TIPP V CORK MATCH REPORT

Pat Horgan’s last-gasp point secured a draw for Cork at the end of a thrilling Allianz Hurling Division 1A contest against Tipperary in Thurles. Second-placed Cork and Tipp, in third, will meet again in the Division 1 semi-finals, a rematch which will be keenly anticipated. Horgan and Darren Sweetnam helped the Rebels move 0-13 to 0-11 ahead after an evenly-balanced first half. Pa Bourke and Conor Lehane swapped second half goals and although Tipp had looked likely winners, the visitors levelled at the death.

These great Munster rivals were level on seven occasions during the opening 35 minutes, which were played at a near-Championship pace and with bubbling competitiveness all over the pitch. The Semple Stadium spectators, numbering 10,150, were treated to a terrific battle that was launched by a busy opening spell – early points from Horgan, Lehane and Jamie Coughlan showed Cork’s eagerness to build on their victory over All-Ireland champions Kilkenny.

Pa Bourke had squeezed in a point for Tipp before the hosts put together some cohesive phases of play which resulted in points for Thomas Stapleton, Gearoid Ryan, John O’Brien and James Woodlock. The free-flowing nature of the match held the crowd spellbound and certainly whetted their appetites for the summer’s Championship action. Indeed, there were 22 points scored from open play in the first half, with Pa Bourke and William Egan converting a free apiece for their respective sides.

Horgan and teenage starlet Sweetnam had Jimmy Barry-Murphy’s men back level at 0-06 each by the 15th minute and they managed to nose ahead just before the half-time whistle with Horgan contributing four points from play.
Tipperary boss Declan Ryan rued a late missed opportunity though as Brian O’Meara, having been put through on goal in the 33rd minute, shot straight at Cork captain Donal Óg Cusack.

The home side did manage to ripple the Cork net three minutes into the second half. O’Brien pointed to reduce the margin to the minimum before Pa Bourke was fouled by Seán Óg Ó’hAilpín for a 20-metre and he then drove a powerful shot past the Cork rearguard on the line.

The wing forward’s goal stood out as the difference between the sides as Horgan and the strong-running Cathal Naughton added points for Cork, and Pa and Shane Bourke and Noel McGrath raised further white flags for Tipp.

McGrath moved Ryan’s charges into a 1-17 to 0-16 lead but back came Cork with Horgan adding to his tally and then a tremendous goal from youngster Lehane, who found a way past Brendan Cummins as the hour mark approached. Tipp reacted well to the concession of the goal though, putting together a run of points from top scorer Pa Bourke and substitute Eoin Kelly to move 1-21 to 1-17 ahead.

Somehow Cork had the reserves of energy to get back on terms in an exciting finale. Naughton took his personal haul to four and further scores from Horgan, Pa Cronin and substitute John Gardiner, who made an immediate impact with a rousing effort from long range, tied the game at 1-22 apiece.

Shane Bourke’s third point of the afternoon saw Tipp nip back in front in the 70th minute, but Horgan’s ninth successful shot at the posts brought the sides level for the tenth and final time.

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