I'm not sure what happened in the last 20 minutes of today's All-Ireland Hurling Final because I took the dog for a walk after Bennie Dunne was sent off and Henry Sheflin equalised with the subsequent free. I knew the tide had turned and Kilkenny would win - somehow, and I just didn't want to be around to see it. It was the ultimate irony that Tipp should have a man sent off after suffering the attentions of the thuggish agglomeration that is the Kilkenny backline for the previous 50 minutes. Dunne deserved to be sent off. He was practising the lost art of doubling on the ball but mistimed it completely and almost decapitated Tommy Walsh. It was a careless rather than a malevolent act. It came when Tipp were dominating but had fatally missed two easy goal chances and it turned the match. People will say that this was a gallant performance by Tipp and that their day will come. Bollocks, today their day came and they blew it. Dunne would be better emigrating to Australia now with all his close relations for he will endure daily recriminations from parish and county for the rest of his life.
CODA: Having watched the portion of the match I missed I still think the sending off was the turning point. It gave Kilkenny more space and more importantly more hope in a match that seemed to be slipping away from them. The penalty was a mistake by the ref but Kilkenny were making inroads at that stage - the tide had turned. After the penalty Tipp were deflated and beaten.