Tipperary 2-17 Kilkenny 1-19
For two teams without a win in the Allianz National Hurling League, victory in this clash at Semple Stadium, Thurles, on Sunday was important, but for Tipperary, the significance of this slender triumph in an intensely competitive encounter could be far-reaching.
Tipperary went into the game after shipping heavy defeats against Clare in the Waterford Crystal Cup final, and away to Cork in the league, and while Kilkenny had opened with a loss to Galway, there was absolutely no doubt that Tipperary, more than Kilkenny, needed a result and a performance to get their season on course.
From that point of view, this round two success over the All-Ireland champions, was just what the doctor ordered for Tipperary. They took the league points from an encounter that could have gone either way, and equally important, they delivered a spirited performance that should rebuild self-belief which may have been on the wane after the poor start to the year.
A contest of championship intensity, if not quality, this encounter will go some considerable way towards restoring the status of the Tipp-Kilkenny rivalry, and while no one will be reading too much into the outcome in terms of the bigger picture for 2013, Tipperary followers in the 5,697 attendance went away pleased with what they had seen, and with a much more positive outlook for the campaign ahead.
See this weeks Tipperary Star for full report