Finality Deferred On Both Fronts
The two finals had everything but finality. Against astronomical odds - if the layers had even visualised the possibility - neither senior nor minor trophies were awarded at Croke Park. The youngsters’ decider hadn’t been indecisive since manager William Maher captained a 1996 side that won the replay against Galway. The adults’ last state of parity was way back in 1959, when Waterford took the belated honours over Kilkenny. This year’s outcomes will be revealed on September 30th in a repeat bill-of-fare, interest will be even higher than it was for last Sunday. Crucial late frees saved both Dublin and Galway but their mutual entitlement to start again from scratch is undeniable. The programme more than lived up to expectations in terms of effort and tension for 82,000 on hand and a big percentage of the nation via vision and sound. Hurling the winner - seldom has the compliment been more deserved.
Whatever way the re-run goes, Galway have certainly taken over from Tipp. as the main challengers to Kilkenny’s dominance by matching the Cats when the majority view suggested reversal of the Leinster final result. As things stand now the Tribesmen would clearly have way more All-Star candidates than our material - if, to be frank, we have any at all in the light of recent relative outcomes against the champions. The Westerners have proved themselves to be no one-day wonders but a team of genuine class that will be in with a definite chance next time. That won’t go all the way, to even money, perhaps, in view of Kilkenny’s greater scope for individual and team improvement. See this weeks Tipperary Star for full column.