Tipperary v Kilkenny – 1916 to 2016: Part 3.
Killarney, a Munster Final in October, and 1945.
After the 1922 All-Ireland final, Tipperary and Kilkenny did not meet again in a championship match until the final of 1937. This game was played in Killarney, the first final played outside Croke Park since 1909. Croke Park was unusable because the construction of the new Cusack Stand was way behind schedule due to a builders' strike.
Kilkenny were appearing in their sixth final in seven years. Their veteran team were unable to match Tipperary's speed, whose newcomer Tommy Doyle pointed virtually from the throw-in. Kilkenny only managed to score a single point in the second half, coming from the legendary Lory Meagher who had been introduced at half-time to play his last game for the black and amber. After a disappointing contest, Tipperary were the easy victors on a score of 3-11 to 0-3, their first championship defeat of Kilkenny since the 1916 All-Ireland final. Pictured above is the captain, Jim Lanigan, holding the trophy. The win inspired Michael Bourke of Newport to write:
"Tipperary men stand up again wherever you be
At home in old Ireland or over the sea.
Give three ringing cheers for those men of renown
Who conquered Kilkenny in Killarney's fair town."
The old rivals might well have met again in the 1941 final, had not fate intervened in the form of foot-and-mouth disease which was particularly prevalent in the two counties. Kilkenny were reckoned to be the favourites to win the All-Ireland. They were due to play Dublin in the Leinster final, but were barred from travelling by the Department of Agriculture. Consequently, Dublin were nominated to represent Leinster and they went on to defeat Galway in the All-Ireland semi-final.
In Munster, Tipperary were about to play Cork in the provincial semi-final, with the winners to meet Limerick in the Munster final. Again the Department intervened and forbade Tipperary to travel. Cork then played Limerick to select the team to represent Munster. Cork easily defeated the reigning All-Ireland champions in this match. In the delayed All-Ireland final, played on September 28, Cork crushed Dublin by 5-11 to 0-6 in one of the most one-sided finals of all time. Cork were the champions having played just two games.
In the 1941 provincial deciders which were played later in the year, Dublin beat Kilkenny by 2-8 to 1-8 in November, and Tipperary defeated Cork by 5-4 to 2-5 in October. Boherlahan-Dualla had three players on that Tipperary panel: Jimmy Maher, in goal, and Jer Looby, at no. 15, both played against Cork, but Philly O'Dwyer was sidelined with a serious knee injury.
Cork drove on to complete their famous four-in-a-row of titles after that year. These finals were quite one-sided with margins of 20 points in 1941, 7 points in 1942, 27 points in 1943, and 14 points in 1944. Former Taoiseach, Jack Lynch, played a leading part in each of those Cork victories.
The next encounter between Tipperary and Kilkenny was in the first post-WW2 decider in 1945. Tipperary had ended Cork's four year reign on 1 July in Thurles. A record crowd of 69,459 came to see the final on 2 September, and they were treated to one of the best games in years.
Boherlahan-Dualla's Jimmy Maher was in goal again and the two Coffeys, Flor and John, played at nos. 4 and 13. After a slow start with the sun in their eyes, Tipperary led by 4-3 to 0-3 at half-time. But Kilkenny responded well with three goals in the second half and were just four points down with ten minutes to go. Then Tony Brennan, of Clonoulty-Rossmore, scored the goal that settled the game. Tipperary won by 5-6 to 3-6. Jimmy Maher's performance was saluted:
"Though Tubberadora's day be gone
And dim the memory of its sires,
Their sons have seen another dawn
Another Maher the beacon fires;
Telling to all who see it blaze
O'er rock and river, hill and plain,
As in the old heroic days,
'The kings of hurling reign again'."
Below are the Champions of 1945:
Back l-r: Jack Mockler, Jer Cornally, John Maher, H. Goldsborough, Tom Wall, Rev. John Meagher, Flor Coffey, Jim Devitt, John Coffey, A. Brennan, Johnny Ryan, Jim Maher, Dan Breen T.D., Bill Leahy.
Front l-r: J.J. Callanan, Phil Purcell, Tommy Butler, Mike Murphy, P. "Sweeper" Ryan, Jimmy Maher, Tommy Doyle (Captain), M. Ryan, T. Purcell, E. Gleeson, Johnny Leahy, T Semple.
Coming in Part 4: Three-In-A-Row, and 1958.