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Dublin: 2°C Saturday 26 September 2020

Tipperary power to All-Ireland glory to claim 14-point win over Kilkenny

A full house in Croke Park watched the Premier outfit triumph today.

Niall O'Meara celebrates scoring Tipperary's first goal of the game.
Niall O'Meara celebrates scoring Tipperary's first goal of the game.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Tipperary 3-25
Kilkenny 0-20

AN AFTERNOON FEATURING heavy showers, a wave of goals and a finale with Tipperary lifting the Liam MacCarthy Cup.

It felt familiar, the hurling decade ending in a manner similar to how it began with Tipperary conquering Kilkenny on All-Ireland final day.

Nine years after he had masterminded that 2010 success, Liam Sheedy capped his return to the sideline by delivering another triumph for Tipperary. For the older crew on the pitch this was deeply satisfying as they collected their third medal with the names of Maher, McGrath and Callanan central to a victory that was truly emphatic by the finish.

It was a game balanced on a knife-edge during the first half but one ultimately shaped by a few incidents either side of the interval.

The first was a red card brandished in the direction of Richie Hogan. The Kilkenny forward punished for closing down Cathal Barrett underneath the Hogan Stand and catching the jaw of the Tipperary defender with his elbow. The Kilkenny camp protested vociferously to referee James Owens but the decision stood.

Kilkenny retired at the break a point down, 1-9 to 0-11, and more critically a man down. It was a setback from which they could not recover. Tipperary underlined the benefit of having a personnel advantage by effectively shutting the game down early in the second half.

Kilkenny did register the opening score of the half courtesy of a free from TJ Reid but then Padraic Maher launched a clearance from deep, Jason Forde and John McGrath carried it forward in turn and after a frenzied scramble it was Seamus Callanan who was alert to bundle home the latest goal of a stellar personal season.

Tipperary tacked on a few points and then pounced for their third goal in the 42nd minute. Callanan gathered on the right wing and demonstrated superb vision to pick out John O’Dwyer directly in front of goal. He finished with aplomb, Tipperary had raced ahead by 3-12 to 0-13 and they never looked like being pegged back thereafter. 

The rain cascaded down in the first half and compromised any hopes of a free-flowing spectacle ensuing. Kilkenny did not look perturbed though. Reid was relentless in knocking over points from frees while John Donnelly made a great impression at wing-forward as well. They were 0-8 to 0-3 ahead by the 19th minute and bossing the exchanges.

Tipperary required something to rouse them from their first-half slumber. The inspiration was not supplied by one of their marquee names, instead a lesser light came to the fore. Jason Forde popped possession to Niall O’Meara in the 26th minute and he surged forward, twisting a route past Conor Fogarty. He chose to forego the option to tap over a point and instead sent a shot skidding towards the bottom corner of the net to beat Eoin Murphy.

That hauled Tipperary back into contention. The complexion of the game changed dramatically with the red card and blast of goals, Tipperary setting the terms of engagement for the remainder of the action.

They had some towering defensive performances with the Maher brothers, Barry Heffernan and Cathal Barrett excellent in protecting the goalmouth. Brendan Maher stuck to his task of keeping tabs on Reid. Seamus Kennedy was highly influential and moved forward to land a brace of well-struck points.

The three-goal cushion was something Tipperary could always rely on. Donnelly and Walter Walsh fought hard to find gaps in the Premier rearguard but those clear routes did not become apparent.

For the second time in four seasons Tipperary savoured All-Ireland glory by a handsome winning margin.


Scorers for Tipperary: Jason Forde 0-8 (0-5f, 0-2 ‘65), Séamus Callanan (0-1f), John O’Dwyer 1-2 each, Niall O’Meara 1-0, John McGrath 0-3, Noel McGrath (0-1f), Séamus Kennedy, Willie Connors 0-2 each, Michael Breen, Ger Browne, Jake Morris, Mark Kehoe 0-1 each.

Scorers for Kilkenny: TJ Reid 0-11 (0-10f), John Donnelly 0-3, Billy Ryan 0-2, Pádraig Walsh, Richie Hogan, Colin Fennelly, Walter Walsh 0-1 each.


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

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

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

10. Dan McCormack (Borris-Ileigh)
12. Niall O’Meara (Kilruane MacDonaghs)
13. Jason Forde (Silvermines)

14. Séamus Callanan (Drom-Inch – captain)
11. John O’Dwyer (Killenaule)
15. John McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney)


23. Mark Kehoe (Kilsheelan-Kilcash) for O’Meara (51)
21. Willie Connors (Kiladangan) for McCormack (57)
25. Jake Morris (Nenagh Éire Óg) for Forde (60)
26. Seán O’Brien (Newport) for Barrett (61)
18. Ger Browne (Knockavilla-Donaskeigh Kickhams) for Breen (63)


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)


23. Billy Ryan (Graigue-Ballycallan) for Hogan (blood) (17)
Hogan for Ryan (19)
23. Ryan for Mullen (39)
21. Richie Leahy (Rower-Inistioge) for Buckley (48)
22. James Maher (St Lachtain’s) for Browne (54)
17. Conor Delaney (Erins Own) for Holden (58)

Referee: James Owens (Wexford)

About the author:

Fintan O'Toole  / Reports from Croke Park

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