Tipperary goals silence support in Kilkenny
Supporters in Kilkenny hotel gracious in defeat following nail-biting All-Ireland
Langton House Hotel in Kilkenny was packed out on Sunday for the All-Ireland hurling final. Photograph: Sarah Mooney
Crowds flocked to the Set Theatre in Langton House Hotel in Kilkenny for the All-Ireland hurling final on Sunday where the match was projected on to a giant screen.
“When you’re up in there, it’s nearly like you’re in the stands,” said Enya Kennedy (44), a regular spectator at the venue.
“They do well by the hurlers – the hurlers come here after their training and Langtons have been supporting hurling for forever.”
Walking through the labyrinth-like interior, the roar of the match and its spectators could be heard from all angles, as those decked out in black and amber watch from countless different rooms and screens.
People perched on steps with their drinks in semi-darkness, the light of the screen in front of them flickering over their faces. Though the rain pelted on the screen, they were warm and dry.
Spirits were high in the first 20 minutes as Kilkenny scored point after point, the noise deafening as hands were thrown triumphantly in the air, backlit by the bright screen.
A woman rocked back and forth nervously as one Kilkenny player prepared to take a free. People stood up as the ball neared a goalpost.
When Tipperary scored their first goal, a man mistakenly cheered. His quickly cut-off hurrah echoed in the silence that followed.
At half-time there was a rush towards the bar. Caroline Boland (25) was “nervous”. “The weather isn’t helping,” she said. “The first half was in Kilkenny’s favour, but then Tipperary got that goal. . .”
“It’s not over yet,” said Sabrina Kearney (33). “I was very disappointed with the send-off [of Richie Hogan] though.”
During the second half, the atmosphere grew increasingly tense as people watched with concerned faces. One man let out a stream of expletives following the referee’s decision to issue a yellow rather than red card to one Tipperary player.
Hope drained out of the room as Tipperary scored their third goal. As the match neared its end, a man frantically asked “What’s left?”, the time stamp on the screen just beyond his view.
Following the final whistle, quieted supporters dribbled out of the theatre.
“I’m really disappointed because it wasn’t a fair match at the end of it, when you only have 14 men,” said Enya Kennedy.
“Richie should not have been sent off – it was a yellow card but definitely wasn’t a red, and that made the difference in the whole thing.”
Pat Brennan (55) was feeling diplomatic.
“The talent comes in flourishes and we didn’t have the goal-scorers,” he said.
“I wouldn’t begrudge Tipperary an All-Ireland. I mean, they really work hard for it, they’re great sportsmen.”