Thursday 25 July 2013

Remember '79

When Tipperary and Galway contested the National Hurling League final played at Croke Park on April 30th 1989, Galway were victorious on a score of 2-16 to 4-8. Tipperary were handicapped by the non-availability of star forwards Nicholas English and Pat Fox; also absent were regular defenders John Heffernan and John Kennedy.

The two counties also contested the National Hurling League final played at the Gaelic Grounds Limerick in May 1979. Tipperary had a surprising win by 3-15 to 0-8 over a fancied Galway team. The game featured an outstanding display for Tipperary by Kilsheelan native, Jim Kehoe, who scored 1-5 from play. Jim played many a fine game for Tipperary hurlers and footballers during the seventies; and played leading roles in winning Railway Cup medals with Munster in football (1975) and hurling (1976). He has been residing in Los Angeles for more than 20 years where he owns a successful haulage business.

The following is the substance of an article from the match programme for the National Hurling League Final of 1989:
Remember '79 could well be the catch-cry for Tipperary hurlers as they take the field today against a fancied Galway. Galway were favourites for the 1979 National Hurling League final between the counties at Limerick but in a one sided encounter, Tipperary triumphed by a surprisingly large margin, 3-15 to 0-8. Without an All-Ireland for eight years and struggling to reassert themselves in hurling after a spell in division 1B, Tipperary were not expected to match mighty Galway but with Jim Kehoe starring for the Premier County, they recorded a most impressive win. 
Tipperary had the use of the breeze in the first half and got off to an ideal start after seven minutes when Francie Loughnane netted. They led at the interval by 1-8 to 0-4 but with Galway due to have the breeze after the break, the game was finely balanced. Galway were not playing to form and were expected to step up a gear afterwards, but Tipperary, with Jim Kehoe roaming to devastating effect, produced a great second half performance. 
Galway fought hard in the early stages to establish control, with John Connolly a key figure at mid-field, but the turning point came at the end of the third quarter when Kehoe steered the ball to the net after a Francis Loughnane free was only partly saved. 
Subsequently, Galway heads bowed and Tipperary went on to record a sixteen points win and their fourteenth National Hurling League title. 
Jim Kehoe was the star of the Tipperary team that day but the contributions of Gerry Stapleton, Michael Doyle, Francis Loughnane, Pat Fitzelle and Tadgh O'Connor were also vital to the Tipperary win. 
Galway never reached their true form despite the inspiration of John Connolly at mid field. Niall McInerney, Joe Greaney, Frank Burke and P.J.Molloy were others to figure prominently for Galway. 
Tipperary scorers: J. Kehoe 1-5; F.Loughnane 1-4; P.Queally 1-0; N O'Dwyer, S.Power 0-2 each; M.Doyle, G.Stapleton 0-1 each. 
Galway scorers: P.J. Molloy 0-3; J.Connolly 0-2; M.Connolly and F.Burke 0-1 each. 
P. McLoughney
P. Williams

K. O'Connor
J. Keogh

N. O'Dwyer
T. O'Connor

P. Fitzelle
M. DoyleG. Stapleton
E. O'Shea

F. Loughnane
J. Williams

J. Kehoe
P. Queally

S. Power
Subs: T. Butler for J. Kehoe

F. Larkin
N. McInerney

J. Greany
J. McDonagh

S. Silke
I. Clarke

J. Cooney
J. ConnollyS. McMahon
M. Connolly

N. Lane
Joe Connolly

F. Burke
P.J. Molloy

P. Ryan
Subs: M. Earls for Silke, F. Gantly for M. Connolly

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