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Reid and Horgan renew king of the stats rivalry

Patrick Horgan continues to impress for Cork. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Patrick Horgan continues to impress for Cork. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

By Cian Murphy & Keelan Neary

TJ Reid and Patrick Horgan renew an epic rivalry this summer that has history in the all-time GAA records up for grabs.

The return of Championship hurling action this weekend will also renew a battle between the games’ two sharpest shooters and most experienced players in the Liam MacCarthy Cup.

This time last year Cork marksman Horgan was at the front of the all-time scorer’s chart, having overtaken legends Joe Canning and Henry Shefflin to stand on 22-516 in his SHC career for a total of 582 points from 71 appearances, which was fourth in the all-time appearance list.

Over the course of four appearances Horgan bolstered those stats with 2-39 to be on 24-555 with 75 appearances for the Rebels.

However, after another pivotal campaign driving the Cats, TJ Reid now stands as the all-time leading scorer in senior championship hurling and also holder of the most senior appearances – the man who finally knocked Waterford hero Michael ‘Brick’ Walsh off top slot who had starred in 76 games for the Deise.

Prolific Kilkenny forward TJ Reid. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Prolific Kilkenny forward TJ Reid. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

This time last year TJ was in fourth place in the scoring chart with 28-478 (562) from 74 appearances in black and amber.

His appearance in eight championship games on the run to the All-Ireland final last summer has catapulted the Ballyhale Shamrocks star to the top of the all-time appearances list with 82 appearances. His haul of 2-73 in the 2023 campaign puts him on 30 goals 551 points (641).

The 30 goals mark in hurling puts TJ into a very exclusive club – territory inhabited by the talismanic Christy Ring who scored 30 goals in a 64 game Cork senior career that began in 1940 and was conducted in an era of straight knockout championship hurling.

According to Sligo-based GAA statistician Padraig Ferguson, Longford’s Joe O’Brien sits on 31 hurling championship goals, and Tipperary sharp shooter Seamus Callanan reached 40 in his glittering career, the same figure bagged by Wexford warrior Tony Doran. The razor sharp Eddie Keher scored 35 goals in his career, while the Wexford legend Nickey Rackard amassed a staggering 61 green flags.

There’s a changing of the guard taking place in Kilkenny and Cork this year. However, Reid and Horgan, who both started out in 2008, are both signed up for another tour of duty in 2024 -meaning their numbers are destined to increase in the coming weeks, which will further cement the magnificent inter-county careers the duo have had and the impact they had had on supporters and the record books.