Brian Óg O'Dwyer (Rosegreen) setting up a Tipperary Gold attack supported by Jack Hassett (6), Ruben Burke (2) and Eoin Wyse (5). Photo: John Whelton.
In a thrilling finale to the game, an unanswered tally of 1-4 in the closing stages proved just enough to get Tipperary Gold over the line by the narrowest of margins against Kilkenny Amber in this third round Celtic Challenge game which took place in Cashel, winning 2-15 to 3-11 .
After some initial pressure on the Kilkenny defence, the home side notched the first score of the game from a pointed free by Stephen Browne. This was followed swiftly with a goal from Kilkenny Amber by B. Dowling to give his side a lead that would not be overtaken until the dying minutes.
Some strong and skilful hurling by Kilkenny Amber in the middle third of the field allied with some excellent support play made life very difficult for Tipperary Gold for the remainder of the first half.
This pressure culminated in a run of five unanswered points by the Kilkenny lads, three from R. Murphy and two from K. O’Neill, before a goal from a well struck penalty from Tipperary’s Daniel Moloney and a point from a free from team mate Jack Hassett clawed back some of the deficit to leave the half time score Kilkenny Amber 1-8 Tipperary Gold 1-5.
Moloney opened the second half with a point from play for Tipperary Gold to narrow the gap to two points only for his score to be matched by a pointed free for Kilkenny by R. Murphy.
Tipperary points from Christy McDonagh, Stephen Browne and Jamie Holloway levelled matters as Tipperary Gold got into their stride but in typical Kilkenny fashion they struck for a goal by K O’Neill at a crucial time thereby regaining their three points advantage.
Both sides then traded points and just as Tipperary Gold were again beginning to exert themselves on the game another goal for Kilkenny Amber, this time by V O’Grady, maintained the Kilkenny advantage which was added to by a point from O. Carroll to put the visitors six points up.
The game then turned. Whereas its closing stages belonged to Tipperary Gold on the scoreboard the exchanges on the field between both sides were intense with some lovely hurling being played by all on view.
Two points from Stephen Browne, one from Jamie Holloway and a fine goal from Kieran Lyons levelled matters. Under intense pressure a further point from Jamie Holloway just before the end of normal time edged his side in front. Injury time was frantic but the Tipperary lads maintained their lead and just about held out for a narrow victory against a very good Kilkenny Amber team.
Best and Fairest Awards.
Kilkenny Amber: Kieran O’ Neill
Tipperary Gold: Stephen Browne
Tipperary Gold Panel – Jack Whelton (Aherlow); Ruben Burke (Knockavilla Donaskeigh Kickhams); Aaron O’Sullivan (Carrick Swan); David Harold Barry (Galtee Rovers); Eoin Wyse (Cahir); Jack Hassett (Killenaule) (0-1, 1F); Leon Kennedy (Grangemockler Ballyneale); Brian Óg O’Dwyer (Rosegreen); Francie Delaney (Cahir) (0-01); Daniel Moloney (Cashel) (1-3, 1P); Christopher McDonagh (Cahir) (0-01); Paul Nolan (Sean Treacy’s); Cian Robinson (Carrick Swan); Kieran Lyons (Ballingarry) (1-0); Declan Hayes (Ballingarry); Jack Breen (Knockavilla Donaskeigh Kickhams); Jamie Holloway (Carrick Swan) (0-3); Kevin Cleary (Rockwell Rovers); Cathal O’Mahoney (Fethard); Josh Browne (Knockavilla Donaskeigh Kickhams); David Barry (St. Mary’s); Dara Ryan (Ballingarry); Ciarán Moroney (Fethard); Fabian Kerton (Clonmel Óg); Sean Leahy (St. Mary’s); Pauric Brosnan (Cashel King Cormacs); Paudie Bradshaw Éire Óg Annacarty Donohill); Adam Ryan (Rosegreen); Stephen Browne (Knockavilla Donaskeigh Kickhams) (0-6, 4F);
Kilkenny Amber – D. Hogan: JP. Gamble; E. Delehunty; T. Carroll; O. Carroll (0-2); T. Leahy; S. O’ Neill (0-1); B. Dowling (1-0); R. Murphy (0-6, 4F); LB. Doyle; K. O’Neill (1-2); P. Brennan; V. O’ Grady (1-0); M. Gannon; O. Egan.