Thursday 22 March 2018

Grogan spurs Tipp to dethrone Rebels

Tipperary 2-9 Cork 1-9
McGrath Cup (SF)

Tipperary's Barry Grogan scores his side's first goal from a penalty past Cork goalkeeper Ken O'Halloran
Tipperary's Barry Grogan scores his side's first goal from a penalty past Cork goalkeeper Ken O'Halloran

Holders Cork were eliminated from the McGrath Cup as Tipperary gained revenge for last year's final defeat at Pairc Ui Rinn.

While the final scoreline would appear to indicate a tight contest where the visitors were just that bit better to book a semi-final place, the reality was that the Premier men were far superior in most departments.

With eight minutes of normal time left, an excellent free from the left by the superb Barry Grogan put Tipp into a 2-9 to 0-7 lead, one that they were full value for after an excellent team performance in which full-back Paddy Codd also shone.

As time ran out, however, Tipp tired noticeably and two frees from sub Fintan Goold gave Cork some hope before Ciaran Sheehan brought them to within a score as he got an injury-time goal.

Cork didn't or, perhaps more accurately, couldn't get closer than that and their performance as a whole left an awful lot to be desired.

While Andrew O'Sullivan worked hard at midfield and Eoin Cadogan – playing his first game since declaring exclusively for the footballers – was good in defence, too often the Cork attack didn't click, with ball-carriers not being given options, and the hosts' shooting was not up to the required standard either.

In contrast, Tipp were brighter and led by 0-4 to 0-1 after nine minutes, thanks to two frees each from Grogan and the impressive Philip Quirke.

Donncha O'Connor fisted his and Cork's second point, but that failed to stem the overall pattern, and Grogan and Philip Austin stretched Tipp's lead before Cork improved slightly before half-time, Barry O'Driscoll and O'Connor on target, though Grogan's free was the final score before the break.

Cork introduced Pearse O'Neill, Aidan Walsh and Paul Kerrigan for the second half and reshuffled their attack, moving Sheehan to full-forward.

The changes had an immediate effect, Liam Shorten and Sheehan with points to cut the deficit to just a point within two minutes of the restart.

Then came what was arguably the game's most crucial score, however, as Austin was fouled for a Tipp penalty. Grogan sent Ken O'Halloran the wrong way to make it 1-7 to 0-6.

It got even better, as Grogan added another point and then Bill Maher scored a second goal on 48 minutes after Austin and Liam McGrath had done well to set him up.

The Rebels never looked like escaping from their malaise, the late mini-flurry notwithstanding.

Scorers – Tipperary: B Grogan 1-6 (1-0 pen, 4f), B Maher 1-0, P Quirke 0-2f, P Austin 0-1. Cork: C Sheehan 1-1, D O'Connor 0-3 (1f), L Shorten, F Goold (2f) 0-2 each, B O'Driscoll 0-1f.

TIPPERARY – P Fitzgerald; A Morrissey, P Codd, J Coghlan; A Campbell, S Kennedy, J O'Callaghan; G Hannigan, S O'Brien; P Austin, L McGrath, A Matassa; B Maher, P Quirke, B Grogan.

Subs: L Egan for Campbell (45), K Bergin for Matassa, B O'Brien for Maher (both 53), D Lowry for Austin (59), D Lynch for O'Callaghan (66).

CORK – K O'Halloran; J McLoughlin, E Cadogan, D Cahalane; M Shields, B Shanahan, N O'Leary; A O'Connor, A O'Sullivan; J Fitzpatrick, C Sheehan, O Mulrooney; B O'Driscoll , D O'Connor, L Shorten. Subs: P Kerrigan for D O'Connor, P O'Neill for Mulrooney, A Walsh for Fitzpatrick (all half-time), F Goold for O'Driscoll (65), S Kiely for O'Leary (70).

Ref – S Joy (Kerry)

Irish Independent

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