All-Ireland mania has hit the Premier County this week with Tipperary folk going out on a limb to ensure that the blue and gold dominates the landscape ... at this side of the border at least.
For the third year in a row there is intense rivalry on the Urlingford, Gortnahoe, Mullinahone, Ballingarry and Killenaule borders as Tipperary and Kilkenny supporters engage in great banter in advance of what is expected to be a fantastic contest between two hugely impressive teams.
Kilkenny are back in their 11th All-Ireland Final in thirteen years and they are still smarting over Tipperary’s denying of them the unprecedented five-in-a-row, twelve months ago. True to form, they showed what a great team they are by returning to the summit again having gotten over the disappointment and are being tipped by many to re-claim the Liam MacCarthy Cup again.
But, standing in their way are the holders, led into battle this time by Declan Ryan and his management team. Tipperary have been outstanding so far this season and were runaway favourites to win the All-Ireland, before they played Dublin in the semi-final. That game levelled the playing field again and now there is great debate throughout the land as to who will win the game. In fact, there is every possibility that for the first time since 1959, a draw could well materialise in this game, such is the delicate balance.
Ticket fever is at an all-time high throughout the county.
Last years All-Ireland saw huge demand in Tipp but a number of deals were undertaken with Cork and other counties for football ticket swops, resulting in more hurling tickets coming to The Premier County. This time round though, Tipp’s minors are also in the football All-Ireland and swops cannot be undertaken as demand for those tickets will be as high. Therefore, getting an All-Ireland ticket in Tipp will be like winning the Lotto. Tickets are as scarce as hens teeth.
What’s not in scarce commodity though is the level of support for the team. Shops and businesses throughout the county have been busy decorating their premises with blue and gold and there is a very definite air of anticipation in advance of the big game which will be screened live to millions of people across the globe.
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