Tipperary’s first All-Ireland hurling title since 2001 thwarted Kilkenny’s bid for a fifth successive Liam McCarthy Cup triumph.
Liam Sheedy’s heroes produced a devastating attacking display, embellished by a Lar Corbett hat-trick as they swept to a 26th success.
Kilkenny’s first championship defeat in 22 games was delivered in compelling fashion by the Munster men, who always believed in themselves, and in their capacity to avenge last season’s painful defeat in the decider.
Brian Cody’s gamble on attacker Henry Shefflin’s famous knee did not come off, and the Kilkenny ace was forced to retire injured after just 12 minutes.
In front of a crowd of 81,765, Eoin Kelly had already swept over three frees when Tipp stunned the Cats with a Corbett goal in the tenth minute.
Shane McGrath’s booming delivery was collected confidently by Corbett, who turned stumbling full-back Noel Hickey and planted the ball in the net from close range past PJ Ryan in one smooth movement.
Kilkenny crafted a goal chance of their own soon afterwards when Henry Shefflin sent TJ Reid through, but his shot was comfortably dealt with by Brendan Cummins.
The All-Ireland champions suffered another blow in the 12th minute when the Shefllin gamble backfired, the ace attacker forced to go off with problems to his damaged knee.
Nevertheless, they narrowed the gap, with Richie Power taking over the free-taking duties to plant one between the posts, and Aidan Fogarty guiding over a point.
Tipp were still calling the shots, however, and scores from Brendan Maher (2) and Kelly saw them open out a 1-7 to 0-4 lead.
Even goalkeeper Brendan Cummins got in on the act with a point from a massive free, but with John Tennyson, JJ Delaney and Michael Fennelly leading by example and using their vast experience and know-how, Kilkenny set about dismantling that advantage.
Power was unerring from frees, and smashed home a brilliant 33rd minute goal after Eoin Larkin had sliced through the Tipp defence.
Two more Power frees narrowed the gap to a single point, Tipperary ahead by 1-10 to 1-9 at the break.
Skipper TJ Reid’s expertly executed sideline cut brought the sides level on 38 minutes, but Corbett’s second goal set Croke Park alight,
He gave PJ Ryan no chance with a screaming shot after getting on the end of Noel McGrath’s exquisite defence-splitting pass in the 42nd minute.
Two minutes later, Tipp had the ball in the net again, McGrath scrambling home from close range to open up seven point advantage and leave the McCarthy Cup holders with a mountain to climb.
But with Jackie Tyrell and Tommy Walsh driving from the backs, the Cats started to claw their way back.
Power and Reid added to their personal tallies, and it looked as if a raft of substitutions had started to work for Brian Cody.
But Liam Sheedy’s decision to spring Seamus Callanan from the bench had instant effect, with the big attacker sweeping over two magnificent points.
Fellow subs Benny Dunne and Seamus Hennessy also tagged on scores, and Padraic Maher was in imperious form at the back for Tipp, repelling a series of Kilkenny attacks.
And deep into stoppage time, a sweet triumph was sealed when Corbett drilled home to complete his hat-trick.
Tipperary: B Cummins (0-1, f), P Stapleton, P Curran, M Cahill, D Fanning, C O’Mahony, Padraic Maher, B Maher (0-2), S McGrath, G Ryan (0-1), Patrick Maher, J O’Brien (0-2), N McGrath (1-0), E Kelly (0-7, 7f), L Corbett (3-0).
Subs: C O’Brien for O’Mahony, S Callanan (0-2) for O’Brien, B Dunne (0-1) for S McGrath, S Hennessy (0-1) for B Maher
Kilkenny: PJ Ryan, J Dalton, N Hickey, J Tyrrell, T Walsh, J Tennyson, JJ Delaney, J Fitzpatrick, M Fennelly, TJ Reid (0-4, 1s/l), H Shefflin (0-1, f), E Larkin, E Brennan, R Power (1-9, 0-8f), A Fogarty (0-1).
Subs: M Rice (0-1) for Shefflin, M Comerford for Brennan, D Lyng (0-1) for Fitzpatrick, R Hogan for Fogarty, J Mulhall (0-1) for Reid.
Referee: M Wadding (Waterford)