Kilkenny captain Jackie Tyrrell lifts the Liam Mac Carthy Cup after the 2006 All-Ireland Final victory over Cork. Pic: Sportsfile
2006 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final- Kilkenny 1-16 Cork 1-13
It will forever be remembered as the day the Kilkenny Hurling Empire struck back and our beloved Liam was recaptured with dash, vigour and courage to the fore.
Kilkenny have scored many magnificent victories at Croke Park. They have beaten many a good team, but Sunday’s win over a great Cork side in one of the most tactical All-Ireland senior hurling finals of all time will rank with the very best from any era.
This was a high-stakes hurling contest played with the caution of a chess game between two grandmasters. There were slick moves and planned counter moves. There were errors and punishments.
All-Ireland final 2006 gripped Croke Park in a tense, chilling mood you could almost cut with a knife - and it lasted from first whistle to last.
And the end of it all, fiercely competitive Kilkenny had choked the life out of the opposition and claimed their 29th MacCarthy Cup win. A by-product was that they stopped Cork’s bid for the All-Ireland three in a row.
“This was about winning for ourselves, not stopping Cork,” insisted Kilkenny manager Brian Cody.
“Every year in Kilkenny you have to think about winning the All-Ireland. We were in a transition and had a new team, but never at any time did I say to myself no, the All-Ireland can’t be won.”
This was Mr Cody’s fourth All-Ireland win in six finals, which is a remarkable achievement. It was also Kilkenny’s third League and Championship double in his reign. Kilkenny were also unbeaten this season in competitive fare.
Teams & Scorers
Kílkenny - Henry Shefflin (0-8, 0-5 frees): Aidan Fogarty (1-3); Martin Comerford, Derek Lyng, James ‘Cha’ Fitzpatrick, Richie Power, Eddie Brennan (0-1 each).
Cork - Ben O’Connor (1-4, 0-1 free); Joe Deane (0-6, 0-5 frees); Jerry O’Connor, Niall McCarthy John Gardiner (0-1 each).
Kilkenny - James McGarry; Michael Kavanagh, Noel Hickey, Jackie Tyrrell (captain); James Ryall, John Tennyson, Tommy Walsh; James 'Cha' Fitzpatrick, Derek Lyng; Richie Power, Henry Shefflin, Eoin Larkin; Eddie Brennan, Martin Comerford, Aidan Fogarty.
Subs: Willie O'Dwyer for Larkin, 45 mins; Richie Mullally for Lyng, 68 mins.
Cork - Donal Óg Cusack; Brian Murphy, Diarmuid O'Sullivan, Pat Mulcahy; John Gardiner, Ronan Curran, Seán Óg Ó hAilpín; Tom Kenny, Jerry O'Connor; Timmy McCarthy, Niall McCarthy, Ben O'Connor; Neil Ronan, Brian Corcoran, Joe Deane.
Subs: Kieran Murphy for Ronan, 39 mins; Wayne Sherlock for Mulcahy, 47 mins; Cathal Naughton for McCarthy, 59 mins; Cian O'Connor for K Murphy, 64 mins; Conor Cusack for Kenny, 69 mins.
2007 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final- Kilkenny 2-19 Limerick 1-15
The climb was slow and arduous, and 103 long years after they won their first title Kilkenny find themselves at the head of the hurling pile.
Now they can truly be acclaimed as the ‘Top Cats’.
A golden run of five All-Ireland wins since the dawn of the Millennium has shot the marauding Cats into a hurling league all of their own. And you know what, the glittering run might not be finished yet!
The final steps to the summit in the Guinness All-Ireland senior hurling final at packed, heaving Croke Park on Sunday were taken with assurance and an almost cold-blooded attitude as brave Limerick were simply cut down.
This was defending champions Kilkenny in brilliant, hard, mean even, but above all assured form as they slammed the door shut on opponents who were simply outclassed.
The Kilkenny touch was faster and slicker than the oppositions. The hunger was more acute. Their vast experience was a factor too.
TEAMS & SCORERS
Kilkenny - Eddie Brennan (1-5); Henry Shefflin (1-2, 0-1 free); Eoin Larkin (0-4); Richie Power (0-4, 0-3 frees); Tommy Walsh (0-2); James ’Cha’ Fitzpatrick, Aidan Fogarty (0-1 each).
Limerick - Andrew O’Shaughnessy (0-7, 0-6 frees, 0-1 65); Ollie Moran (1-3); Donal O’Grady (0-2); Michael Fitzgerald, Sean O’Connor, Niall Moran (0-1 each).
Kilkenny - PJ Ryan; Michael Kavanagh, Noel Hickey, Jackie Tyrrell; Tommy Walsh, Brian Hogan, JJ Delaney; Derek Lyng, James ‘Cha’ Fitzpatrick; Willie O’Dwyer, Martin Comerford, Eoin Larkin; Eddie Brennan, Henry Shefflin (captain), Aidan Fogarty.
Subs: John Tennyson for Hickey (inj), 22 mins; Richie Power for O’Dwyer, 24 mins; Michael Fennelly for Shefflin (inj), half-time.
Limerick - Brian Murray; Damien Reale, Stephen Lucey, Séamus Hickey; Peter Lawlor, Brian Geary, Mark Foley; Dónal O’Grady, Mike O’Brien; Mike Fitzgerald, Ollie Moran, Seán O’Connor; Andrew O’Shaughnessy, Brian Begley, Donie Ryan.
Subs: Niall Moran for O’Brien, half-time; James O’Brien for O’Connor, 44 mins; Pat Tobin for Fitzgerald, 48 mins; Kevin Tobin for Ryan, 55 mins; Mark O’Riordan for Lawlor, 67 mins.
2008 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final- Kilkenny 3-30 Waterford 1-13
Hurricane Kilkenny wreaked havoc as it swept across the hurling landscape on Sunday. And the devastating Cats ended up being blown to the top of the hurling world.
Packed Croke Park never witnessed the likes as challengers Waterford, who were appearing in their first final in 45 years, were simply blown away.
Relentless and brilliantly focussed, Kilkenny completed the All-Ireland senior hurling championship three in-a-row and annexed their 31st title to go top of the all time winners list for the first time.
As well, Brian Cody’s stormtroopers became the first Kilkenny team to win six All-Irelands in the one decade, and the first Kilkenny team to win 14 consecutive championship games.
“That was about as good as it gets,” smiled Mr Cody afterwards when he surveyed the scene after what was generally agreed to be the best performance ever by a team in an All-Ireland final.
People weren’t sure afterwards whether or not the winning margin was a record. If it wasn’t, it was pretty close to it, but it was certainly the biggest in the modern era.
Teams & Scorers
Kilkenny - Eddie Brennan (2-4); Henry Shefflin (0-8, 0-5 frees, 0-1 65); Eoin Larkin (1-4); TJ Reid (0-4); Derek Lyng, Aidan Fogarty (0-3); James 'Cha' Fitzpatrick, Richie Power (0-2 each).
Waterford - Eoin Kelly (1-9, 0-9 frees), John Mullane (0-3), Dave Bennett (0-1).
Kilkenny - PJ Ryan; Michael Kavanagh, Noel Hickey, Jackie Tyrrell; Tommy Walsh, Brian Hogan, JJ Delaney; James 'Cha' Fitzpatrick (captain), Derek Lyng; Martin Comerford, Richie Power, Eoin Larkin; Eddie Brennan, Henry Shefflin, Aidan Fogarty.
Subs: TJ Reid for Comerford (inj), 43 mins; James McGarry for Ryan, 61 mins.
Waterford - Clinton Hennessy; Eoin Murphy, Declan Prendergast, Aidan Kearney; Tony Browne, Ken McGrath, Kevin Moran; Michael Walsh, Jamie Nagle; Dan Shanahan, Seamus Prendergast, Stephen Molumphy; Eoin McGrath, Eoin Kelly, John Mullane.
Subs: Shane O'Sullivan for Nagle, half-time; Jack Kennedy for Prendergast, half-time; Paul Flynn for E McGrath, 52 mins; Dave Bennett for Shanahan, 64 mins; Tom Feeney for Prendergast.
2009 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final- Kilkenny 2-22 Tipperary 0-23
The figures prove all. There are no peers. Kilkenny are the greatest hurling team ever!
The ascent to that preeminent position was laboured, brilliant and breathtaking too. It is possible there have been easier ascents to the summit of Everest, because this was a contest of extraordinary dimensions involving extraordinary deeds of valour by both sides.
Kilkenny had to earn that status the hardest of hard ways by surviving the most searching test any team has possibly ever received in Croke Park when they toppled mighty Tipperary in a riveting All-Ireland senior hurling final.
Victory earned the Cats a magical fourth victory on the trot, a feat achieved only once before by Cork in 1941,1942,1943 and 1944. Ah, but with Kilkenny there was more besides.
Ten minutes from the end, Tipp must have thought they had the MacCarthy Cup in their grasp when second half sensation Seamus Callanan clipped a point, giving Tipp a 0-20 to 0-17 lead.
Everything changed in the final eight minutes, when two goals in 90 seconds changed the game's complexion. Henry Shefflin blasted a rocket of a penalty to the net. The deafening cheer had barely died down when the ball was in the Tipp net again, Martin Comerford plundering a one-on-one when put clear by an exquisite Eoin Larkin pass.
TEAMS & SCORERS
Kilkenny - Henry Shefflin (1-9, 1-0 pen, 0-7 frees); Martin Comerford (1-0); Eoin Larkin (0-3); Eddie Brennan, Richie Hogan (0-2 each); Tommy Walsh, Jackie Tyrrell, Derek Lyng, Richie Power, TJ Reid, Michael Fennelly (0-1 each).
Tipperary - Eon Kelly (0-13, 0-7 frees, 0-2 65s), Lar Corbett (0-4), Seamus Callanan (0-3), Noel McGrath (0-2), Shane McGrath (0-1).
Kilkenny - PJ Ryan; Michael Kavanagh, JJ Delaney, Jackie Tyrrell; Tommy Walsh, Brian Hogan (captain), John Tennyson; Derek Lyng, Michael Rice; Richie Hogan, Henry Shefflin, Eoin Larkin; Eddie Brennan, Richie Power, Aidan Fogarty.
Subs: TJ Reid for Fogarty, 49 mins; Michael Fennelly (captain) for Lyng, 51 mins; Martin Comerford for Hogan, 55 mins.
Tipperary - Brendan Cummins; Paddy Stapleton, Pádraic Maher, Paul Curran; Declan Fanning, Conor O'Mahoney, Brendan Maher; James Woodlock, Shane McGrath; Pat Kerwick, Séamus Callanan, John O'Brien; Noel McGrath, Eoin Kelly, Lar Corbett.
Subs: Benny Dunne for O'Brien, 46 mins; Willie Ryan for Kerwick, 65 mins; Micheál Webster for Woodlock, 68 mins.
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