Go figure . . .
1999 League final: Cork - 9-19 Tipperary - 2-7
1999 All-Ireland final: Tipperary - 0-12 Kilkenny - 1-8
Much has been made of Tipperary's transformation from their embarrassing league final defeat to Cork to All-Ireland finalists and now All-Ireland champions. Much, too, has been made of the influence of recently-retired Tipperary inter-county stars Michael Cleary (above embracing Noelle Kennedy after the final whistle) and Colm Bonnar, who joined the backroom team after the league defeat. Both double All-Ireland winners, Cleary won four consecutive All Stars from 1991 to '94. Tipperary coach Biddy Philips was playing down the catastrophic league final defeat this week in the Nenagh Guardian. "We hadn't done much up to the (league) final and it just happened that we got to the final. We then decided to get the club championship out of the way and prepare well for the All-Ireland series, knowing we had a reasonable chance of getting to the final because of the way the draw worked out."