Tipperary's win over Kilkenny had everything, drama, a Kilkenny team out to make history by winning five in a row, a Tipp team bent on revenge from last year's final defeat and a setting before 81,000 fans in Croke Park that makes you realize so
many things are right about Ireland.
The gallant champions suffered a mortal blow early in this game when their hero Henry Shefflin, known as King Henry injured his already damaged knee ligaments.
It had been a huge gamble to play him from the beginning, but manager Brian Cody did the right thing letting his best player start.
Both teams tore into each other from the start and the field was not for the faint of heart. Tipperary pulled away to an early lead but by halftime Kilkenny had pulled them back to a one point margin.
It all looked right for the champions. They were playing with the strong wind at their back in the second half and were surely confident they could pull ahead.
Not against this Tipp team however. In a golden patch midway through the second half they netted two goals in a matter of moments and stretched to a seven point lead.
Kilkenny fought back heroically but this young Tipp team had the scent of victory in their nostrils.
They pulled away again and a last second goal made certain what was already sure.
And what an advertisement for the fastest field game in the world.
It was a final to never forget.
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