All-Ireland SHC final: Five key moments that swung the game
Malachy Clerkin looks at the decisive minutes in Tipperary’s thrilling victory
Tipperary’s John McGrath celebrates scoring his side’s second goal during the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final clash with Kilkenny. Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho
11 minutes: Séamus Kennedy lands a point for Tipperary, a result of the first of countless turnovers forced inside Kilkenny territory. Paul Murphy plays a loose ball across the Kilkenny full-back line and Cillian Buckley is set upon by Bonner Maher as he tries to bring it under control. Tipp spoil around Buckley’s feet before the ball is worked to Kennedy for the score. It levels the scoreline at 0-4 each but more importantly, a flag has been planted.
18 minutes: Darren Gleeson saves from Colin Fennelly. By now, Tipp have had the better of the opening quarter but have hit six wides and had an easy free blocked. The sides are level and it looks like the first goal will blow the game open. TJ Reid pops up inside the Tipperary 20-metre line and flicks a neat pass to put Fennelly in on goal. His bounced shot is weak, however, and Gleeson turns it around for a 65.
42 minutes: Kevin Kelly scores the first goal of the day to push Kilkenny into a 1-14 to 0-15 lead. Richie Hogan makes the initial incision with an outrageous pick-up 30 metres out. He feeds Walter Walsh who puts Liam Blanchfield away. Blanchfield scoops the ball past the outrushing Darren Gleeson to find Kelly lurking on the edge of the square with an empty net in front of him. Having gone in at half-time two points down, Kelly’s goal looks like a significant move. Kilkenny 1-14 Tipp 0-15.
48 minutes: John O’Dwyer scores Tipperary’s first goal. Having responded well to the Kilkenny goal by scoring the next three points, this one is vital. Cathal Barrett is fouled coming out of defence but referee Brian Gavin waves play on and Barrett arrows a long diagonal ball to O’Dwyer who is out in front of Paul Murphy. The Tipp marksman takes advantage of Murphy losing his hurley to bear in on goal and finish low to Eoin Murphy’s left. Tipp 1-18 Kilkenny 1-14.
61 minutes: The second Tipperary goal kills the game. Again, it comes from Tipperary forwards hassling the Kilkenny defence into coughing up possession. Shane Prendergast tries and handpass to Cillian Buckley under pressure but Noel McGrath gets in for a sharp pick-up and shows incredible vision to put out his brother John in the clear. John’s finish is high past Eoin Murphy and Tipp are in the clear. Tipperary 2-25 Kilkenny 1-19.