Kilkenny v Tipperary – Betting Preview

Unlike the approach taken by the former Financial Regulator and the Anglo-accused, there’ll be no place for bluffing in Semple;

guys who try to dodge will be found out. And I’d much prefer to face Judge Martin Nolan than Brian Cody if I was guilty of dodging.

Following Tipperary’s losses in rounds 2, 3 & 4 to Kilkenny, Clare and Galway respectively it was hard to imagine them making the League decider. Their six point defeat by the Cats in Nowlan Park was followed by a seven point dismantling job at the hands of the All-Ireland champions in Semple stadium, then a three point reversal at the hands of Anthony Cunningham’s Galway. That loss to Clare was a rarity in this year’s Division 1A; it was the only loss suffered by a home side in the 5 rounds of games!

Despite finishing fifth of six after the round matches, Tipp have gathered momentum at the right time. Having fallen behind early doors against Cork in the Quarter-final, Tipp discovered their mojo and drove on to an impressive 3-25 to 4-19 victory. Satisfying as beating last year’s All-Ireland runners-up would have been, it possibly pales in comparison to the confidence injection that their win over Clare in the semi-final in Limerick will have given them. Clare’s campaign had, a loss to a desperate Dublin side apart, been almost impeccable to that point. Seamus Callanan was in superb form in the semi-final with 0-12. Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher struck for two goals; 14/1 about him for first goal on Sunday looks big.

So what did Eamon O’Shea do differently from their third round drubbing to Clare? The main tweak was the deployment of Brendan Maher as a sweeper and that solidified a backline that had coughed up 4-15 in their round 3 meeting, with Conor McGrath hitting a hat-trick. That concession of four goals (and it could have been more) was halved to two.

Kilkenny have made great use of the league with the startling stat that they’ve used 39 players in their games thus far. One imagines that the Walsh family get-togethers may be a little strained with Paraic Walsh excelling in big brother Tommy’s ( big isn’t an adjective Tommy is used too!) wing-back spot. There’s the option this summer for Padraic to move to midfield, but that may be more likely to make way for Kieran Joyce than for Tommy. It’d be foolish though writing off the 9-time All-Star though. Kilkenny’s Mark Kelly at full-forward is an athlethic option to play ball in front of, and the O’Loughlin Gaels man has heightened Kilkenny hopes that they may have unearthed a prolific goal-scorer in the Eddie Brennan mould. Richie’s brother, John Power, will have another game to see if he can tune in completely to King Henry’s wavelength and cut it at the top level; the signs so far have been encouraging.

The 5-20 to 5-14 goal-fest these sides served up in Nowlan Park is unlikely to be replicated. Brendan Maher as sweeper could guarantee that from a Tipp perspective. On the first goalscorer front, Patrick Bonner Maher is an obvious starting point and the odds of 14/1 are worth a look.

6/4 about Tipp at home are interesting in what I’d price up closer to a 6/5 chance. The handicap of two looks right though so we’ll go for a sneaky bet on the handicap draw at 10/1.

That’s the decision of the Boylesports jury.