Classy Cats win extraordinary match

John Knox

Reporter:

John Knox

Reach for the dictionary and stick with the adjectives because the words must be all about mighty and wonderful deeds from this unbelievable National Hurling League game at Nowlan Park this afternoon in which Kilkenny beat arch rivals Tipperary by 5-20 to 5-14.

Reach for the dictionary and stick with the adjectives because the words must be all about mighty and wonderful deeds from this unbelievable National Hurling League game at Nowlan Park this afternoon in which Kilkenny beat arch rivals Tipperary by 5-20 to 5-14.

Led by the brilliant Colin Fennelly at centre-forward, who enjoyed his best ever day in the colours when he scored 3-5 from play, the Cats brought about a 16 point change to claim their first win.

Tipp ripped the home defence asunder during the opening half, with Seamus Callanan their deadliest finish. He helped himself to 2-2 as their slick hurling shot them into a 4-9 to 1-8 lead by the 29th minute while playing with the wind.

Kilkenny finished the half with a goal from Henry Shefflin, created by Jonjo Farrell, and then a point from Shefflin to go in for the rest better off than they might have expected (4-9 to 2-9).

When the game resumed Kilkenny had substituted Tommy Walsh and Brian Hogan from their defence, and with Willie Phelan withdrawn earlier, that meant half the starting defenders were gone. On came Paul Murphy, Richie Hogan and Cillian Buckley. Lester Ryan moved to centre-back.

Suddenly Kilkenny were motoring. They tore into the opposition. Eventually they caught up. It was in the 57th minute, and typical of the game, it was via a spectacular strike and goal from Colin Fennelly (5-12 to 4-15).

Twice subsequently the scores were level. Kilkenny hit for home in the 67th minute when Mark Kelly burst his way through the Tipp defence before booting the ball home from the edge of the square (5-17 to 5-14).

On they drove. Richie Hogan pointed. Colin Fennelly did likewise. Kilkenny finished with a point from Hogan to end a 44-score thriller.

Because of the way the second round results went, all counties are now level on two points each.

Scorers: Kilkenny - C. Fennelly (3-5); H. Shefflin (1-5); W. Walsh (0-5); M. Kelly (1-1); R. Hogan (0-2); T.J. Reid, P. Walsh (0-1 each). Tipperary - S. Callanan (3-6); N. McGrath (1-3); J. Forde (1-0); M. Cahill (0-2); J. Woodlock, P. Murphy, B. Maher (0-1 each).