Hurling showdown has had no ‘drawing’ power for 50 years

By Martin Breheny

Thursday September 04 2008

When Kilkenny and Waterford drew the 1959 All-Ireland final, they could have had no idea that they were about to turn off the replay tap for a very long time.

In fact, there have been no All-Ireland final replays in the meantime, which is quite extraordinary. The closest calls were in 1961, 1997 and
’99 when Tipperary, Clare and Cork beat Dublin, Tipperary and Kilkenny by a point respectively.

Remarkably, in all three cases, the winners didn’t score a goal. There have been six two-point wins since ’59; three-point and four-point wins are the most common with each having popped up on seven occasions.

The highest winning margin was Tipperary’s 18-point cruise to success over Antrim in 1989 (4-24 to 3-9), followed rather surprisingly by Tipperary’s 14-point win over Kilkenny in ’64 (5-13 to 2-8) and Cork’s 14-point (6-21 to 5-10) over Wexford in 1970. However, the 1970-’71-’72 finals were played over 80 minutes whereas the ’64 final was over 60 minutes.

Ladbrokes are offering 9/1 against a draw on Sunday.

The winning margin rate since the ’59 draw has been as follows: 1pt — 3 times; 2pts — 6; 3pts — 7; 4pts — 7; 5pts — 3; 6pts — 3; 7pts- 4;
8pts- 1; 9pts- 0; 10pts — 2; 11pts — 1; 12pts — 3; 13pts -1; 14pts -2; 18pts — 1.

Goals don’t always win games

To this day, Waterford can’t understand how it happened. Imagine scoring six goals in a 60-minute All-Ireland final and still coming up three points short. It happened to Waterford when they last appeared in the All-Ireland final in ’63, losing to Kilkenny by 4-17 to 6-8.

It goes to show that goals don’t always win games, let alone All-Ireland finals. Wexford, Kilkenny and Cork all scored five goals each in the
1970-’71-’72 finals, but still lost. Of course, all those finals were over 80 minutes.

On the other hand, Cork (’04-’99), Clare (’97) and Tipperary (’61) all won the final without scoring a goal.

Kilkenny v Waterford: Their last clash

Dateline: March 16 ’08

Competition: NHL

Venue: Nowlan Park

Attendance: 10,500

Result: Kilkenny 0-25, Waterford 0-14

A dreadful day for Waterford who were blown away in the second half after trailing 0-9 to 0-6 at half-time. Eoin Kelly was the only Waterford forward to make any impression against a secure defence where centre-back, Brian Hogan, was outstanding. Waterford captain, Michael Walsh, was sent-off just before half-time, leaving a gap which Kilkenny
— who were without Henry Shefflin — exploited to the maximum.

Kilkenny — J McGarry; M Kavanagh, J Dalton, J Tyrrell; J Ryall, B Hogan, PJ Delaney; T Walsh, M

Fennelly (0-2); R Hogan (0-7, 4f), M Rice (0-4), J Fitzpatrick (0-3, 0-1f 1’65’); E Brennan (0-2), M Comerford (0-4), A Fogarty (0-3); Sub: D Cody for Delaney.

Waterford — C Hennessy; A Kearney, R Foley, K Moran; B Phelan (0-2), K McGrath, J Kennedy; S O’Sullivan (0-1, sideline), M Walsh; D Shanahan, S Prendergast (0-1), E Kelly 0-8 (0-7f); S Walsh, D Prendergast, J Mullane; Subs: E McGrath (0-1) for D Prendergast, S Molumphy (0-1) for S Walsh, S Casey for Mullane, P Kearney for Shanahan.

Cats just can’t produce refs

Kilkenny may be by far the most successful hurling county of modern times but for some reason it doesn’t extend to the refereeing world.
It’s all of 24 years since a Kilkenny referee last took charge of an All-Ireland final when Paschal Long officiated at the Cork-Offaly ’84 Centenary final.

Admittedly, Kilkenny’s presence in so many finals is bad news for their referees. But there seems to be more to it than that because their referees aren’t to the forefront for other big games either. Curiously, the same applies to Galway who haven’t had an All-Ireland final referee since ’64 when Aubrey Higgins took charge of Kilkenny v Tipperary.

Given the high quality of club hurling in Kilkenny and Galway, it’s odd that so few of their referees reach top level.

Meanwhile, Barry Kelly who created history by becoming the first Westmeath man to referee the senior hurling final in ’06 will again be in charge on Sunday.

Leave a Reply