Tipperary banish Leeside hoodoo

From gaa.ie

National League champions Tipperary banished an 85-year hoodoo by recording a first championship victory against Cork at Páirc Uí Chaoimh since 1923.

A power-packed performance from the Premier County booked a date against Limerick or Clare in the Munster senior hurling final on July 13.

Munster SHC Semi-Final: Cork 1-13 Tipperary 1-19

Tipp last captured the Munster title in 2001 but after losing successive finals against Cork in 2005 and 2006, they will now fancy their chances of ending a seven-year provincial famine.

Tipp, who remain unbeaten in competitive fare this year, trailed by a point at half-time, 1-9 to 1-8, but their huge levels of fitness and hunger proved the difference when the game was in the melting pot as a second successive championship victory against their ancient rivals was secured.

During the final 19 minutes of actual playing time, Tipp outscored Cork by 0-10 to 0-2 to seal a comprehensive six-point victory.

Cork did open the game in blistering fashion and had registered 1-8 in the first 23 minutes but their return of five points for the remaining 52 minutes of playing time was never going to be good enough.

Four of Cork’s six starting forwards, including debutants Kevin Canty and Paudie O’Sullivan, were hauled off before the finish, a clear indication of the struggles to register scores.

The Rebels did find the net after just eight minutes when Ben O’Connor ghosted behind the Tipp rearguard and fired beneath the body of goalkeeper Brendan Cummins.
That effort handed Cork an early 1-1 to 0-2 lead, which stretched to 1-8 to 0-4 after 23 minutes.

Seven points down, Tipp were in serious trouble and struggling to cope with Cork’s tactics, particularly around the middle of the field.

Early on, Cork brought the hugely-impressive Cathal Naughton from the full forward line to act as a third midfielder and this ploy reaped rich dividends.

Clever movement from Naughton, Jerry O’Connor and Tom Kenny enabled
goalkeeper Donal Óg Cusack to find a man with alarming ease and Cork reeled off completely dominated the opening third of the game.

Tipp eventually copped on to Cork’s move and when Conor O’Brien followed Naughton out around the middle of the field and Tipp went man for man, the floodgates closed.

Lar Corbett, who lashed over three superb first half points, drifted off his marker Diarmuid O’Sullivan to devastating effect and he provided extra help to a stuttering half-forward line.

O’Sullivan went down injured early in the game and signalled that he was in serious trouble but in the absence of a genuine replacement full-back, the Cloyne clubman stayed on the field.

Shane McGrath and Corbett were almost telepathic at times, such was their understanding, but Tipp were heavily reliant on Eoin Kelly’s superb 24th-minute goal to drag them back into contention.

Debutant Séamus Callinan, who caught fire after half-time, floated a ball towards Kelly, who found himself one-on-one with his marker Brian Murphy.

A quick shimmy and turn left Kelly with the yard of space he craved and the five-time Allstar lashed a blistering drive across Cusack and into the bottom corner at the Blackrock End.

In front of 42,823 spectators, it was very much game on now and Kelly almost goaled again a minute before half-time but Cusack produced a blinding save.

A run of three points in the space of two minutes just before the interval, from Kelly, substitute Pat Kerwick and the dynamic McGrath left Tipp very much in contention at the break, trailing by just a single point.

They could, and arguably should, have held the lead heading down the tunnel but the Premier County registered nine first half wides.

It was Cork who hit some poor efforts into the densely-populated Blackrock End in the second half, with eight wides racked up, and after the sides traded early scores, the game roared into life.

After 39 minutes, Pa Cronin wriggled clear and forced Brendan Cummins into a smart save, with Paudie O’Sullivan unlucky not to connect as the sliotar bounced to safety.

Five minutes later, O’Sullivan was left disconsolate when his penalty was brilliantly-saved by Cummins after Barry Kelly correctly adjudged that Paul Curran had fouled Cronin.

Buoyed by that let-off, Tipp drew level in the 46th-minute when top scorer Eoin Kelly fired over a free to tie the match at 1-9 apiece.

Cork hit back with two points but Tipp rallied again as a fascinating tussle reached boiling point.

Ben O’Connor (free) and influential Tipp substitute Micheál Webster traded points before Webster was fouled by Diarmuid O’Sullivan and Kelly’s free handed Tipp the lead for the first time since they had opened the scoring after just 13 seconds.

Inspired defensively by the magnificent Conor O’Mahony, they kicked on with four more points during a run of six unanswered scores, including a delicious sideline cut from evergreen wing back Eamonn Corcoran.

Brian Corry stopped the Cork rot with three minutes left but the writing was on the wall for the Leesiders and they were finally put out of their misery when Kelly and Callinan scored late points to seal a famous, historic victory.

CORK: D Óg Cusack; S O’Neill, D O’Sullivan, B Murphy; J Gardiner, R Curran, S Óg O’hAilpín (0-1); J O’Connor (0-2), T Kenny (0-1); B O’Connor (1-3, 0-2f), K Canty, T McCarthy; P O’Sullivan (0-1), P Cronin, C Naughton (0-4).

SUBS: N McCarthy for Canty (47m), K Murphy (Sars) for T McCarthy (47m), B Corry (0-1) for Cronin (57m), J Deane for P O’Sullivan (66m), P Horgan for N McCarthy (68m).

TIPPERARY: B Cummins; E Buckley, P Curran, C O’Brien; E Corcoran (0-1sl), C O’Mahony, S Maher; J Woodlock, S McGrath (0-1); S Butler, S Callinan (0-3), R O’Dwyer; E Kelly (1-7, 0-5f), L Corbett (0-4), W Ryan (0-1).

SUBS: P Kerwick (0-1) for O’Dwyer (32m), B Dunne for Woodlock (45m), M Webster (0-1) for Butler (46m), J O’Brien for Ryan (54m), D Egan for Callinan (60 + 3m).

Referee: B Kelly (Westmeath).

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