Tipperary 2-16 Cork 0-22: Munster rivals share spoils in Thurles nail-biter

Tipperary 2-16 Cork 0-22: Munster rivals share spoils in Thurles nail-biter

May 17, 2021

Tipperary and Cork finished level, 2-16 to 0-22, after an enthralling National Hurling League showdown at Semple Stadium.

In a dramatic finish, both sides had opportunities to snatch the win. Patrick Horgan hit the post, while Ronan Maher shot wide before the full-time whistle was blown.

In truth, neither manager will be devastated after an entertaining contest, with both teams building towards the summer.

It was a mid-May meeting between Tipperary and Cork in Semple Stadium. But comparisons to traditional summer showdowns between the Munster rivals ended there, with torrential rain, empty stands and a lack of the championship do-or-die intensity impacting the contest.

Cork made the brighter start. Within seconds, they had a golden opportunity to find the net. Jack O’Connor found himself one-on-one with the on-rushing Barry Hogan, but he spurned the chance and blasted it wide.

Tipp found their groove, with John O’Dwyer, John McGrath and Noel McGrath all pointing.

But the Rebels did not have to wait long for their goal. A well-played Mark Coleman cross-field ball found Tim O’Mahony. The Newtownshandrum man combined with Patrick Horgan, before scooping it into the net in the 10th minute.

The Lee-siders were expanding on the running game seen in last weekend’s win over Waterford, taking on the Tipperary defenders at every opportunity.

The Premier County eventually managed to settle, largely through the accuracy of Jason Forde from placed balls. The Silvermines man sent the umpires scurrying for white flags on six occasions before the break, as the home side took a 0-12 to 1-8 lead into half-time.

Nonetheless, Cork threatened throughout the opening 35 minutes, with O’Mahony and Alan Cadogan always dangerous. Their execution let them down however, with eight first-half wides.

Cork’s ball-work was letting them down at times, with their hand-passing game proving difficult in the wet conditions. When it worked, it was causing the Premier real problems however. In the 44th minute, Patrick Horgan was on the end of a perfectly-executed team move and batted it past Hogan and into the Tipp net.

It was a score that filled the Rebels with confidence, as Daire Connery tagged on a long-range score to give them a 2-10 to 0-15 lead at the second water break.

A monstrous Ronan Maher free in the 59th minute ended a 12-minute scoring drought for the Premier, but the Rebels kept pushing forward.

Tipp countered, with a pair of Forde frees and a Barry Heffernan point drawing it level in the 69th minute.

Cork looked to find the extra gear at the death. Conor Cahalane nudged the Rebels back into the lead and Alan Connolly tagged on another.

However, Tipp were not to be denied with Cathal Barrett finding a late point before Forde held his nerve with a late free.

The main takeaways from a wet night in Thurles?

Cork are slowly building ahead of the summer. John Kiely will have taken notes, with July’s Munster semi-final in mind.

Liam Sheedy will be satisfied with elements, including the performance of the quickly improving Brian McGrath as well his team’s never-say-die attitude.

Ultimately, both sides know bigger challenges lie ahead.

Scorers

Tipperary: Jason Forde (0-10, 0-10 frees), John McGrath 0-2, Noel McGrath (0-2), Barry Heffernan (0-2), Cathal Barrett (0-1), Brian McGrath (0-1), Ronan Maher (0-1, 0-1 free), Jake Morris (0-1), John O’Dwyer (0-1), Paul Flynn (0-1).

Cork: Patrick Horgan (1-6, 0-5 frees), Tim O’Mahony (1-1), Alan Cadogan (0-3), Conor Cahalane (0-2), Daire Connery (0-1), Alan Connolly (0-1), Robbie O’Flynn (0-1). Darragh Fitzgibbon (0-1).

Teams

Tipperary

1. Barry Hogan

2. Cathal Barrett
5. Padraic Maher
3. Brian McGrath

7. Ronan Maher
6. Seamus Kennedy
4. Barry Heffernan

8. Alan Flynn
11. Noel McGrath

10. Jason Forde
24. Jake Morris
12. Niall O’Meara

13. John O’Dwyer
14. John McGrath
15. Willie Connors

Subs
Michael Breen for Alan Flynn (40th minute)
Paul Flynn for Niall O’Meara (44th minute)
Paddy Caddell for Noel McGrath (56th minute)
Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher for John O’Dwyer (56th minute)
Brendan Maher for Willie Connors (59th minute)
Dillon Quirke for Jake Morris (65th minute)

Cork

1. Patrick Collins

2. Niall O’Leary
3. Damien Cahalane
4. Sean O’Leary Hayes

5. Robert Downey
6. Mark Coleman
7. Niall Cashman

8. Billy Hennessy
9. Tim O’Mahony

10. Robbie O’Flynn
12. Darragh Fitzgibbon
15. Luke Meade

14. Alan Cadogan
13. Patrick Horgan
25. Jack O’Connor

Subs
Conor Cahalane for Robbie O’Flynn (28th minute)
Daire Connery for Niall Cashman (45th minute)
Eoin Cadogan for Robert Downey (55th minute)
Tadhg Deasy for Jack O’Connor (55th minute)
Sean O’Donoghue for Sean O’Leary Hayes (59th minute)
Alan Connolly for Alan Cadogan (59th minute)
Sean Twomey for Luke Meade (75th minute)

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