Tipperary and Kilkenny go head-to-head for the GAA All-Ireland senior Hurling championship in what promises to be a truly fascinating contest in Croke Park on Sunday.
Kilkenny had claimed a magnificent four-in-a-row in 2009, beating Tipperary in dramatic fashion, but Tipperary went some way to make amends for that defeat by wrecking the Kilkenny side’s five-in-a-row dreams last year.
Now, Tipperary will take to the field attempting to retain their title for the first time since 1965 while Kilkenny will be hoping to win an astonishing 8th title since 2000, a sign of the massive dominance of senior hurling that they have enjoyed for the past decade.
They are both unbeaten up to this point and both recorded large margins of victory in their respective provincial finals.
Road to the final:
Munster quarter-final = Tipperary 3-22 Cork 0-23
Munster semi-final = Tipperary 4-19 Clare 1-19
Munster final = Tipperary 7-19 Waterford 0-19
All-Ireland semi-final = Tipperary 1-19 Dublin 0-18
Top scorer: Eoin Kelly 4-22
Road to the final:
Leinster semi-final = Kilkenny 1-26 Wexford 1-15
Leinster Final = Kilkenny 4-17 Dublin 1-15
All-Ireland semi-final = Kilkenny 2-19 Waterford 1-16
Top scorer: Henry Shefflin 1-25
Last year’s all-Ireland final:
Tipperary 4-17 Kilkenny 1-18
The end of Kilkenny’s five-in-a-row dream as Tipperary powered to victory in the second half. Kilkenny, who lost Henry Shefflin with an injured knee in the first half, trailed by a point, 1-10 to 1-9, at half-time but drew the scores level four minutes into the second half.
However, goals from Lar Corbett and Noel McGrath gave Tipperary a crucial advantage. The Tipp men finished strongly and roared over the finish line with Corbett’s third goal in the closing minute to seal a great day for the county.
The 2010 All-Ireland hurling final attracted 979,000 viewers for rte2. That’s more viewers than, amongst others, the FIFA World Cup final and the All-Ireland football final. The public awaits the rematch with anticipation this weekend.
Kilkenny starting line-up for Sunday: D Herity, P Murphy, N Hickey, J Tyrrell, T Walsh, B Hogan, JJ Delaney, M Fennelly, M Rice, E Brennan, R Power, H Shefflin, C Fennelly, E Larkin, R Hogan.
Tipperary starting line-up: B Cummins, P Stapleton, P Curran, M Cahill, J O’Keeffe, C O’Mahony, P Maher, G Ryan, S McGrath, S Callanan, N McGrath, P Maher, E Kelly, J O’Brien, L Corbett.
Sunday September 4th, Kilkenny v Tipperary, throw in 3.30 pm.