Cody the constant in Kilkenny’s success; McIlroy fails to show on final day in Memphis
Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team
Wexford’s Jack O’Connor nutmegs Cathal Barrett of Tipperary. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
So, after a scintillating All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, the destination for the Liam MacCarthy Cup comes down to a battle between Tipperary and Kilkenny in three weeks time. Kilkenny’s action-packed narrow win over All-Ireland champions Limerick on Saturday was only topped by a scintillating second semi-final yesterday which saw Tipperary overcome Wexford by the narrowest of margins. This morning Malachy Clerkin writes that Kilkenny’s domination might come and go but the key is that Brian Cody is always there. “Here’s Cody, back in another showpiece. Still ineffably, unmistakably, immortally Cody. Everything he was preaching as a rookie manager back in 1999 is everything that defined Kilkenny’s riotous 1-21 to 2-17 win over Limerick on Saturday night. Chasing, blocking, hooking, really working to make it happen,” he writes. On Sunday, after going down to 14 men and then conceding a goal to Lee Chin it looked like Tipp’s hopes were in tatters but Liam Sheedy’s men dug deep and turned things around, something that Nicky English writes was the difference between the teams. Meanwhile, in his TV column, Brian O’Connor writes that after all the talk of hurling’s modern new age, we look set for a proper old-school final.
On to golf and last night’s supposed showdown between Rory McIroy and Brooks Koepka at the WGC-FedExSt Jude Invitational never really materialised as the Northern Ireland man’s putter – which had been red hot over the first three days, especially during his third round 62 – went stone cold in a final round once again. McIlroy’s round of 71 allowed Koepka to cruise to a three-shot victory after a 65. Meanwhile, at Lahinch Monkstown’s Sean Desmond wielded his putter like McIlroy wished he could as he saw off Carton House’s Keith Egan by one hole to win the South of Ireland Championship.