Before an appreciative audience of just under 10,000, Cork and Tipperary paid their dues an old rivalry with a scoring exhibition at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday evening.
On a restored surface and with weather conditions unusually mild for the first day of February, the hurling was free and easy, with scores flying over from every conceivable angle and distance.
The curmudgeon might raise a protest over some of the marking, which was often casual to put it mildly, but for Cork a win over Tipperary is always welcome. All the more so because they had to hold off a late challenge to secure it.
A late penalty goal by Tipperary goalkeeper Brian Hogan brought the visitors to within a point of their rivals, having trailed all through the second half, but Seamus Harnedy made the points safe with a last score deep into injury-time.
"Of course we're delighted with the win but I think mostly we're very happy with the performance and the effort that our lads put in there," Kieran Kingston, the Cork manager, stated. "There was great honesty to it. There was great attitude to their play and that's something that we needed to bring."
Patrick Horgan, inevitably, was one of the main architects of the win, which reversed defeats to Tipp in last year's league and championship. The Glen Rovers player finished with 1-9, the goal from a penalty won by the impressive Robbie O'Flynn in first half stoppage time that had Cork sitting on a 2-13 to 0-15 interval cushion.
O'Flynn buzzed around all evening and finished with 1-3, the goal coming in the 11th minute, beating Hogan at his near post. Alan Cadogan sparkled with four points from play. Aidan Walsh started well until injured in the first half, Cork also losing Tim O'Mahoney.
"I was delighted to the way the lads adjusted," said Kingston, "losing a centre-back and a wing-forward. The change was seamless."
Tipperary forward John O'Dwyer was down for an extended spell near the end of the match, but the injury was later played down by his manager Liam Sheedy. O'Dwyer, along with Seamus Callanan, came off the bench in the second half.
"He's good, he's awake, he got a bit of a shot in the chin, it was a fairly tough tackle, obviously completely accidental, they were both going for the ball in an aerial battle. We were quite worried at the time but he can feel all his limbs, he's probably a bit concussed, but nothing more than that."
Cian Darcy was another to leave the pitch due to injury but left his mark with two good scores, while Paudie Maher hit three from open play. Mark Kehoe enhanced his reputation with four points from play and also won the Tipperary penalty when fouled by Bill Cooper three minutes from the end.
Cork's team changes from the opening round defeat in Waterford included a start for Patrick Collins, preferred to long-standing custodian Anthony Nash, and he made the most of the opportunity with an impressive display. John McGrath also gave an accomplished performance, scoring four points.
The result leaves Tipp pointless after two rounds and unlikely to make the knockout stages, not that Sheedy appeared overly perturbed.
"We have a week off now and in the last week we trained really hard - we might be a small bit leggy, I thought some of the players got a small bit leggy in the second half," he remarked.
"Results with big margins aren't going to define this group, I'm very happy with where we're at, we have players to come back in and we're looking to tweak our performances in the league."
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.
From five down, Tipp's response was impressive. They hit the next five scores, Jason Forde scoring over the shoulder from out near the sideline, and Kehoe, McGrath and Ronan Maher also registering.
Darragh Fitzgibbon gave Cork serious impetus when introduced and they guarded their lead throughout the second half, surviving a late scare when McGrath whipped a ground stroke over the crossbar with the goal on.
"I'm happy with the level of performance I'm getting," said Sheedy. "I'm just not getting it for long enough periods to win matches."
Scorers - Cork: P Horgan 1-9 (8f, 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 (3f), M Kehoe, J McGrath 0-4 each; B Hogan 1-0 (pen); P Maher 0-3; P Cadell, C Darcy, J Morris 0-2 each; A Flynn, R Maher (f), N O'Meara, J Cahill 0-1 each.
Cork - P Collins 8; C Spillane 7, S O'Donoghue 8, R Downey 6; C O'Leary 7, T O'Mahony 6, B Cooper 7; D Cahalane 7, L Meade 6; S Harnedy 7, R O'Flynn 8, A Walsh 7; A Cadogan 9, D Dalton 6, P Horgan 9. Subs: D Fitzgibbon 9 for Walsh (inj 22); M Coleman 8 for O'Mahoney (inj 26); C Lehane 6 for Dalton (47); S Kingston 6 for Meade (62).
Tipperary - B Hogan 7; Joe O'Dwyer 7, R Maher 7, S O'Brien 5; S Kennedy 6, P Maher 8, A Flynn 7; P Cadell 7, W Connors 7; M Kehoe 9, J McGrath 8, M Breen 6; J Forde 7, J Morris 7, C Darcy 7.
Subs: J Cahill 7 for Cadell (26); N O'Meara 7 for Breen (34); S Callanan 6 for Darcy (inj 48); B O'Mara 6 for Kennedy (53); John O'Dwyer 6 for Forde (64); P Flynn for O'Dwyer (inj 77).
Ref - J Owens (Wexford)