How they lined out
1 E Murphy
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.