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Padraic Maher insists Tipperary do not fear Kilkenny despite their poor Championship record against Brian Cody's men.
Having overcome their respective semi-final opponents at the weekend, Tipperary and Kilkenny will renew rivalry in September's All-Ireland SHC final with the Cats bidding for a 37th title.
The two sides have met in five finals since 2009 with Kilkenny wining four of them but Maher
is confident Tipperary can emerge triumphant at Croke Park on September 4.
“We don’t ever fear Kilkenny, we never did. We came up against them in 2009, ‘10, ‘11 & ‘12 when they were a top class team. People have been doubting them the last few years but they keep coming and coming. You saw them on Saturday night bringing in some new lads and still producing the goods," Maher is quoted as saying in the Irish Examiner.
“Kilkenny showed a tremendous effort to get through. That’s going to bring on Kilkenny a nice bit and hopefully, our game will bring us on as well. We needed that good game too and please God it will stand us in good stead for the final.
“We have struggled to get over the line the last couple of years against them. It’s up to us to turn the tables. We are under no illusions, we know each other inside out at this stage. We know we will have to work even harder than the semi-final and bring a performance with that.”
Tipperary trailed Galway for much of their semi-final until late goals from John O'Dwyer and John McGrath and they went on to claim a 2-19 to 2-18 win.
“After what happened last year, we are just delighted to get out with a win, albeit with plenty of room for improvement," Maher explained. "It was like a game of tennis for a while, but we just stayed working.
"Especially the second goal, the boys worked it really well and they are well capable of that. The boys up front, the likes of Bonner [Maher] and Dan [McCormack] showed unbelievable work-rate, winning vital frees at times and Seamus on the frees kept up ticking over when we weren’t going that well and that kept us in touch. We have lost a few tight games and it is great to come out the right side of it.
“The championship is really after hotting up in the last two or three weeks. We are absolutely delighted to make that step to the final.”
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