It’ll be a close one, says this Tipp man

It must be tough for those from the Premier County to be in the midst of Cat heartland, but the Tipp native proprietors of Lanigan’s pub on Rose Inn Street seem to be holding their own.

It must be tough for those from the Premier County to be in the midst of Cat heartland, but the Tipp native proprietors of Lanigan’s pub on Rose Inn Street seem to be holding their own.

They even have a few black-and-amber flags out among the blue and gold.

Then again, their mother is from Kilkenny, noted Richie Lanigan, who runs the pub along with his siblings PJ and Ciara – and PJ is just back from his honeymoon after marrying a Graignamanagh woman.

There’s a great sense of history on the Tipp side, though. On Friday morning when we called to the pub, Richie proudly displayed his grandfather’s Bloody Sunday and All-Ireland medals dating back to 1920.

As for Sunday’s match, he’s expecting a full house in the pub, with mostly Kilkenny supporters and probably a few Tipp people just to keep things interesting.

“It’s going to be very very close,” Richie predicted. “If Kilkenny can hold Lar Corbett, Eoin Kelly and Noel McGrath, they are in with a real chance in my opinion. But having said that, the Tipp forwards were poor against Dublin, so if they have an off day again, Kilkenny could win this year.”

When pressed to make the call, he smiled: “Tipp have a great chance.”

The main thing is that, like close siblings, the two counties would rather battle it out against each other than anyone else – if only because it makes victory even more satisfying.

“There is always a great rivalry between Kilkenny and Tipp,” Richie said. “As much as Kilkenny people hate to admit it, they much prefer to beat Tipperary in a final than anyone else. They had four in a row and the sweetest was when they beat Tipp.”

He’ll surely feel likewise if Tipp can secure two-in-a-row in return.