Although the surreal atmosphere of Sunday evening has moved on, behind each dark cloud is a bright blue sky, one which will glow when the gloom has lifted. That, of course, wouldn’t have entered the minds at the time to the Premier faithful heading towards the exits after the fulltime whistle in Nowlan Park as all tried to comprehend the unexpected outcome just witnessed.
History will show Kilkenny claimed the Allianz League title following a 2-23 to 2-17 win over Tipperary before
an attendance of 17,608. Unfortunately, this was not the performance required or expected from a Tipp
perspective where an out of character second half showing put paid to any hopes of a title last held in 2008.
So a search for a win on Kilkenny soil still goes on, Tipperary wins are scarce with the following 9 dates the
only recorded positives; 6/3/1927 (St. James' Park), 29/3/1931, 5/4/1936, 23/3/1969, 7/10/1973, 15/11/1992,
13/4/2003, 4/3/2007 and 13/4/2008 (all Nowlan Park).
Jason Forde was again Tipperary's main scoring threat as he notched up 2-12 in what has been an exemplary
league campaign for the Silvermines clubman. In all Jason has contributed 7-72 for the league which also earned
him two man of the match awards for his performances. Padraic Maher (Thurles Sarsfields) and Noel McGrath
(Loughmore-Castleiney) were the other recipients of those match accolades in the course of another wise
extremely productive and satisfactory league campaign. Though other players may have hit a collective off day
on Sunday and with more chomping at the bit to get back into action following injury lay-off, the summer can
still be bright and beautiful before the Liam MacCarthy is presented to the All-Ireland champions in August for
which Tipperary are still serious contenders.
For now, though the focus and ambition turn immediately towards the revised Munster hurling championship,
where first up in a run of four weeks, is a visit to the Gaelic Grounds on May 20th, where Limerick provides the
opposition at 2pm. It has all the hallmarks of a thrilling summer and Tipperary will be in the thick of the action.
Let the games begin.
As a footnote to a reference of an item in last week’s ‘scene’ I wish to clarify that John Doyle (Holycross-Ballycahill) has 11 league medals and not the figure as previously indicated.