Most embarrassing moment of Jackie Tyrrell's illustrious career is actually celebrated by many Kilkenny fans 5 days ago

Most embarrassing moment of Jackie Tyrrell's illustrious career is actually celebrated by many Kilkenny fans

We are 15 minutes into a round-table chat with Jackie Tyrrell when a valid question is posed.

'Do you think any player will ever reach 11 All-Ireland winners' medals?'

Tyrrell certainly kept good company. He was great company himself.

"I think Richie [Hogan] and TJ [Reid] definitely do. What do they have, seven or eight. Seven, okay... they could. I wouldn't rule it out."

Richie Hogan KK

Tyrrell was hoping to end on 10 himself, and join the great Henry Shefflin, but Tipperary got in the way. Now retired, the no-nonsense defender has time to reflect on a pretty decent inter-county career.

Tyrrell's proudest moment in the black and amber arrived, he says, when Tipperary were staved off over two frantically contested game. The Cats were one Hawk Eye decision away from losing the final but clamped down on Tipp's attackers in the replay to win by three points.

"The replay against Tipperary was an amazing, amazing, amazing day," says Tyrrell.

"That was definitely my best 70 minutes in a Kilkenny jersey. As backs we hadn't had the best day in the previous game.

"I marked 'Bubbles' O'Dwyer that day and after 45 seconds I blocked him down in the middle of the field and Paul Murphy came up and blocked Lar Corbett. That was the tempo for the day and we brought it for 70 minutes.

"It was just a hugely satisfying day for us."

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If the James Stephens' man looks back on 2014 with fondness, he does so with mixed emotions when he considers another All-Ireland final victory in 2009.

Tipperary were the familiar foes and Tyrrell laid in a massive hit to the solar plexus of 21-year-old Premier forward Seamus Callanan after only three minutes. As markers go, this was a big one.

Tyrrell, who scored a point in Kilkenny's 2-22 to 0-23 victory, says he honestly did not go into the game thinking of laying one on Callanan. He continues:

"So many people say to me, 'Oh you sorted Callanan out'. I'm still a bit embarrassed by that. It doesn't sit well with me.

"It's not a regret but I would have rathered not to have done it. I wasn't going out thinking 'I'm going to sort this lad out'. It just happened; it was a free and a yellow card. It could have probably been a red card.

"It wasn't intentional and I don't really like to talk about it when people come up and talk to me. It's definitely not in my top 10 moments. I like to think I'm a physical player but I probably stepped over the line a bit that day."

Callanan was restricted to 0-3 that day but he has continued to take the hits and come back for more. The forward scored 0-13 in September's Al-Ireland final as Tyrrell, an unused sub, was forced to look on from the bench.

As we know, though, there's no such thing as a last laugh in the storied Kilkenny/Tipperary rivalry.

There's only next year. Always next year.



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