A look back at this year’s hurling championship
The hurling season is all over for another year, but what a season it’s been. Some of our most memorable moments have included Dublin’s incredible comeback over Limerick at Semple Stadium to secure their quarter final place; Cork v Waterford when the Déise came back from four points down to become worthy winners of the Munster semi final; and Cork’s victory over a goalless Clare – three fine games, all leading to the final.
a thrilling contest that ebbed and flowed throughout...
But who could forget the epic battle between Galway and Tipperary -- a thrilling contest that ebbed and flowed throughout, keeping all 58,495 fans firmly on the edge of their seats for its duration. A fairytale debut from Shane Maloney was crowned by a long pass from the season’s top scorer Joe Canning, which resulted in a breathtaking injury-time winner for the substitute.
And so back to Sunday 6th September, when Kilkenny and Galway - along with 80,000 of their most fervent fans – made the trip to Croke Park to battle it out for the 2015 All Ireland Senior Hurling Final.
It was certainly a high-spirited first half, with plenty of challenges.
It was certainly a high-spirited first half, with plenty of challenges. For a time it looked like Galway might realise their dream of lifting the Liam McCarthy for the first time since 1988. Before the break, Galway were fully in control, and Kilkenny three points behind with the score 1-08 to 0-14.
It has since emerged that Jackie Tyrrell rallied Kilkenny at half time with a rousing dressing room battle cry. As Tyrrell explained: “I didn’t plan on talking but Brian [Cody] said if you have something to contribute to the team, contribute, and I just felt things were a little bit dead… I just felt it needed something to drive it home to the lads. I tried to be real and speak from the heart with passion.”
I tried to be real and speak from the heart with passion.
It certainly worked, because the Kilkenny team returned to the pitch re-focused and re-energised, hungry to do one thing and one thing only – score points.
And score points they did. Both sides put up a tremendous fight, with a season record Liberty Insurance ball-speed of 169kph courtesy of the mighty TJ Reid, cementing hurling’s reputation as the fastest field game in the world. And in the end Kilkenny proved impossible to stop, eventually securing their 36th Trophy – the 11th for manager Brian Cody – with a final score line of Kilkenny 1-22 Galway 1-18.
It was an exciting end to a great season and we’re looking forward to next year already.
The season in numbers
169 kph – top ball speed (TJ Reid - Kilkenny)
70 pts – top scorer (Joe Canning - Galway)
11.7 pts - highest average scorer (Seamus Callanan – Tipp)
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