Former Kilkenny hurler PJ Ryan says the 2009 winning final against Tipperary was an extra special one for him.
The Fenians man was “man of the match” in that game and went on to win an All-Star becoming the first goalkeeper in Kilkenny since Michael Walsh in the early ’90s to win one.
Speaking on the Clash Act podcast here on scoreline, PJ says it’s stuff you dream about as a kid especially on the Tipperary border where he’s from.
“It was a great feeling, especially up this end of Kilkenny, the rivalry with Tipp is massive,” said PJ.
“I went to school inside there in Thurles as well so I would know a load of people from Tipperary and have relations in Tipp”.
Build up to 2009 final
“The whole build-up to it was savage, it was the first time we had met in an all Ireland final in a long time, and around here in Johnstown (as a child) you’d be playing a game and you’d always be imagining you’d score a winning point against Tipp in an all Ireland final or the winning save”.
“For this end of the county the rivalry is huge and there was a massive atmosphere up here and for myself personally, things went right on the day,” he said.
“A goal went in from a 65 in the All Ireland semi-final against Waterford, then after about 20 minutes of the all Ireland final a ball dropped right in under the crossbar and I put up my hurl and brought it down, it actually went behind me and I caught it behind me and hand-passed it out and it was cleared up the field”.
“From that minute on everything clicked into place, if that one had to slip in under the bar again or over the line, it would have been been a bit (different) but thankfully it went right on the day,” said PJ.