The Cats won just 13 of his 37 restarts, the vast majority of which went long. There wasn’t a huge amount he could have done for the three Tipperary goals.
Coped reasonably well on Jason Forde in a full-back line that was under siege in the second-half. Conceded scores from play in the 48th and 50th minutes, but was fairly solid other than that spell.
He broke even on Callanan, but the Drom-Inch ace scored 1-1 and set-up another goal in the seven minutes after half-time. Otherwise, Lawlor was out in front and competed well in the air to prove he belongs at this level.
He wasn’t taken to the cleaners like he was on Callanan in 2016, but conceded a few scores during separate spells on John McGrath and John O’Dwyer.
Niall O’Meara sped by him for the game’s crucial goal in the 26th minute. Won a free for a TJ Reid score but otherwise failed to have an impact on the proceedings.
Scored a 60th minute point but didn’t make much more of his accustomary breaks forward and it took him a while to get to grips with centre-forward O’Meara. Wasn’t allowed to sit back to protect his full-back line due to the quality of Tipp’s movement in attack.
Made plenty of clearances and managed to keep Dan McCormack under wraps.
A subdued performance from Buckley, who battled a serious knee injury during the summer. Kilkenny were overran in the middle third during the second-half as Tipp made good use of the extra man and worked the ball through the lines effectively. Taken off after 47 minutes.
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Bombed forward for one great run down the flank in the first-half. It was surprising that he didn’t attach himself to the hip of Noel McGrath as expected. He was taken off seven minutes after Buckley, replaced by James Maher after 54 minutes.
Kilkenny’s best player on the day, the young Thomastown forward stood up in a major way. He clipped over three points and made a few brilliant catches from Murphy’s puck-outs. A coming of age performance from Donnelly in his first All-Ireland final.
Had enough of an impact early on to force Tipp to move Padraic Maher onto him near the end of the first-half. He set-up Colin Fennelly’s goal chance after five minutes and constantly ran at the Premier defence, but was turned over a number of times.
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Finished with 0-11 from 12 shots but only managed to score once from play. Hogan’s dismissal meant Tipperary had a spare man to drop in front of the full-back line which made life difficult for Reid. As ever, he worked incredibly hard but it wasn’t their day.
Came down with an illness during the week and it clearly affected his energy levels. He was the first Kilkenny player hauled off, after 39 minutes, on a forgettable day for the young Ballyhale Shamrocks attacker. He’ll be back.
Came across a Ronan Maher in the form of his life. He started well and had an early goal chance denied by a majestic John McGrath hook. Was set-up by Reid for a point in the 57th minute but never got firing.
Scored an early point but his All-Ireland final ended after 33 minutes for a red card following his late hit on Cathal Barrett. Hogan caught the Premier defender on the head with his elbow and received his marching orders. It was undoubtedly the turning point of the game.
Billy Ryan 7 – Scored two points after his introduction for Mullen. He looked lively in the Kilkenny attack.
Richie Leahy 6 – Came on for Buckley 12 minutes after half-time but it was a difficult task for the young midfielder as Tipperary sprayed the ball around the field in the final quarter.
James Maher 6 – Replaced Browne on 54 minutes, as both of Kilkenny’s midfielders were taken off. Didn’t have a huge involvement in the game.
Conor Delaney 6 – Came in for Holden with 12 minutes left. Tipp were cruising to victory by that stage.
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