Tipperary lay down marker in Munster with dominant victory over Cork
Cork 1-24 Tipperary 2-28
With only two wins from their previous 11 competitive games, Tipperary hurlers badly needed to arrest the decline, which they duly did with a very impressive win in the opening round of the Munster championship 'round robin'.
That it came in Pairc Ui Chaoimh against the defending Munster champions made it all the more satisfactory for Liam Sheedy's men, who took a significant step towards avoiding the disappointment of last year when they failed to qualify for the All-Ireland stages.
With two of their remaining three games at home to Waterford and Limerick, the landscape looks a whole more welcoming that would have been the case if they lost their opening provincial game for a third successive year.
Instead they put down a real marker for the rest of the campaign, scoring 2-28 while also missing some good chances. Everyone from right wing back, Brendan Maher to left full-forward, John McGrath scored with Seamus Callanan (1-4) and ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer (0-7) leading the way.
Cork, for whom Patrick Horgan scored 0-14, battled hard but were out-gunned in the second half where Tipp’s second goal,finished by John McGrath in the 50th minute, was crucial.
Seamus Harnedy drove in Cork goal but in the 65th minute but Tipperary maintained momentum and scored some excellent late points to close out the game.
“Any day you score 2-28 in Pairc Ui Chaoimh is a good day. But it’s only one day - there’s a lot more to be done,”said Tipp manager, Liam Sheedy.
Tipperary led by 1-13 to 0-15 at half-time, having led by six (1-8 to 0-5) at the end of the first quarter. Their impressive start yielded a goal from Seamus Callanan in the third minute. They were much slicker in the early stages, but Cork improved substantially in the second quarter, winning much more possession and using it well. Pat Horgan, who finished the half on 0-10 (0-8 from frees), punished Tipp's defensive indiscretions with a fantastic display of accuracy from all distances and angles.
Cork scored six unanswered points to draw level in the 28th minute, having had a let-off a few minutes earlier when Anthony Nash made a splendid save from a Jason Forde penalty.
Cork led by a point coming up to half-time before Tipp regained their touch and nudged in front.
Scorers: Tipperary J O’Dwyer 0-7, S Callanan 1-4,J Forde 0-5 (3f), J McGrath 1-1, N McGrath 0-4 (1’65’), B Maher 0-2, R Maher, Padraic Maher, Patrick Maher, M Breen, N O’Meara 0-1.
Cork P Horgan 0-14 (10f), S Harnedy 1-2, C Lehane, S Kingston 0-3 each, R O’Flynn, T O’Mahony 0-1 each.
CORK: A Nash; S O'Donoghue, E Cadogan, N O'Leary; C Joyce, T O'Mahony, M Coleman; D Fitzgibbon, L Meade; D Kearney,P Horgan, R O’Flynn; C Lehane, S Harnedy, S Kingston.
Subs: D Cahalane for Joyce (44), A Walsh for O’Flynn (60), D Dalton for Kearney (65), J O’Connor for Kingston (71).
TIPPERARY: B Hogan; C Barrett, J Barry, S O'Brien; B Maher, R Maher, Padraic Maher; N McGrath, M Breen; N O'Meara, S Callanan, Patrick Maher; J O'Dwyer, J Forde, J McGrath.
Subs: D McCormack for Breen (49),J Morris for Forde (55), W Connors for O’Meara (63), C Darcy for N McGrath (70).
Ref - S Cleere (Kilkenny)