In the senior championship, Kilkenny arrived in the All-Ireland final having defeated Dublin in the Leinster final by seven points whereas Waterford defeated the favorites Tipperary to earn their place, the last time they would be involved until 2008. Amongst the dignitaries to attend the match were Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco, along with Taoiseach Seán Lemass, Minister for Industry and Commerce Jack Lynch TD (a former champion hurler for Cork), and President of Ireland Éamon de Valera.
Kilkenny (led by Seámus Cleere) were considered the outsiders for the title, but they began strongly. An exchange of points followed but an unfortunate mistake by Ned Power gifted a goal to Tom Murphy of Kilkenny who went on to score another goal and contributed to Kilkenny’s seven-point lead at half-time. After the restart, Kilkenny extended their lead to 11 points with a Tom Walsh goal. However, Waterford (captained by Joe Condon) began a fight back and with goals from Seámus Power, two from Mick Flannelly, and another from Phil Grimes, they got back to within a handful of points. Despite Waterford scoring six goals in total, Kilkenny eventually won the match by three points. Eddie Keher dominated the scoring with 14 points. This is a record for the number of points scored by an individual in an All-Ireland final that still stands today. At 22, this was the beginning of Eddie Keher’s illustrious playing career and his first of six All-Ireland medals.
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