Well as hopedLar Corbett stepped up to the mark,Sheflin was quiet,Tipp put it up to them physically, and as predicted Kilkenny stretched the fairness of physicality beyond it's limits, luckily no one is in a hospital bed tonight but it wasn't for a lack of trying from the cats with Seamus Callinan flattened in the first few minutes and young Padraig Maher came close to having his neck broken.The cats fouled with skill and drilled determination and all went largely unoticed or unpunished, but Tipp stood against them and out hurled them.The game was played with savage intensity and was the most exciting final in years.Killkenny went in 2 points up at half time. At this stage last year against Waterford the cats were so far ahead the game was all but won.Tipp needed to come out fighting second half to keep in touch and by feck they did! Right to the last they were 2 or 3 points ahead and in control of the game and with the finishing line in sight, heading for their first all Ireland victory since 2001.It was a miracle ,unbelievable against all odds and an incredible performance.The finest performance I had ever witnesed against arguably the greatest hurling team of all time.But then the world turned, the universe shifted and the dream unravelled, in a moment of madness, Benny Dunne, being fouled by Tommy Walsh ,swung his hurley at the cats head.Instant dismissal and no complaints.Down to 14 men the task deemed colossal before the game now seemed unbearable.But amazingly Tipp kept at it and even went further ahead till total disaster as a penalty decision was given to the cats where no penalty should ever have been on any planet or any stretch of the imagination.But no matter how misguided ,how grossly, catastrophically, cosmically wrong a referee might be, even to the extent of gifting an all Ireland to the wrong team, the ref's decision is final.Shefflin nets the penalty and 14 man Tipp are dead in the water. The previously drowning cats knew they had been let out of the bag .They now had their tails up and smelled victory, Tipp had no heart left and Kilkenny won by 5 points. Congratulations to kilkenny for winning four all Irelands in a row. A tremendous achievement. It is only the second time in the history of the GAA that this has been done.Their win at any cost style and never say die attitude pulled them through today with no little help from the penalty.Finally the greatest irony (and addage) of all- I expressed hope in an earlier post that the best team would lose,thinking I was being smart,well you should always be careful what you hope for.I got my wish. Tipp were by far the better team today.