Tom Kenny (hurler)

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Tom Kenny
Personal information
Irish name Tomás Ó Cionnaith
Sport Dual player
Football Position: Centre-forward
Hurling Position: Right wing-back
Born (1981-07-16) 16 July 1981 (age 33)
Grenagh, County Cork, Ireland
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Occupation Accountant
Club(s)
Years Club
Grenagh
Club Titles
  Football Hurling
Cork titles 1 1
Inter-county(ies)*
Years County Apps (scores)
2003-2013
2003
Cork (hurling)
Cork (football)
47 (1-33))
1 (0-0)
Inter-county titles
  Football Hurling
Munster Titles 0 3
All-Ireland Titles 0 2
League titles 0 0
All-Stars 0 0
*Inter County team apps and scores correct as of 16:30, 31 July 2012.

Thomas "Tom" Kenny (born 16 July 1981) is an Irish hurler who played as a right wing-back for the Cork senior team from 2003 until retiring in 2013.[1]

Born in Grenagh, County Cork, Kenny first excelled at hurling whilst at school in St. Finbarr's College. He arrived on the inter-county scene as a dual player at the age of seventeen when he first linked up with the Cork minor teams, before later lining out with the under-21 and junior sides. He made his senior debut in the 2003 championship. Kenny has gone on to play a key part for Cork during a successful period for the team, and has won two All-Ireland medals and three Munster medals. Kenny was an All-Ireland runner-up on two occasions. He retired from Inter county Hurling in the winter of 2013, Going out as one of the greats of the game.

At club level Kenny has won a championship medal with Grenagh in the intermediate football grade and He also won a Cork Junior Hurling Championship medal in 2013.

Biography[edit]

Tom Kenny was born in Grenagh, County Cork in 1981, just a couple of months before his more prolific cousin John Russell. He was educated locally at Rathduff national school before later attending St. Finbarr's College, Farranferris, a famed Gaelic games nursery in Cork city. It was here that his hurling talents first came to prominence as Kenny became a key member of the college hurling teams at various levels. He first tasted success in 1996 when he captured a Dean Ryan Cup winners' medal. Kenny later joined the St. Finbarr's senior hurling team and make a Harty Cup final appearance in his final year in the school. St. Flannan's College from Ennis emerged victorious on that occasion. As a skilled soccer player he also had trials for the Irish under-age team.

Kenny subsequently attended University College Cork where he studied commerce. Once again he was heavily involved in Gaelic games when he was a UCC alumnus. In 2001 he won a freshers All-Ireland medal with the college. Three years later in 2004 Kenny captained the university to the final of the inter-varsities Fitzgibbon Cup. The opponents on that occasion were Waterford Institute of Technology, however, Kenny ended up on the losing side as WIT won the game by 0-11 to 0-9. While at UCC he was also a regular on the university Gaelic football team in the Sigerson Cup.[2]

Kenny currently works for Ernst and Young.

Playing career[edit]

Club[edit]

Kenny plays his local club hurling and Gaelic football with his local club in Grenagh and has enjoyed much success. He was regarded as a great dual player at under-age levels and he quickly joined the top team with the club. In 1999 Kenny enjoyed his first major success with Grenagh when he captured a divisional junior hurling championship winners' medal following a 2-11 to 1-11 victory over Ballinora. This was the beginning of a great decade of success for Grenagh in the Muskerry junior hurling championship.

In 2000 Kenny added a second consecutive Mid Cork junior title to his collection as Aghabullogue were defeated by 2-12 to 1-6. Grenagh completed a divisional 'double' that year as the club's football team beat Donoughmore by 0-13 to 0-4. In spite of these victories Kenny's side enjoyed little success in the wider county championship.

2001 proved to be another hugely successful year for Kenny and for Grenagh. Defeats of Donoughmore and Ballingeary gave Grenagh a second consecutive 'double' in the divisional junior championship.

After surrendering both their football and hurling titles in 2002 Grenagh bounced back in 2003. A narrow 1-14 to 2-9 win over Ballincollig gave Kenny a fourth divisional junior championship winners' medal in five years.

A fifth divisional junior hurling championship title quickly followed for Kenny in 2004 as Grenagh recorded a thrilling 0-19 to 3-9 victory over Cloughduv. The club later reached the final of the county junior championship, with Ballygarvan providing the opposition. A close game ensued, however, at the full-time whistle Kenny's side were narrowly defeated by 3-7 to 1-12.

In 2005 Kenny captured his second three-in-a-row of divisional junior hurling titles. The 2-11 to 1-7 defeat of Blarney gave him a sixth winners' medal in the championship in seven seasons.

2006 saw Grenagh surrender their divisional hurling title, however, while the club's hurlers failed the footballers enjoyed some success. A 1-10 to 1-6 defeat of Iveleary gave Kenny a second divisional junior hurling winners' medal.

In 2007 the opposite of what happened in 2006 occurred. The Grenagh footballers surrendered their title, however, the club's hurlers recahed the divisional final once again. That game against Dripsey ended in a 1-15 to 2-12 draw. The replay was much more conclusive as Grenagh romped to a 2-14 to 2-7 win. It was Kenny's seventh divisional junior hurling winners' medal.[3][4]

Kenny has also played in the county senior hurling championship as a member of his local Muskerry division.

Minor, under-21 and junior[edit]

Kenny first came to prominence on the inter-county scene as a dual player at minor level with Cork in the late 1990s. In 1999 he won a Munster winners' medal with the Cork minor football team following a 2-16 to 1-9 defeat of old rivals Kerry.[5] Cork, however, were subsequently defeated in the All-Ireland semi-final.

Two years later in 2001 Kenny was a key member of the Cork under-21 football team. That year he captured a Munster title in that grade following a 1-12 to 0-8 defeat of Limerick.[6] Unfortunately, Kenny's side were subsequently defeated in the All-Ireland semi-final.

2001 also saw Kenny enjoy success with the Cork junior football team. He lined out in the provincial final that year, with Tipperary providing the opposition. Cork made no mistake and won the game by 0-17 to 0-11, giving Kenny a Munster winners' medal in the junior grade.[7] Cork later qualified for the All-Ireland final. Mayo were the opponents on this occasion and an exciting game developed. At the full-time whistle'the Rebels' emerged victorious by 1-15 to 3-7, giving Kenny a coveted All-Ireland medal in the junior grade.[8]

Senior[edit]

Kenny's performances at under-age and junior levels brought him to the attentions of the Cork selectors at senior level in both codes. In 2003 he was a dual player, making his debuts for Cork's footballer and hurlers. Undoubtedly, it was with the senior hurling team that Kenny enjoyed the greater success.

2003 saw Cork's players emerge drom a bitter stand-off with the county board and reach the Munster final for the first time in three years. Waterford provided the opposition on that occasion as one of hurling’s modern rivalries began in earnest. An exciting game resulted between the two teams; however, victory went to Cork by 3-16 to 3-12. It was Kenny's first Munster winners' medal in the senior grade and it gave a signal that Cork were back.[9] Cork were hot favourites going into the subsequent All-Ireland semi-final against Wexford, however, it was far from a walkover. In one of the most exciting games of the championship both sides finished level: Cork 2-20, Wexford 3-17. Both sides met again six days later with Cork making no mistake and taking the spoils on a score line of 3-17 to 2-7. This win set up an All-Ireland final meeting with Kilkenny. In another thrilling game of hurling both teams were level for much of the game, exchanging tit-for-tat scores. A Setanta Ó hAilpín goal steadied the Cork ship, however, a Martin Comerford goal five minutes from the end settled the game as Kilkenny went on to win by 1-14 to 1-11.[10]

2004 saw Cork reach the Munster final once again and, for the second consecutive year, Waterford provided the opposition. In what many consider to be the greatest provincial decider of them all, both sides fought tooth-and-nail for the full seventy minutes. Unfortunately for Kenny, Cork lost the game by just a single point on a score line of Waterford 3-16, Cork 1-21.[11] Although Cork surrendered their provincial crown they were still in with a chance of landing the All-Ireland title. After maneuvering through the qualifiers Cork reached a second consecutive All-Ireland final and, once again, Kilkenny provided the opposition. This game took on a life of its own for a number of reasons. Chief among these was the fact that Kilkenny were attempting to capture a third All-Ireland in-a-row and go one ahead of Cork in the All-Ireland roll of honour. The game was expected to be another classic; however, a damp day put an end to this. The first-half was a low-scoring affair and provided little excitement for fans. The second-half saw Cork completely take over. For the last twenty-three minutes Cork scored nine unanswered points and went on to win the game by 0-17 to 0-9. It was Kenny's first All-Ireland winners' medal.[12]

In 2005 Cork were on form again and the team won back the provincial crown that year with a 1-12 to 1-16 victory over Tipperary.[13] It was Kenny's second Munster winners’ medal as Cork went on the march for glory once again. In the All-Ireland semi-final against Clare their championship campaign was nearly derailed when they fell behind by seven points at the start of the second-half. A huge performance by Cork turned this deficit around and Cork went on to win the game by 0-16 to 0-15. While it was expected that Cork and Kilkenny would do battle again in a third consecutive All-Ireland final Galway were the surprise winners of the second semi-final. It was the first meeting of Cork and Galway in an All-Ireland final since 1990 and even more daunting was the fact that men from the west had never beaten Cork in a championship decider. Once again neither side broke away into a considerable lead, however, at the final whistle Cork were ahead by 1-21 to 1-16. For the second year in-a-row Cork were the All-Ireland champions and Kenny collected his second winners’ medal.[14]

2006 saw Cork turn their attentions to a first three-in-a-row of All-Ireland titles since 1978. The team’s championship campaign got off to a good start with a 0-20 to 0-14 defeat of Clare in the opening round of the Munster championship. The subsequent provincial decider saw Cork take on Tipp for the second consecutive year. Star forward Joe Deane was to the fore, scoring an impressive eight points and contributing greatly to Cork’s 2-11 to 1-11 victory over their old rivals.[15] Subsequent victories over Limerick and Waterford saw Cork qualify for their fourth consecutive All-Ireland final and for the third time Kilkenny were the opponents. Like previous encounters neither side took a considerable lead, however, Kilkenny had a vital goal from Aidan Fogarty. Cork were in arrears coming into the final few minutes, however, Ben O'Connor goaled for Cork. It was too little too late as ‘the Cats’ denied ‘the Rebels’ the three-in-a-row on a score line of 1-16 to 1-13.[16]

In 2007 Cork were out foe redemption, however, their championship ambitions were hampered from the beginning. The so-called Semplegate affair resulted in Seán Óg Ó hAilpín, Donal Óg Cusack and Diarmuid O'Sullivan being suspended for a crucial Munster semi-final clash with Waterford. In spite of being without three of their best players Cork put up a good fight but only lost by a goal. After maneuvering through the qualifiers Cork reached the All-Ireland quarter-final. Once again Waterford provided the opposition as the game controversially ended in a draw – 3-16 apiece. The replay was less exciting; however, it was still a good game as Waterford triumphed by 2-17 to 0-20.

The activities of the Cork footballers and their reaction to the appointment of Teddy Holland as their new manager impacted greatly on the preparations of the Cork hurling team. The entire panel went on a sympathy strike and missed the opening games of the National League. In the end the Cork hurlers returned to duty, however, their first championship game resulted in a defeat by Tipperary and 'the Rebels' had to take their chances in the win-or-bust qualifiers. A goal by Joe Deane in their next outing helped Cork to limp over the finish line against Dublin. The team’s overall performance was less than impressive in the 1-17 to 0-15 win. Cork’s next game saw Galway, a team regarded as one of the best in the country, provide the opposition. The first-half was a poor affair with Cork’s goalkeeper, Donal Óg Cusack, being sent off. In the second-half Cork took charge and secured a 0-23 to 2-15 victory and a place in the All-Ireland quarter-final. Clare were the opposition on that occasion and, once again, Cork gave a poor first-half display. The second-half was a different story with Cork taking charge once again and securing a 2-19 to 2-17 victory. This win allowed Cork to advance to the All-Ireland semi-final where Kilkenny provided the opposition. It was the first time that these two teams met in the championship outside of an All-Ireland final. That game was an intriguing encounter; however, ‘the Cats’ won the day by 1-23 to 0-17.

Following the defeat by Kilkenny in 2008 manager Gerald McCarthy's two-year contract came to an end. He was later re-appointed for a further two-year term by the Cork County Board, in spite of the majority of the players not wanting him to stay on. The players on the 2008 panel, with Kenny as one of the more vocal leaders of the strike, refused to play or train under McCarthy. (see 2008-2009 Cork players strike). McCarthy accordingly began the 2009 National League campaign with a new squad, none of whom had been able to make the previous year's panel. After months of pressure McCarthy eventually stepped down as manager.

Following the resolution to these difficulties Cork were defeated by Tipperary on a score line of 1-19 to 0-19 in the opening round of the Munster campaign. After a convincing win over Offaly the next assignment for Kenny's Cork team was a win-or-bust All-Ireland qualifier meeting with Galway. Cork faltered in the final ten minutes as 'the Tribesmen' knocked 'the Rebels' out of the championship by 1-19 to 0-15.

Kenny announced his retirement from inter-county hurling in December 2013. "I'm 32 now and I felt it was time to let other lads come through and have their chance. I'm healthy, it’s not because of injury, I've had a good innings with Cork, it would have been great to go out with a third All-Ireland medal this year, but it wasn't to be."[17][18]

Inter-provincial[edit]

Kenny has also lined out with Munster in the Railway Cup inter-provincial competition. He played with the province for the only time in 2008, however, Munster were defeated by Leinster on a 1-15 to 1-12 score line.[19]

Honours[edit]

Grenagh[edit]

Cork[edit]

Munster[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Player profile: Brian Murphy". Cork GAA website. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  2. ^ "UCC Past Players: Tom Kenny". UCC[disambiguation needed]. Retrieved 2009-07-24. 
  3. ^ "Muskerry Junior A Football Finals 1971 - Present". www.gaa.corkgaaresults.com. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 
  4. ^ "Muskerry Junior A Hurling Finals 1971 - Present". www.gaa.corkgaaresults.com. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 
  5. ^ "Minor Football - Munster Final Winning Teams". Munster GAA. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  6. ^ "Under-21 Football - Munster Final Winning Teams". Munster GAA. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  7. ^ "Junior Football - Munster Final Winning Teams". Munster GAA. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  8. ^ "Cork GAA Profile". www.hoganstand.com. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 
  9. ^ "Mullane treble fails to halt Rebels". Irish Examiner. 2003-06-30. Retrieved 2009-04-22. 
  10. ^ "Kilkenny stand firm under Cork onslaught". Irish Examiner. 2003-09-15. Retrieved 2009-04-22. 
  11. ^ "MUNSTER SHC: Deise character conquers Cork". Irish Examiner. 2004-06-28. Retrieved 2009-04-22. 
  12. ^ "Cork savour sweet victory". Irish Examiner. 2004-09-13. Retrieved 2009-04-22. 
  13. ^ "Cork’s 49ers repel resilient Tipp". Irish Examiner. 2005-06-27. Retrieved 2009-04-22. 
  14. ^ "Double delight as Rebels triumph". Irish Examiner. 2005-09-12. Retrieved 2009-04-22. 
  15. ^ "Calm champions just won’t let go". Irish Examiner. 2006-06-26. Retrieved 2009-04-22. 
  16. ^ "A glorious 29th for Kilkenny". Irish Examiner. 2006-09-04. Retrieved 2009-04-22. 
  17. ^ "Cork hurling legend Tom Kenny announces his retirement". Irish Independent. 12 December 2013. Retrieved 12 December 2013. 
  18. ^ "I had good innings with Cork, says retiring Kenny". Irish Examiner. 12 December 2013. Retrieved 12 December 2013. 
  19. ^ "Railway Cup Hurling". Munster GAA. Retrieved 2009-07-25.