John Tennyson

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John Tennyson
Personal information
Irish name Seán Tennyson
Sport Hurling
Position Centre-back
Born (1985-02-06) 6 February 1985 (age 29)
Hugginstown, County Kilkenny, Ireland
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Nickname Tenno
Occupation Sales representative
Years Club
Club titles
Kilkenny titles 0
Years County Apps (scores)
2005-2013 Kilkenny 19 (0-00)
Inter-county titles
Leinster titles 4
All-Irelands 3
All Stars 0
*Inter County team apps and scores correct as of 22:29, 27 May 2013.

John Tennyson (born 6 February 1985) is an Irish hurler who played as a centre-back for the Kilkenny senior team.

Born in Mabbotstown near Hugginstown, County Kilkenny, Tennyson first excelled at hurling whilst at school in St. Kieran's College. He arrived on the inter-county scene at the age of seventeen when he first linked up with the Kilkenny minor team, before later lining out with the under-21 side. He made his senior debut in the 2005 championship. Tennyson went on to play for what has come to be known as the greatest team of all-time, and has won three All-Ireland medals, four Leinster medals and two National League medals. His brother, Pat Tennyson, was also an All-Ireland medallist with Kilkenny.

Tennyson represented the Leinster inter-provincial team on a number of occasions, winning his sole Inter-provincial medal in 2006. At club level he continues to play for Carrickshock.

Tennyson announced his retirement from inter-county hurling on 26 May 2013.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

John Tennyson was born in Mabbotstown, Hugginstown, County Kilkenny in 1985. He was educated locally at Newmarket N.S. and later at St. Kieran's College, a school renowned for producing fine county hurlers. It was here that Tennyson first tasted success as he won an All-Ireland colleges medal with the school's senior team. Tennyson graduated from University College Cork with an honours degree in civil & environmental engineering. It was at UCC that he earned three consecutive Datapac Hotshot awards.[3][4]

Playing career[edit]


Tennyson plays his club hurling with Carrickshock and has enjoyed much success.

In 2004 Carrickshock reached a third consecutive intermediate championship final, having lost the previous two deciders. A narrow 0-14 to 1-10 defeat of Mooncoin gave Tennyson a coveted championship medal.[5] He later won a Leinster medal as Carrickshock defeated St. Patrick's by 2-16 to 0-7 in the inaugural provincial decider.[6] Tennyson's side were subsequently defeated by Kildangan in the All-Ireland decider.[7]

On 25 October 2010 Tennyson played in his first senior championship decider. Carrickshock were fancied to end a 59-year wait for the title but found themselves chasing the game from the start and eventually lost by 0-17 to 1-11.[8]

Minor and under-21[edit]

Tennyson first came to prominence on the inter-county scene as a member of the Kilkenny minor hurling team in 2002. He won a Leinster medal that year as Kilkenny defeated Wexford by 2-15 to 2-8.[9] Tennyson later added an All-Ireland medal to his collection as Kilkenny gave a tour-de-force performance in outclassing Tipperary by 3-15 to 1-7.[10]

In 2003 Tennyson won a second Leinster medal in the minor grade following an 0-18 to 0-13 defeat of Offaly.[11] The subsequent All-Ireland decider against Galway was a classic encounter. A narrow 2-16 to 2-15 victory gave Tennyson a second consecutive All-Ireland medal.[12]

Tennyson joined the Kilkenny under-21 team in 2004. He won a Leinster medal that year following a 0-16 to 2-3 defeat of Wexford. Kilkenny later trounced Tipperary by 3-12 to 1-6, giving Tennyson an All-Ireland medal.[13]

Kilkenny made it two provincial under-21 titles in-a-row in 2005, with Tennyson winning a second Leinster medal.[14] Kilkenny were later narrowly defeated by Galway in the All-Ireland decider.[15]

Tennyson maintained his unbeaten record in the provincial under-21 series in 2006. A 2-18 to 2-10 defeat of Dublin gave him a third successive Leinster medal.[16] Kilkenny later drew with Tipperary, before eventually triumphing by 1-11 to 0-11 in the replay.[17] It was Tennyson's second All-Ireland medal and his last game in the under-21 grade.


Tennyson made his senior championship debut when he came on as a substitute for Noel Hickey in a 6-28 to 0-15 trouncing of Offaly on 12 June 2005.[18] He started his first championship game at full-back in the subsequent All-Ireland quarter-final defeat of Limerick.

In 2006 Tennyson became Kilkenny's first-choice centre-back. He won his first National Hurling League medal that year following a forgettable 3-11 to 0-15 defeat of Limerick.[19] He later claimed his first Leinster medal on the field of play as Wexford were defeated by 1-23 to 2-12.[20] Tennyson later lined out in his first senior All-Ireland decider against Cork. The Leesiders were aiming for a third All-Ireland victory in-a-row; however, revenge was foremost in the minds of Kilkenny as it was Cork who denied their three-in-a-row bid in 2004. On the day Kilkenny were far too strong for Cork as "the Cats" secured a 1-16 to 1-13 victory.[21] It was Tennyson's first All-Ireland medal.

Tennyson was dropped from the starting fifteen for Kilkenny's championship campaign in 2007. He came on as a substitute to claim his second Leinster medal following a facile 2-24 to 1-12 defeat of Wexford. In the subsequent All-Ireland final he was also introduced as a substitute for the injured Noel Hickey. Kilkenny went on to defeat Limerick by 2-19 to 1-15.[22] It was a second All-Ireland medal for Tennyson.

In 2008 Tennyson played no part in Kilkenny's provincial and All-Ireland victories but was an unused substitute in both games.[23]

Tennyson regained his place on the starting fifteen during Kilkenny's league campaign in 2009. He captured his second winners' medal in that competition following a thrilling 2-26 to 4-17 extra-time defeat of Tipperary.[24] In the subsequent championship campaign Tennyson won a third Leinster medal as Dublin were accounted for by 2-18 to 0-18.[25] The All-Ireland decider that year was an epic encounter between Kilkenny and Tipperary. A thrilling 2-22 to 0-23 victory secured a record-equalling four-in-a-row of championship titles.[26]

In 2010 Tennyson added a fourth Leinster medal to his collection following a 1-19 to 1-12 defeat of new provincial rivals Galway. The subsequent All-Ireland final produced another showdown with Tipperary. The Munster men got off to a great start as Kilkenny's star forward Henry Shefflin had to leave the field with an injury. A hat-trick of goals by Lar Corbett and a fourth by Noel McGrath denied Kilkenny's drive-for-five and secured a remarkable 4-17 to 1-18 victory for Tipp.[27]

A knee injury ruled Tennyson out of the 2011 championship.

Tennyson made his last championship appearance for Kilkenny in a Leinster semi-final trouncing of Dublin in 2012. He was an unused substitute for Kilkenny's ninth All-Ireland triumph in twelve years after a 3-22 to 3-11 defeat of Galway in a replayed All-Ireland decider.[28]

After failing to make any appearances during Kilkenny's successful league campaign in 2013, Tennyson decided to retire from inter-county hurling before the start of the championship.

Personal life[edit]

His family have a keen interest in horse racing, owning numerous reasonably successful horses. Presently he owns one horse that has run twice in point to point as of March 2008, named Jimandgary foaled in 2003 and trained by Patrick Cody, finishing third on both occasions. On 20 April 2008, the horse won is first race at Ballydurn in Waterford.[29]


  1. ^ "Cats' board confirm Tennyson retirement". Irish Examiner. 27 May 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "Kilkenny star John Tennyson announces his inter-county retirement". Irish Independent. 27 May 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  3. ^ DCU, WIT head Datapac Hotshots list
  4. ^ Datapac Hotshots Team
  5. ^ "Third time lucky for Carrickshock". Kilkenny People. 1 November 2004. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  6. ^ "Sportslines". Irish Independent. 14 November 2004. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  7. ^ "Cats' clean sweep bid ends in drama". Irish Independent. 29 March 2005. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  8. ^ "Comerford leads Gaels' title surge". Irish Independent. 25 October 2010. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  9. ^ O'Hara, Aidan (8 July 2002). "O'Dwyer's goals sink Wexford". Irish Independent. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  10. ^ Murphy, John (9 September 2002). "Classy Kilkenny give Tipp a roasting". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  11. ^ Harrington, John (7 July 2003). "Little trouble as Kilkenny add to haul". Irish Independent. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  12. ^ Larkin, Brendan (15 September 2003). "Power point electrifies Cats". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  13. ^ O'Sullivan, Jim (20 September 2004). "Kilkenny ‘whirlwind’ blows Tipperary away". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  14. ^ "Kilkenny U-21s deny Dublin Leinster hurling title". Breaking News website. 20 July 2005. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  15. ^ "Late point denies Kilkenny U21s title". Breaking News website. 18 September 2005. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  16. ^ "Controversy as Kilkenny survive scare". Irish Independent. 28 July 2006. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  17. ^ O'Flynn, Diarmuid (11 September 2006). "Tipp five seconds from glory". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  18. ^ Foley, Clíona (13 June 2005). "Cats tear Offaly to shreds". Irish Independent. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  19. ^ O'Connell, Jerome (5 May 2006). "Shefflin goals shatter Limerick's title dream". Limerick Leader. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  20. ^ O'Sullivan, Jim (3 July 2006). "Confident Cats never forced out of the comfort zone". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  21. ^ Moynihan, Michael (4 September 2006). "Cats show their claws". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  22. ^ Moynihan, Michael (3 September 2007). "Emotions high as Cats bag 30th title". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  23. ^ O'Flynn, Diarmuid (8 September 2008). "A 3-30 finish to a 3.30 start". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  24. ^ "Hogan goes extra yard of plucky Tipperary". Irish Independent. 4 May 2009. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  25. ^ O'Flynn, Diarmuid (6 July 2009). "Cats hold off Dublin’s final charge". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  26. ^ Breheny, Martin (7 September 2009). "Kilkenny cement their greatness". Irish Independent. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  27. ^ O'Grady, Donal (6 September 2010). "No holding back terrier-like Tipp". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  28. ^ O'Flynn, Diarmuid (1 October 2012). "Back to basics works for merciless Kilkenny". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  29. ^ Irish Point-to-point