SHC Final: Super Tipp claim 27th title

September 04, 2016

Kilkenny's Padraig Walsh with Noel McGrath of Tipperary

A quite amazing performance by Tipperary saw them beat Kilkenny by 2-29 to 2-20 in a pulsating contest at Croke Park this afternoon.

This final will live long in the memory as from start to finish both sides went for it, but Tipperary's second half performance saw them home comfortably.

Goals by John 'Bubbles' O'Dwyer and John McGrath paved the way for their success as part players were outstanding.

However, man of the match was without doubt Seamus Callanan scored 0-13, nine of which came from play.

The Tipperary full forward tormented Joey Holden throughout the game scoring some excellent points, but amazingly despite the dominance of the Tipp full forward line, Kilkenny manager Brian Cody opted not to make any changes in the full back line.

The first half went score for score and only two points separated the teams at half time.

Tipp came out in second half and hit the ground running and first Bubbles found the back of the net before McGrath who was played in by his brother Noel, who had an excellent game also, fired to the net as well.

Kevin Kelly and Richie Hogan netted for Kilkenny, but the Cats' forwards never really got to grips with the Tipp defence.

Both sides went 15 on 15 and it was evident from early on that this would be an open game. At half time, Tipp held a 0-14 to 0-12 lead, but they could have had a lot more on the scoreboard as they hit a number of wides.

The opening score came in the second minute when Callanan pointed from play, but debutante Kevin Kelly responded for Kilkenny a minute later.

This was to set the trend for the remainder of the half as the sides exchanged points for the majority of the opening period.

Kilkenny did hit the next two points as Reid pointed his first free of the day before Richie Hogan found space to tag on a point.

A brilliant piece of skill by Bubbles saw the Tipp forward cut a line ball over the bar from over 40 metres.

From the puckout, Walter Walsh gathered possession and scored a well-taken point to make it 0-04 to 0-02 after nine minutes.

The Premier County hit the next two scores though as Noel McGrath and Seamus Kennedy (his first ever point in the championship) raised white flags.

A Reid free edged Kilkenny back in front by the 18th minute, but John McGrath had the sides level two minutes later.

Eoin Larkin who worked tirelessly throughout found room to flick over a good score, before Callanan stepped up to score a fine point at the other end.

Colin Fennelly was played in by Reid and the Cats' full forward fired low but Darren Gleeson managed to get down and knock the ball out for a '65 which Reid converted.

Another beauty by Callanan made it 0-07 each by the 20th minute, however a free by Reid had the defending champions in front once again.

A brace of points by Bubbles were either side of a Larkin point for Kilkenny as the sides drew level for the ninth time.

Callanan was winning his duel with Joey Holden hands down as he notched another point in the 25th minute.

Kilkenny hit back with a fine effort from Cillian Buckley who swung over off his weaker left side, 0-10 each.

The industrious Dan McCormack finally found the target having had hit two wides earlier, but as was the case so often, Reid won and pointed a free at the other end.

Good hassling by the Tipp forwards allowed Patrick 'Bonnar' Maher race through and point, but once again a Reid free had the sides level.

Then a moment of brilliance from Callanan saw the Tipp full forward excellently gather possession before turning and flashing a shot over the bar.

Then Bubbles came out to convert a free from 85 metres and send Tipp to the dressingroom in a positive mood.

Three frees opened the second half scoring as Callanan's placed ball was followed by two similar scores by Reid.

Then, Kilkenny struck for the opening goal as Kelly scored the easiest goal of his career after good work by Hogan, Walter Walsh and Colin Fennelly.

This saw Kilkenny go two points clear, but in the next six minutes, the game swung in Tipp's favour.

Callanan scored twice from a free and play which sandwiched substitute Jason Barry's point and then Bubbles rattled the net with a low shot.

Padraig Maher scored from the wing before Reid brought it back to four points by the 52nd minute.

McGrath and Callanan added further points to leave the score 1-22 to 1-15. Padraig Walsh pulled a point back for the Cats, but they were always playing catch up from here on in.

Callanan and Walsh exchanged points. Noel McGrath then pointed as Reid managed a minor and then Forde got his second of the match to leave the score 1-25 to 1-18 by the 60th minute.

Kelly cut over a line ball from a tight angle. Then the third goal of the game arrived as good work by Noel McGrath saw him pass to his younger brother and John fired to the net.

Straight away Hogan whipped on a loose ball and scored a goal, but Tipp got the next score from Bubbles.

A Reid free on 68 minutes was Kilkenny's last score as Callanan scored his 13th point from out the field and Bonnar notched his second in the 70th minute.

Kilkenny looked for a goal, but the Tipp defence stood firm and the final whistle was greeted with huge cheer from the Tipperary contingent.

Tipperary - D Gleeson; C Barrett, J Barry, M Cahill; S Kennedy (0-1), R Maher, Padraic Maher (0-1); B Maher, M Breen; D McCormack (0-1), Patrick Maher (0-2), N McGrath (0-1); J O'Dwyer (1-5, 0-1f, 0-1sl), S Callanan (0-13, 3f, 1'65), J McGrath (1-3). Subs: J Forde (0-2) for M Breen, A McCormack for D McCormack, D Maher for M Cahill, K Bergin for N McGrath, T Hamill for S Kennedy.

Kilkenny - E Murphy; P Murphy, J Holden, S Prendergast; P Walsh (0-2), K Joyce, C Buckley (0-1); TJ Reid (0-11, 10f, 1'65), C Fogarty; W Walsh (0-1), R Hogan (1-1), E Larkin (0-2); K Kelly (1-2), C Fennelly, L Blanchfield. Subs: R Lennon for K Joyce, L Ryan for E Larkin.

Referee - B Gavin.

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