Hurling and camogie

All-Ireland SHC final - how victorious Tipperary rated

Seamus Callanan celebrates after finding the back of the net for Tipperary after half-time yesterday. Picture by Philip Walsh
Neil Loughran

Brian Hogan: Made a smart save to deny Fennelly inside the opening two minutes, and was polished with his distribution. 7.5

Cathal Barrett: Held up Walter Walsh as he advanced on goal early on, and had a good tussle with Hogan before catching a shoulder from the same player in the jaw. Alongside Maher, swept up all before them after the break. 8

Barry Heffernan: Coughed up possession to gift Kilkenny an early score but was superb from there on in, denying Adrian Mullen any room to operate. 8.5

Ronan Maher: See Star Man

Brendan Maher: Has been Tipp’s designated man-marker all year, and had a good battle with TJ Reid. The Kilkenny man edged the early exchanges but Maher got on top and pushed forward when he could. 7.5

Padraic Maher: Struggled on Donnelly but did well when moved onto Walter Walsh. Supreme in the second half, producing a breathtaking block to stop Walsh’s goalbound shot before drawing a huge roar after emerging from the resulting ruck with the sliothar. 8

Seamus Kennedy: Started on Walsh but switched to Donnelly, and it paid off. Donnelly had been one of the Cats’ better players early on but was largely nullified by the St Mary’s man. 8.5

Noel McGrath: Just had too much class for Buckley, with his clever distribution and driving runs from deep opening space in the Kilkenny defence time and again. Brilliant throughout. 8.5

Michael Breen: Solid performance around the middle, though he and Conor Browne largely negated each other. Scored an early point. 6.5

Dan McCormack: Shooting wouldn’t be his strong suit, as evidenced by a poor wide before half-time, but was always an option on the wing, pushing Deegan back. 7

John O’Dwyer: Had a frustrating first half but made his mark early in the second with an instinctive finish from Callanan’s pass, and tormented Kilkenny from there on. 8

Niall O’Meara: Had a strong first half on Padraig Walsh, and there was only had one thing in his mind when he picked up the ball and drove at Kilkenny before lashing home Tipp’s first goal. 7.5

Jason Forde: Didn’t miss a beat from dead balls but got no change from Paul Murphy in open play. 6.5

Seamus Callanan: Was barely involved in the first half but turned the game on its head inside 10 minutes of the second. Scooped to the net just after the break – completing a remarkable run of scoring a goal in every Championship game this summer - and delivered the killer ball for O’Dwyer’s killer third. 8

John McGrath: Dangerous as roamed across the line all afternoon, and saw his shot blocked by Eoin Murphy early in the second half, only for Callanan to finish the job. 8

Substitutes

Mark Kehoe: Worked hard after registered a point after replacing O’Meara. 7

Willie Connors: Landed the final two scores of the game. 7

Jake Morris: Showed his class with one of the scores of the day seven minutes from time. 7.5

Sean O’Brien: Followed on where Barrett left off in defence. 7

Ger Browne: Only came on in the 66th minute but managed to score a point as Tipp cantered across the line. 7

STAR MAN

Ronan Maher (Tipperary)

STRUGGLED with Fennelly’s pace in the early stages but became the pivotal figure as Tipp kept the Cats under lock and key in the second half. Won everything that came into the square, even when TJ and didn’t waste a ball as the Premier built from the back to dominate Kilkenny. 9

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