HAVING last year taken over from black and amber predecessor Eddie Keher as the highest scorer in championship history, Henry Shefflin is now homing in on yet another sharpshooting milestone – the most prolific scoring forward from play.
King Henry is currently in third spot but begins the final just two points behind second placed Christy Ring and six shy of Keher whose scoring records looked unbreakable until the present generation of flag-raisers produced Shefflin, John Mullane and Eoin Kelly.
Total: 192 Eddie Keher (Kilkenny); 19-135 (score); 50 (games); 3.84 (average).
188 Christy Ring (Cork); 26-110; 65; 2.89.
186 Nickey Rackard (Wexford) 44-54; 35; 5.31.
186 Henry Shefflin (Kilkenny); 21-123; 55; 3.38.
180 Tony Doran (Wexford); 41-57; 40; 4.50.
170 John Mullane (Waterford); 15-125; 46; 3.69.
158 Eoin Kelly (Tipperary); 16-115; 53; 2.98.
145 Lar Corbett (Tipperary); 26-67; 47; 3.08.
141 Eddie Brennan (Kilkenny); 26-63; 47; 3.00.
139 D.J. Carey (Kilkenny); 27-58; 57; 2.36.
139 Niall Gilligan (Clare); 15-94; 56; 2.48.
Top eight scorers from placed balls
FOR years Eddie Keher led every conceivable scoring chart but Sunday’s final could see the Kilkenny sharpshooter relegated to third place in the chart confined to championship scores from placed balls.
Tipperary’s Eoin Kelly needs just three points to inch into the silver medal position though Shefflin is the runaway leader in this department, becoming the first free-taker to break the ‘300’ barrier during the semi-final victory over Waterford.
Total: 303 Henry Shefflin (Kilkenny); 3-294 (score); 55 (games); 5.50 (average).
247 Eddie Keher (Kilkenny); 16-199; 50; 4.94.
245 Eoin Kelly (Tipperary); 4-233; 53; 4.62.
163 James Young (Laois); 6-145; 34; 4.79.
159 Paul Flynn (Waterford); 11-126; 46; 3.45.
150 D.J. Carey (Kilkenny); 7-129; 57; 2.63.
146 Ben O’Connor (Cork); 3-137; 58; 2.51.
134 Charlie McCarthy (Cork); 5-119; 44; 3.04.
Top 10 SHC appearances - 66 Brendan Cummins (Tipperary) 1995-2011; 65 Christy Ring (Cork) 1940-1962; 61 Tony Browne (Waterford) 1992-2011; 60 Davy Fitzgerald (Clare) 1990-2006; 58 Frank Lohan (Clare) 1995-2008; 58 Donal Og Cusack (Cork) 1999-2011; 58 Ben O’Connor (Cork) 1999-2011; 57 D.J. Carey (Kilkenny) 1990-2005; 57 Damien Fitzhenry (Wexford) 1993-2009; 56 Niall Gilligan (Clare) 1997-2009.
Top 10 referees - 48 Dickie Murphy (Wexford); 33 Barry Kelly (Westmeath); 32 Willie Barrett (Tipperary); 30 Pat Horan (Offaly); 29 Jimmy Rankins (Laois); 29 Pat O’Connor (Limerick); 29 Aodhán MacSuibhne (Dublin); 26 Willie Walsh (Waterford); 26 Terence Murray (Limerick); 25 Michael Wadding (Waterford).
Top 10 SHC appearances as a sub - 16 Daithi O’Connell (Clare); 15 Dan Shanahan (Waterford); 15 Cathal Naughton (Cork); 14 Benny Dunne (Tipperary); 13 Paul O’Brien (Waterford); 12 Billy Byrne (Wexford); 12 Neil Ronan (Cork); 11 Aidan Ryan (Tipperary); 11 Liam Cahill (Tipperary); 11 David Forde (Clare); 11 Ollie Baker (Clare); 11 Cathal Brophy (Laois).
Most capped brothers in SHC - 113 Doolleys’ (Offaly) Joe (52), Johnny (34), Billy (27); 112 Lohans’ (Clare) Frank (58), Brian (54); 108 O’Connors’ (Cork) Ben (58), Jerry (50); 107 Rackards’ (Wexford) Billy (41), Nickey (36), Bobby (29), Jimmy (1); 107 Hendersons’ (Kilkenny) Pat (40), Ger (39), John (38, 4 with Wicklow)*; 103 Fennellys’ (Kilkenny) Ger (34), Liam (31), Kevin (21), Sean (17); Whelehans’102 (Offaly) Brian (55), Simon (25), Barry (22); 101 Quigleys’(Wexford) Martin (41), John (29), Dan (20), Pat (9), Jim (2).
*John Henderson’s four Wicklow appearances qualify for inclusion as the All-Ireland ‘B’ SHC, unlike the Ring Cup, was part of the championship proper, the B winners joining the Liam MacCarthy Cup race at the quarter-final stage.
Jack Rochford’s roguish ruse
IN THE earlier days of GAA match reporting many scores were unaccounted for, newspapers often referring to a rushed goal or omitting to state who actually scored a particular point.
The ‘Examiner’ can shed light on one of the three Tipperary points unaccounted for in the 1909 All-Ireland hurling final.
Trawling through old newspapers earlier this year we came across a series of interviews conducted by John D. Hickey, many old-timers favourite GAA correspondent.
John D, sometime in the 1950s, travelled around the country conducting interviews with old hurlers and footballers of yesteryear.
Landing in Kilkenny, he called on a few hurlers who had won a host of All-Ireland medals in the early years of the century.
One was Jack Rochford of Threecastles, who along with the Doyles’ of Mooncoin and Dick ‘Droog’ Walsh had a then record seven Celtic Crosses in his possession.
Let John D. take up the story: “Earlier in the day I had been told that not even one goal had been scored off Jack in the seven All-Irelands in which he played full-back and as might be imagined that was my first feeler.
“But no sooner had I mentioned it than he sat bolt upright and warned: “Don’t print that, it’s not true. Danny Harrington of Cork got a goal off me in 1904.”
“Then I knew I was on safe ground, for if Jack was the boastful type he might have let me go uncorrected or even diplomatically not heard my statement.
“I did get a right good story out of him about the 1909 All-Ireland final against Tipperary in Cork. Near the end Kilkenny were leading by four points when the Munster men made an all-out effort for the equaliser.
“Suddenly the ball landed at Jack’s feet and thundering in after it came a host of Tipperary men, including Tom Semple, Hughie Shelly, Paddy Brolan, Tim Gleeson and Tom Kerwick. For once the Kilkenny full-back was in a dilemma – he knew if he hit out the ball it would be stopped and a goal rushed, and if he tipped it outside a 50 (as it was back then) would follow and very probably a goal.
“But Jack reacted more quickly than it takes to tell the story and to save the situation he craftily scooped the ball and scored a point for Tipperary. Sim Walton almost exploded at his team mate’s effrontery and Semple for Tipperary exclaimed: “That is too Irish, Rochford.”
“Rochford, however, was satisfied. He knew time was running out and from the puck-out Kilkenny broke away to score another goal and win by 4-6 to 0-12.”
Now that is what you call a crafty Cat.