Kilkenny's Kellyanne Doyle and Danielle Morrissey celebrate after the game PICTURE: Ryan Byrne/INPHO
Kilkenny came good in the second half to return to the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship Final for the sixth time in the last seven seasons.
Michelle Quilty was the star of the show, scoring a goal and nine points, but the Noresiders took some time to deal with the Tipperary challenge and it was only in the last quarter that they put significant distance between themselves and their opponents.
It was a fantastic effort by Tipperary for a long way though and they got the perfect start, playing with an assurance and showing courage in not adopting a sweeper against the free-scoring Cats, a decision influenced in some part no doubt by having the wind in their favour.
They caused quite a bit of discomfort in the Kilkenny defence right throughout the opening period and registered the opening two points as they went toe-to-toe with the heavily-fancied Cats.
Things got even better in the eighth minute, when Orla O’Dwyer was adjudged to have been fouled and Aoife McGrath’s free from outside the 65 appeared to fly all the way to the net, much to the disappointment of Kilkenny netminder Emma Kavanagh.
Kilkenny didn't shirk in the battle though, hitting the next four scores to move in front. Miriam Walsh was Kilkenny’s most influential figure in that opening period, winning most of her tussles with Julieanne Bourke and involved as Quilty (free), Katie Power and Anne Dalton pointed. The powerful Tullaroan forward then won possession 40m out when she had no right to do so, and set off a chain of that involved Denise Gaule and Power, and ended with Quilty rounding Caoimhe Bourke before hand-passing to the net in the 21st minute.
Although Tipp took the lead again Kilkenny finished the half strongest. Anne Dalton grabbed her sixth goal of the campaign, scooping the sliotar over a diving Caoimhe Bourke, to make it 2-9 to 1-8 at the change of ends.
With the wind at their backs Kilkenny extended their advantage in the second half. Denise Gaule hit six points, five from play, while Katie Power and Kellyanne Doyle also raised white flags. Late goals from Orla O'Dwyer and Karen Kennedy drew Tipp closer, but Kilkenny were already Croke Park-bound by then.
SCORERS: Kilkenny - Michelle Quilty (1-9, 0-7 frees); Denise Gaule (0-6, 0-1 free); Anne Dalton (1-1); Katie Power (0-2); Edwina Keane, Anna Farrell, Kellyanne Doyle (0-1 each). Tipperary - Cait Devane (0-6, frees); Eibhlís McDonald (0-3); Orla O’Dwyer, Karen Kennedy (1-0 each); Aoife McGrath (1-0 free); Megan Ryan, Niamh Treacy, Ereena Fryday (0-1 each).