Forde drives Tipperary into quarters as Premier survive late surge from Cork
Tipperary 1-24 Cork 1-21
An in-form Jason Forde fired Tipperary into the National Hurling League quarter-finals at Semple Stadium today, the Premier county surviving a late surge from old Munster rivals, Cork.
The Silvermines sharp-shooter accounted for 0-12 of his side's total (0-5 from play) as Tipp recorded their third win in Division One. But they made it look harder work than it needed to be, leaking a total of 20 wides en route to a three points win.
From the outset, it had the feel of an old-fashioned shoot-out, no use of sweepers, no bow to the modern fashion of supplementing defence.
And Cork were off to a flier inside eight minutes, Patrick Horgan firing a penalty past debutant Tipp goalkeeper, Brian Hogan, after Alan Cadogan had been floored in the 'square' by a blue and gold possee. That goal put the Rebels 1-2 to 0-3 ahead, but Tipp responded impressively with an unanswered necklace of four points inside the next three minutes.
Forde was particularly prominent, giving his marker, Colm Spillane, a torrid time with two of those scores and always looking to have the measure of the Castlelyons man.
Sean Curran, Michael Breen and Patrick 'Bonner' Maher looked in flying form in the Tipp attack too, but Horgan's dead-ball skills and the impressive form of Cadogan (having a rollicking battle with Donagh Maher) was keeping Cork in it.
They were being helped too by Tipp's attacking carelessness (they leaked eleven wides in that opening half alone). By the mid-point, Tipp led 0-15 to 1-9, but manager, Michael Ryan, would have considered it a fragile enough lead given they'd had the benefit of the wind.
Forde, arguably the player of this League so far, contributed six of those Tipp points, four from play, copper-fastening the impression that he could be a big player for the Premier county this summer.
Tipp looked to be easing away to a comfortable vistory when Thurles Sarsfields centre-forward, Billy McCarthy, torqued away for a spectacular 55th minute goal to put his side seven points clear. but their supporters in a 6,733 attendance had an anxious last few minutes as Cork closed in the end to within a single score.
Tipp now meet Dublin next weekend in the quarter-finals.
SCORERS: Tipperary - J Forde 0-12 (0-7 frees), B McCarthy 1-1, Patrick Maher 0-3, S Curran, C Barrett and M Breen 0-2 each, A Flynn and B Maher 0-1 each.
Cork - -P Horgan 1=10 (0-8 frees, 1-0 pen), A Cadogan 0-3, C Lehane and M Cahalane 0-2 each, L Meade, S Kingston, D Kearney and B Lawton 0-1 each.
TIPPERARY: B Hogan, A Flynn, S O'Brien, D Maher, B Heffernan, Padraic Maher, R Maher, B Maher, C Barrett, S Curran, B McCarthy, Patrick Maher, M Breen, J Forde, J McGrath. Subs - M Russell for McGrath (64 mins). C Darcy for McCathy (71 mins), M Cahill for D Maher (72 mins).
CORK: A Nash, S O'Donoghue, D Browne, C Spillane, C Joyce, T O'Mahony, M Coleman, D Fitzgibbon, B Cooper, S Kingston, C Lehane, R O'Flynn, A Cadogan, M Cahalane, P Horgan. Subs - L Meade for Kingston (54 mins), B Lawton for O'Flynn (59 mins), D Kearney for Cooper (64 mins), J O'Connor for Fitzgibbon (70 mins)..
Referee - P O'Dwyer (Carlow).