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Cork withstand late Tipperary rally to claim first Allianz Hurling League victory of the year

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Darragh Fitzgibbon of Cork bursts past Tipperary's Séamus Kennedy during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Group A Round 2 match at Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Darragh Fitzgibbon of Cork bursts past Tipperary's Séamus Kennedy during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Group A Round 2 match at Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

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Darragh Fitzgibbon of Cork bursts past Tipperary's Séamus Kennedy during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Group A Round 2 match at Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Cork withstood a late Tipperary onslaught to claim a first win in their 2020 Allianz National Hurling League campaign at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

A late penalty by Tipperary goalkeeper Brian Hogan brought the visitors to within a point of their rivals, having trailed for most of the second half, but Seamus Harnedy made the points safe with a last score deep into injury time.

The game finished with what looked a serious injury to John O'Dwyer which left an extended stoppage time, and when play resumed there was a flashpoint when Cork manager Kieran Kingston reacted furiously to an incident off the ball that left Alan Cadogan on the deck.

Despite that late rise in the temperature, much of the match was played without rancour, and lacked genuine intensity.

For long spells, the play too too open and free-flowing. There were some lovely scores, granted, but it was all a bit too cordial and missing the essential toughness to make it truly memorable.

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Pádraic Maher of Tipperary wins a high ball over Seamus Harnedy of Cork during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Group A Round 2 clash at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Pádraic Maher of Tipperary wins a high ball over Seamus Harnedy of Cork during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Group A Round 2 clash at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

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Pádraic Maher of Tipperary wins a high ball over Seamus Harnedy of Cork during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Group A Round 2 clash at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Hogan's penalty set up an exciting finish but a match between these rivals in the summer would be unrecognisable from this one.

After losing on the opening night to Limerick, Tipperary made just one change, including Cian Darcy in their attack and held Seamus Callanan in the traps, before bringing him on in the second half.

Although a series of players have yet to return from injury and extended club activity, last weekend's evidence suggests that Liam Sheedy's management team is intent on being experimental.

They lost a ten-point lead, in a 12-point swing, to Limerick in the process but Sheedy declared himself pleased with the effort given and the experienced gained by the rookie players.

Cork's changes included a start for Patrick Collins, preferred long-standing custodian Anthony Nash, and he had a fine math.

Robbie O'Flynn and Alan Cadogan came in and both had excellent displays, Cadogan scoring four points and setting up two more.

O'Flynn scored 1-3 and won a late first half penalty for Patrick Horgan. Cork's free taker finished on 1-9, all bar one point from dead balls.

Conditions were ideal for hurling, mild with no significant wind factor. In the first half, the hurling was loose and casual, players given the kind of room they won’t be having in a few months' time. So the points kept flowing.

They were level twice in the early stages, Tipp twice coming from behind, before Cork stepped on the accelerator and opened a five-point advantage after 15 minutes, 1-7 to 0-5.

Cadogan had three points in the first half and set up another, while centre forward O’Flynn finished with 1-2 and was also fouled by Sean O'Brien for a penalty in first half injury time, which Horgan converted, leaving the home team with a somewhat flattering interval lead of 2-13 to 0-15.

The first goal from O'Flynn in the 11th minute went in at Hogan's near post, a concession a goalkeeper of his calibre would not be expected to be giving.

Tipp had sneaked in front a minute before with John McGrath carrying on the good form of the previous weekend, and Paddy Cadell hitting to fine scores, but after the goal Cork hit three points without reply.

From five down, Tipp's response was impressive. They hit the next five scores, with Jason Forde having his first free in the 16th minute, followed by a brilliant strike by Forde that split the posts from out on the sideline, and further points from Mark Kehoe, McGrath and Ronan Maher with a free from his own 45.

Kehoe finished the first half with three points but the marking at times was incredibly lax.

Having been reeled in, Cork restored their lead with a first score in 12 minutes, from Cadogan, and between that 27th minute point and half time the teams kept exchanging scores in a match that lacked real intensity.

Paudie Maher joined in the fun with two first half points, the second restoring Tipp's lead in added time. But Cork came with 1-1 in response, the penalty from Horgan and an excellent point from Darragh Fitzgibbon preceding it.

Twenty minutes into the second half, Cork still held the lead, 2-18 to 0-21, with the hurling becoming a bit more physical and Fitzgibbon starting to exert an influence and Horgan landing a number of frees from the next parish.

Oddly, Tipp's free opportunities were extremely limited. By the hour mark only two pointed frees had been coughed up to Jason Forde.

Tipp trailed throughout the second half and after a late goal chance, a whipped groundstroke by John McGrath, flashed over the bar, they finally hit the net when Hogan rifled home a penalty in the 68th minute to leave only a point between the sides and set up a tense finish.

SCORERS: Cork - P Horgan 1-9 (0-8 fs, 1-0 pen), R O’Flynn 1-3, A Cadogan 0-4, D Fitzgibbon, S Harnedy 0-2, A Walsh, D Cahalane, L Meade, M Coleman 0-1. Tipperary - J Forde 0-4 (0-3 fs), M Kehoe 0-4, J McGrath 0-4, B Hogan 1-0 (pen), P Maher 0-3, P Cadell 0-2, C Darcy 0-2, J Morris 0-2, , A Flynn, R Maher (f), N O’Meara, J Cahill 0-1.

Cork: P Collins; C Spillane, S O’Donoghue, R Downey; C O'Leary, T O'Mahony, B Cooper; D Cahalane, L Meade; S Harnedy, R O’Flynn, A Walsh; A Cadogan, D Dalton, P Horgan. Subs: D Fitzgibbon for Walsh (inj 22); M Coleman for O’Mahoney (inj 26); C Lehane for Dalton (47); S Kingston for Meade (62).

Tipperary: B Hogan; J O’Dwyer, R Maher, S O’Brien; S Kennedy, P Maher, A Flynn; P Cadell, W Connors; M Kehoe, J McGrath, M Breen; J Forde, J Morris, C Darcy. Subs: J Cahill for Cadell (26); N O’Meara for Breen (34); S Callana for Darcy (inj 48); B O’Mara for Kennedy (53); J O’Dwyer for Forde (64); P Flynn for O’Dwyer (inj 77);

Referee: J Owens (Wexford).

Online Editors


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