Kilkenny claimed their 31st All-Ireland SHC title with an emphatic 3-30 to 1-13 victory over Waterford at Croke Park today. Read Shane Murray's minute-by-minute text matchtracker of the game. Read from the bottom up.
FULL-TIME: Kilkenny 3-30 Waterford 1-13
I probably could have written this at half-time, but that has to be the most one-sided final in any code. Kilkenny had 38 chances and took 33 of them, hitting just two wides during a flawless 70 minutes at HQ. 'These guys are immortal,' enthused Cyril Farrell back in The Sunday Game studio. 'A fantastic team performance.' GAA President Nickey Brennan added in his speech that this is 'undoubtedly the greatest Kilkenny team of all time' before presenting the trophy to Kilkenny captain James Fitzpatrick. From one to fifteen, and indeed the substitutes' bench, Kilkenny were simply outstanding and there was no living with them today in that kind of irresistible form. They are deserving winners in 2008 and it is hard to see how any county can compete with what Brian Cody has established in the county as the Cats claimed the third instalment in what could be a Senior, Minor, U-21 and Intermediate clean sweep, with just the U-21 final to come. This is the heaviest defeat in SHC final history, and a hugely disappointing finish for manager Davy Fitzgerald and his Waterford charges.
71 mins Mullane is booked and Fogarty scores from the resulting free as Kilkenny close out for an emphatic victory. 3-30 to 1-13
70 mins Brennan slots over another point to give Kilkenny a triple-score lead. 3-29 to 1-13
70 mins Larkin takes his personal tally to an impressive 1-04 with a point. 3-28 to 1-13
69 mins GOAL! Mullane does well to set Kelly up and his 25 metre drive catches the recently introduced McGarry out, and somehow ends up in the net. 3-27 to 1-13
68 mins Kelly takes his tally to nine points with another well executed free from near the left touchline. 3-27 to 0-13
67 mins Dave Bennett points for Waterford. 3-27 to 0-12
66 mins Mullane, possibly the only Waterford player to play to anything close to his potential, pops over a fine point from play. 3-27 to 0-11
65 mins Kevin Moran is booked for a reckless foul on livewire Reid and Shefflin converts the free. 3-27 to 0-10
63 mins Fitzpatrick lines up a shot from halfway, but with referee Kelly doing his best to obstruct him, 'Cha' pulls his effort narrowly right and wide. Declan Prendergast is replaced by Tom Feeney.
60 mins Kelly points to take Waterford to ten points, as James McGarry replaces PJ Ryan in the Kilkenny goal. McGarry receives a huge ovation from the Cats fans. 3-26 to 0-10
59 mins Reid, impressing since his introduction, points again as Ger begins to think about four-in-a-row. 3-26 to 0-09
57 mins TJ Reid nonchalantly slots over again. 'It's shooting practice' at this stage, according to Ger. I have to agree. 3-25 to 0-09
56 mins Shefflin points from straight on. 3-24 to 0-09
55 mins Lyng, having a commanding game at midfield, drives over another point from distance. That is swiftly followed by another Fogarty point and with many Waterford fans already leaving there will be no denying this Kilkenny team a memorable three-in-a-row. 3-23 to 0-09
53 mins Tommy Walsh is lucky not to receive a second yellow card after a wild swipe at Mullane which leaves the Waterford man nursing a sore mouth. Kelly converts. 3-21 to 0-09
52 mins Paul Flynn comes on for Eoin McGrath.
50 mins Reid adds his second from play. 3-21 to 0-08
49 mins Mullane drives over after Shanahan and a couple of others missed goal chances. If it wasn't apparent already, this really isn't Waterford's day. 3-20 to 0-08
47 mins GOAL! Seconds later Larkin drives through the Waterford defence and hammers the sliotar past Hennessy to stretch Kilkenny's lead to an awesome 22 points. 3-20 to 0-07
47 mins Reid marks his arrival with a fine point off his left from the right. 2-20 to 0-07
46 mins Mullane scores Waterford's first point from play. 2-19 to 0-07
46 mins Lyng points his second of the day after a typical burst from midfield. 2-19 to 0-06
45 mins A 'luckless afternoon', as Ger Canning called it, continues as Kelly hits the free wide.
44 mins Tommy Walsh is booked for a lunging foul on Eoin McGrath.
42 mins Comerford receives treatment on a leg injury after a collision with Eoin Kelly. He is eventually escorted from the pitch, hobbling, and is replaced by TJ Reid.
40 mins O'Sullivan booked for a cynical foul on Larkin. Shefflin converts. 2-18 to 0-06
39 mins Shefflin scores his fifth of the day, this time from a right sided free about 30 metres out. 2-17 to 0-06
38 mins Sub Kennedy misses the target to register Waterford's sixth wide of the day.
36 mins Kelly begins the half with a pointed free. 2-16 to 0-06
Waterford make two half-time changes, with Jack Kennedy and Shane O'Sullivan on for Jamie Nagle and Seamus Prendergast.
HALF-TIME: Kilkenny 2-16 Waterford 0-05
Has there ever been a more complete first half performance, especially in an All-Ireland final? Kilkenny have been irresistible all over the field as they have completely outclassed Waterford during a horribly one-sided opening 35. A solid defence in which Hickey and Kavanagh have been superb has laid the foundation for the likes of Fitzpatrick, Lyng, Shefflin, Larkin and Brennan to prosper at the other end and the Kilkenny forwards have been in unflinching form in front of the posts. Waterford, for their part, have been consigned to the role of spectators for much of the half, failing to score from play as Kilkenny gave them a masterclass in hurling. Surely the winner of this game is now a foregone conclusion!
35 + 4 mins Larkin points again as Kilkenny finish the half with four points in four minutes. 2-16 to 0-05
35 + 3 mins Kilkenny strike their first wide of the game when Martin Comerford misses the target from a very scoreable position on the left.
35 + 2 mins Power tags on another point from play. Relentless stuff. 2-15 to 0-05
35 + 2 mins Brennan points brilliantly from the right touchline after Michael Kavanagh brilliantly denied Mullane at the other end. 'The perfect team score' says Ger in the commentary box. 2-14 to 0-05
35 mins Kilkenny captain Fitzpatrick scores a fine point off his left from halfway. 2-13 to 0-05
33 mins The Waterford fans in the 82,186 are outnumbering their Kilkenny counterparts about three or four-to-one according to match commentator Ger Canning, but they continue to show their support, vocal as ever in their support.
32 mins Power almost kicked a third Kilkenny goal but Eoin Murphy saves well.
31 mins Eoin McGrath is booked for a foul on Noel Hickey.
30 mins Kelly scores his fifth of the day with a free from near halfway. 2-12 to 0-05
29 mins Brennan, set up by Power, takes his tally to 2-01 with a beautiful point. 2-12 to 0-04
27 mins Richie Power points from play on the right. 2-11 to 0-04
26 mins Waterford win a free about 20 metres out, but Kelly's goal-bound free is brilliantly saved by PJ Ryan and Eoin McGrath drives the follow-up narrowly wide. Waterford are having no luck at all.
24 mins Dan Shanahan, quiet thus far, drives through the Kilkenny rearguard but, under pressure from two Kilkenny defenders, is ruled to have held on to the ball too long by referee Barry Kelly and the chance is wasted.
22 mins GOAL! Brennan finds the net again after Aidan Fogarty's initial shot is parried into his path by Clinton Hennessy. This is impressive stuff from Brian Cody's men who are 12 twelve points clear with just 22 minutes gone. Is it over for Waterford already? 2-10 to 0-04
20 mins GOAL! Brennan drives to the back of the net after Larkin picked up a breaking ball around halfway, drove forward and hand passed inside for the unmarked Graigue/Ballycallan man to slot home. 1-10 to 0-04
19 mins Larkin catches superbly and points. 0-10 to 0-04
18 mins Kelly slots over his fourth free of the day. 0-09 to 0-04
16 mins Lyng surges through from the middle and keeps his nerve to slot over from in front of the posts. 0-09 to 0-03
16 mins The lively Eddie Brennan scores his first of the day with the score of the day so far with a turn and shot on the left. 0-08 to 0-03
15 mins Shefflin converts another free from a tight angle on the right to restore Kilkenny's four-point lead. 0-07 to 0-03
12 mins Sideline reporter Marty Morrissey reveals Waterford manager Davy Fitzgerald has instructed Seamus Prendergast and Dan Shanahan to drop deeper into the half-back line and offer more protection. Kelly misses a free from a scoreable position.
11 mins Kelly retains his 100% record with another superb free from around halfway to halve Kilkenny's lead. 0-06 to 0-03
10 mins Shefflin dissects the posts with a perfectly executed '65' on the right. 0-06 to 0-02
9 mins Aidan Fogarty adds another point from play on the left. This is relentless from The Cats. 0-05 to 0-02
8 mins Derek Lyng wins the ball in the middle and Eoin Larkin slots over from play. 0-04 to 0-02
7 mins Kelly converts another free at the other end to reduce the deficit to one point. 0-03 to 0-02
6 mins Shefflin has started well and the Ballyhale man points from play to stretch Kilkenny's lead. 0-03 to 0-01
5 mins A surging run from Shefflin is halted by three or four Waterford bodies, but Fitzpatrick is on hand to point seconds later. 0-02 to 0-01
4 mins John Mullane finds Eoin McGrath in a good position but the Waterford man strikes narrowly right and wide. He really should have done better.
2 mins Stephen Molumphy is fouled at the other end just inside the 45 metre line and Eoin Kelly converts into the Hill 16 end. 0-01 to 0-01
1 min An early free for a foul on James 'Cha' Fitzpatrick sees Henry Shefflin give Kilkenny the perfect start. 0-01 to 0-00
3.29pm A minute's silence for Liam Fanning, a former All-Ireland winner with Waterford and brother of former President Paddy Fanning, is observed.
3.27pm Match co-commentator Michael Duignan suggests the Kilkenny boys look a little more nervous than their Waterford opponents, but he still expects Brian Cody's men to prevail because of their greater firepower.
3.22pm Both teams are presented to President Mary McAleese.
3.18pm The teams are on the pitch, alongside the Artane Band, as anticipation rises.
3.10pm A text from Majella, who wants to say hello to her brother Sean Michael Daly in Ontario, Canada who is watching the game in the Irish centre. She hopes they all enjoy the game and she is looking forward to them coming home on Tuesday.
2.58pm The Hurling All Stars of 1983 are presented to the crowd, including nine members of that year's successful Kilkenny team.
2.53pm: As we get closer to the big throw-in, here's a re-cap of the teams as they were announced during the week.
Kilkenny: PJ Ryan; M Kavanagh, N Hickey, J Tyrell; T Walsh, B Hogan, JJ Delaney; J Fitzpatrick, D Lyng; E Brennan, M Comerford, E Larkin; R Power, H Shefflin, A Fogarty.
Waterford: C Hennessy; E Murphy, D Prendergast, A Kearney; T Browne, K McGrath, K Moran; M Walsh, J Nagle; D Shanahan, S Prendergast, S Molumphy; E McGrath, E Kelly, J Mullane.
Referee: Barry Kelly (Westmeath).
2.45pm A late goal from substitute Danny Purcell saw Kilkenny come from behind to take the minor title with a 3-06 to 0-13 victory over Galway, who had dominated most of the second half. The Cats will be hoping for more of the same from the seniors against Waterford.
2.20pm Waterford arrive at Croke Park looking focused and determined. Kilkenny's minors are currently leading Galway 2-05 to 0-09. Twenty minutes to go in that one.
1.55pm Just arrived in the office after a long trek from that bastion of hurling, Sligo. To be fair, the county's hurlers did us proud this year with their victory in the Nicky Rackard Cup, so well done lads. But it's the destination of the real prize that will be decided today, with three-in-a-row chasing Kilkenny and underdogs Waterford battling it out for the Liam McCarthy Cup in a repeat of the 1963 and 1959 finals. Stay with us here for all the latest from Croke Park.
There was plenty of activity in Dublin city centre as both sets of fans busied the streets on their way to Croke Park. It's a warm and occasionally sunny day in the capital, while there is little wind, so conditions are ideal for hurling.