Tipp to enter Cats’ lair

Nowlan Park the venue for league decider as Dublin and Galway are left with big concerns

 

Kilkenny’s Walter Walsh, attempts to get past Galway’s Niall Donoghue during their Allianz NHL semi-final in Thurles

MARTIN BREHENY Irish Independent  – 22 APRIL 2013

KILKENNY will have home advantage for the Allianz National Hurling League Division 1 final against Tipperary on Sunday week, as part of a home-and-away arrangement between the counties.

The 2009 league final was played in Thurles and now it’s the turn of Kilkenny to host their great rivals in Nowlan Park for what promises to be a fascinating encounter. Both Kilkenny and Tipperary had easy wins in yesterday’s semi-finals in Thurles in a disappointing double-header, where Galway and Dublin under-performed to such a degree that both will have serious concerns going into the championship.

Dublin were blitzed by Tipperary (4-20 to 0-17) while Kilkenny beat Galway by 1-24 to 1-17. Kilkenny’s performance will have provided a big tonic for absent manager Brian Cody, whose side continued on their business-as-usual routine under the joint control of Michael Dempsey and Martin Fogarty.

Galway started well but their prospects took an early hit when captain Fergal Moore had to be stretchered off after being treated for almost nine minutes, following a collision with Kilkenny wing-forward Walter Walsh in the 10th minute. Moore was knocked unconscious and, following on-pitch treatment (above), was taken to Clonmel hospital for checks.

Team medic Dr Dan Murphy later confirmed that Moore, who regained consciousness before being taken from the pitch, had suffered concussion.

Walsh suffered a nasty facial injury in the clash and, while he resumed after being treated for 15 minutes in the dressing-room, he was replaced in the second half. The lengthy stoppage in no way disrupted Kilkenny, who recovered from an early four-point deficit to lead by six points at half-time before extending their lead to 11 points.

Tipperary led Dublin by 12 points at half-time in the first game and were never tested as they cruised to a 15-point win.

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