Tipperary scored their first victory against Kilkenny in five outings this afternoon with a 2-17 to 1-19 win in the Allianz National Hurling League.
Kilkenny’s Tommy Walsh and Tipp’s Noel McGrath were both dismissed in the second half, both for second bookable offences.
Tipperary, who led by seven points in the first half, clung on for a narrow one-point win, which which reignites their League hopes following the heavy loss to Cork in the opening round of fixtures.
But Brian Cody’s Kilkenny have plenty of work to do if they want to retain their League crown, after suffering a second successive defeat.
When these sides last met, in the All-Ireland semi-final of August 2012, Kilkenny secured an 18-point win.
But Tipp gained some manner of revenge in front of 5,697 specators at a bitterly cold Semple Stadium.
And there was redemption too for Lar Corbett, who was castigated following last year’s clash. Corbett scored his first goal for Tipperary since the 2011 All-Ireland semi-final victory over Dublin and enjoyed a productive outing.
Playing with the aid of a stiff breeze in the first half, Tipp went on to establish a 2-11 to 1-8 interval lead.
Richie Hogan netted a 15th minute goal to put Kilkenny 1-4 to 0-4 clear but Tipp hit back with two goals before half-time.
Tipp’s first goal, in the 27th minute, was a fortuitous effort as Conor O’Mahony’s long ball bounced off the helmet of John O’Dwyer and into the Kilkenny net.
Corbett struck three minutes before half-time, beating Kilkenny goalkeeper David Herity to Pádraic Maher’s lengthy delivery with a neat flick.
Bit by bit, Kilkenny clawed their way back into contention during the second half, closing to within a point with eleven minutes remaining.
Tipp sub Seamus Callanan made an immediate impact with a score from the left touchline before both teams lost a player. Walsh was sent off for a swipe at Callanan and McGrath followed suit for a tangle with Richie Power. The Carrickshock forward popped over a free to cut the deficit back to just a point but Tipp responded through another sub, Shane Bourke.
Eoin Kelly’s free pushed Tipp three points clear again but Kilkenny were back within striking distance again when Power and Hogan landed points.
Time ran out for Kikenny, however, and the Noresiders could badly do with a victory against Waterford in their next outing.
Kilkenny scorers: R Power 0-9 (8f, 1 65), R Hogan 1-2, E Larkin 0-3 (1 sl), P Hogan 0-2 (1f), A Fogarty, M Ruth & C Fennelly 0-1 each.
Tipperary scorers: E Kelly 0-9 (7f, 1 65), L Corbett 1-1, J O’Dwyer 1-0, P Bourke 0-2 (1f), P Maher, N McGrath, B Maher, S Bourke & S Callanan 0-1 each.
Kilkenny: D Herity; P Murphy, JJ Delaney, C Fogarty; T Walsh, B Hogan, P Hogan; L Ryan, R Power; M Kelly, C Fennelly, E Larkin; M Ruth, R Hogan, A Fogarty.
Subs: K Joyce for B Hogan (47), T Breen for Ruth (52), G Aylward for Kelly (65).
Tipperary: D Gleeson; P Stapleton, P Curran, M Cahill; P Maher, C O’Mahony, C O’Brien; A Ryan, B Maher; N McGrath, L Corbett, J O’Brien; J O’Dwyer, E Kelly, P Bourke.
Subs: S Bourke for Ryan (51), S Callanan for O’Dwyer (57), T Hamill for O’Mahony (58), B O’Meara for Bourke (61), J Forde for J O’Brien (66).
Referee: M Wadding (Waterford).