Cats fall to Tipperary’s Greatest!!

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Tipp and Kilkenny are paired together in this Sundays All Ireland Hurling Final. I look at their meeting in 1964’s grand finale.

The Scene

The Beatles Hard day’s night was floating in the charts in 1964 and Kilkenny could have been forgiven to believe it was written for them that year.

By beating Waterford in the previous year’s decider the Cats in turn had taken Tipp’s crown which they had worn in 1961 and 1962. But now Tipp were back to reclaim their title.

Like the line from A Fistful of dollars in the cinema “Every town has a boss” ….”Yes, but when there are two around, I’d say there are one too many!”

Clint-Eastwood fistfull

The Province

On route to the final Kilkenny beat Wexford 5-9 to 4-8. At times in the game the Cats must have felt like Goldfinger in that years James Bond movie as Wexford wouldn’t lie down. “No Mr Bond, I expect you to die.” The feeling that that was the real Leinster Final was reinforced when they beat Dublin 4-11 to 1-8 in the actual one.

Tipp’s path to final was less of struggle making their fans feel like Herman Hermits chart topper “I’m into something good.” Beating Clare 6-13 to 2-5 in the semi and following it with a 3-13 to 1-5 trouncing of Cork in the Munster Final.

Earlier the Rebels had dismissed Galway who took part in the Munster Championship that year.

As a result there were no All Ireland Semi Finals.


The Pre-Match

Mary Poppins would sing a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down in 1964 and despite their Munster Final Cork would have their own spoon of sugar in the form of an All-Ireland Minor title. The Reds destroying Laois in the small final 10-7 to 1-4. A minor team that would have major impact just 2 years later.

Hats were removed, cigarettes put out and children painfully watched their uneaten ice creams as a minutes silence was held for former GAA General Secretary Pádraig Ó Caoimh (of Pairc Ui Chaoimh fame) who had died earlier that year.


The Game

Kilkenny would score almost from the throw in but Tipperary would control most of the first half. A goal which lobbed high into corner would have disappointed Ollie Walsh in the Cats goal. Still they found themselves very much in the game at half time with the score 1-8 to 0-6 to Tipp.

In the second half the attendance of 71,282 must have thought they were watching a scene from that year’s movie Zulu. Kilkenny very much like Michael Caine as the unstoppable enemy kept approaching. Tipp would outscore them 4-5 to 2-2 including 3 goals from Donie Nealon. Final score Tipp 5-13 Kilkenny 2-8.


The Credits

Tipperary would hold the outright lead in All Ireland honours with this their 20th title and arguably their greatest ever team. They’d make it 21 the following year having won four out five All Ireland’s.

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