The club matches have been postponed until after September 4, the desperate search for tickets has begun and the colours are being resurrected and displayed, as the countdown to the All-Ireland Hurling Final gets underway.
Tipperary qualified for their third final in-a-row for the first time since 1960-62 when they beat Dublin by four points in Sunday’s semi-final at Croke Park to set up another showdown with Kilkenny on the first Sunday in September.
It will be the first time in history that the same opponents will meet in an All-Ireland Senior Final for the third successive year. Kilkenny won the McCarthy Cup for the fourth time in as many years when they beat Tipp in the 2009 final, only for the Premier County to shatter their dreams of the five-in-a-row in last year’s final.
Tipp’s participation in the final looked in doubt for a time on Sunday as they struggled against a tough Dublin team who pushed them all the way, and who now can be regarded as the third best team in the country.
They were grateful for an early goal from deadly assassin Lar Corbett to set them on their way, although it wasn’t until well into the second half that they began to pull clear.
Neither did Kilkenny look over-convincing when they beat Waterford by 6 points in the first semi-final the previous weekend.
All of that means that both teams are now exactly where they want to be – back in another final but with scope for improvement before the big day arrives on Sunday fortnight. Kilkenny will be thirsting for revenge after last year while Tipperary’s great incentive is to win back-to-back titles for the county for the first time since 1965.
The referee for the final will be Offaly’s Brian Gavin.
Last weekend’s semi-final in Croke Park was a special day for veteran goalkeeper Brendan Cummins, who made his 66th appearance in the championship to break Cork legend Christy Ring’s record.
Tipp have no reported no injuries after that bruising battle with Dublin. And with all club matches involving players from the panel postponed until after the final, the decks have now been cleared for what should be another great occasion.
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