All Ireland Final

Tipperary hurlers crush Cats in All Ireland decider

Tipperary are All Ireland hurling champions for the 28th time after a comprehensive win over a 14-man Kilkenny side in the rain-soaked final at Croke Park.

The Cats led by five points after 21 minutes but a well-timed goal and a controversial sending off swung momentum towards Tipperary who went on to claim their third title of the decade.

Brian Cody's men had the better of a scrappy opening period but a goal from Niall O’Meara kickstarted Tipp’s revival. Then, just before half-time, former Hurler of the Year Richie Hogan was dismissed for a high challenge on Tipperary’s corner-back Cathal Barrett.

Niall O’Meara celebrates after scoring one of Tipperary’s three goals in the All Ireland hurling final at Croke Park. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Niall O’Meara celebrates after scoring one of Tipperary’s three goals in the All Ireland hurling final at Croke Park. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Tipperary led by a point at the interval, 1-09 to 0-11 but, like their old rivals have so often done to them, they came storming out in the third quarter.

Captain Seamus Callanan and John 'Bubbles' O’Dwyer, heroes of the 2016 win against the Cats but ineffective until that point, struck 1-01 apiece to send Tipp streaking eight clear by the 42nd minute.

Kilkenny needed goals after that but Tipperary used the extra man to good effect, Ronan Maher superb in restricting Colin Fennelly to a single point on the day and, though TJ Reid led the fight to the end, Tipp’s substitutes again all got in on the scoring spree to close it out comfortably by 14 points.

Also Read: Aussie Irish women dominate at GAA World Games

Tipperary manager Liam Sheedy said his players had answered their critics.

"People have questioned their character, and their ability to go into the trenches," the Tipperary manager told RTÉ Sport's Clare MacNamara after the game

"Today they gave all the answers inside the white lines, and ultimately it's not about me, it's about that wonderful group of players that have given me everything since the middle of November.

"Thankfully they get their just rewards today."

Veteran Kilkenny master coach Brian Cody said Tipperary were the superior side, but stressed that losing Hogan was an important moment in the game.

"Richie was sent off and that obviously changed the complexity of the game in a serious way," he told RTÉ Sport after the game.

When asked if it was a harsh call, Cody replied: "I wasn't expecting a red card, I was very close to it obviously. I can't definitively say, I'm not going to start making excuses or crying about things either.

"The only thing I will say is you need to be very, very certain to issue a red card. And there was a big discussion for quite a while between the referee and linesman. He went over, examining people and everything else.

"Obviously he wasn't too sure himself but you'd want to be very, very sure to issue a red card." 

The defeat completed a miserable day for Kilkenny after their Minor team was hammered by an impressive Galway outfit, 3-14 to 0-12.