fintan O'Toole