How they lined out

Irish Examiner - Sport - - GAA - John Fog­a­rty

1 E Mur­phy

IT MAT­TERED

Those five Kilkenny points be­tween the 48th and 54th min­utes, four of them which came from frees due to the pres­sure Tip­per­ary’s backs were un­der. Tipp did hit back with a cou­ple from Ja­son Forde but it was only a quirk in the sys­tem as Wal­ter Walsh added a quick brace.

CAN’T IG­NORE...

Kilkenny are gen­uine All-ire­land con­tenders now as much as Brian Cody was play­ing down this lat­est suc­cess: “If we played Tip­per­ary next Sun­day, could you pre­dict a win­ner? You couldn’t. That’s the way it works. We have im­proved as it went along, but have we to im­prove fur­ther be­fore we get to the first game of the cham­pi­onship? We have to im­prove a lot.”

GOOD DAY

Cody pointed to his younger play­ers who fig­ured strongly in the team’s sixth win on the trot but this, his ninth Di­vi­sion 1 ti­tle, was yet an­other vin­di­cat­ing per­for­mance for him as he re­builds an­other side.

BAD DAY

Tip­per­ary, ob­vi­ously. Their sec­ond-half dis­play stunk to high heaven. When the mo­men­tum never mind the mo­ti­va­tion should have been theirs head­ing to Nowlan Park they col­lapsed mid­way through the half and Kilkenny were on their way to an­other na­tional ti­tle. PHYSIO ROOM

Tip­per­ary’s Cathal Bar­rett ap­peared to be com­plain­ing about a ham­string prob­lem af­ter the game. Brian Cody hopes Richie Ho­gan will be fit to play some part in the Le­in­ster cham­pi­onship.

SIDE­LINE SMARTS

Tip­per­ary were silly in the first half with the high ball they were send­ing the way of Wil­lie Con­nors, who had a height dis­ad­van­tage against Paddy Dee­gan. Eoin Mur­phy’s puck­outs were far bet­ter than Daragh Mooney’s and he used the wind to bet­ter ef­fect.

BEST ON SHOW

Dee­gan was just ex­quis­ite, an al­most flaw­less per­for­mance. Reid showed he was Kilkenny’s leader once more while James Ma­her and Cil­lian Buck­ley ex­celled in the sec­ond half. Ja­son Forde was a pres­ence but wasn’t go­ing to save Tip­per­ary on his own.

MAN IN THE MID­DLE

Alan Kelly ap­plied the rules when it came to over-car­ry­ing and barg­ing but was too heavy­handed in other parts of his of­fi­ci­at­ing.

NEXT UP?

Kilkenny start their Le­in­ster cham­pi­onship against Dublin in Par­nell Park on May 1W. Tip­per­ary open their Mun­ster SHC cam­paign against Lim­er­ick in the Gaelic Grounds on May 20.

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