In the fourth quarter-final of our quest to find the Best All-Ireland winner of the past 16 seasons, the Tipperary team that battered the Cats in 2016 is pitted against Kilkenny’s all-conquering machine of 2008 — a rivalry for the ages.
Two teams that, in many ways, share a lot of similarities.
In 2008, Kilkenny cruised through the province of least resistance, Leinster, and might light work of Waterford in the All-Ireland final.
The scoreline they put on the Deise — 3-30 — was seen as the high watermark in attacking hurling play, and will always be remembered as a complete performance.
Yet the Tipperary team that ended a run of five seasons without the Liam MacCarthy played supreme hurling throughout the season.
Cork were crushed in Munster, Limerick were accounted for with 14 men for most of the game, next up was a thumping win over Waterford, before a classic encounted with neigbours Galway.
In the final, the Premier put up a scoreline of 2-29 against the Cats, who at that stage were back-to-back champions.
Just two scores shy of what had been up up at Croke Park eight years earlier, but against a side used to winning the biggest games, the 2016 final performance has to rank among the very best.
Interestingly, the full-forward lines on both occasions filled their boots. Tipp’s hit 2-21 (2-15 from play), while the Cats amassed 2-15 (2-9 from play).
Some of the potential match-ups discussed between these two teams that won their titles eight years apart were:
Kilkenny 2008 versions v Tipperary 2016 versions
– Noel Hickey v Seamus Callanan
– Jackie Tyrrell v John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer
– Richie Power v Ronan Maher
Eddie Brennan v Cathal Barrett
Brian Cody was strangely presented with the man of the match award when Kilkenny brutalised Waterford in the 2008 final, and yet his counterpart Michael Ryan has an edge in championship clashes between the duo.