Tipperary’s Patrick ‘Bonnar’ Maher gets a pass away under pressure from three Cork defenders. Photos: Bridget Delaney

Tipp’s good work undone by late Cork revival

GAA: Co-op Superstores Munster Senior Hurling League Final

Cork 3-14

Tipperary 1-19

Report: Liam Hogan in Pairc Ui Rinn


Player of the Match: Jason Forde (Tipperary)

SCORERS - Cork: Patrick Horgan 1-6 (0-6 frees); Jack O’Connor 1-1; Brian Hayes 1-0; Patrick Collins (frees), Brian Roche 0-2 each; Sean Twomey, Robbie O’Flynn, Conor Lehane 0-1 each.

Tipperary: Jason Forde 0-14 (9 frees); Sean Ryan 1-0; Brian McGrath, Seamus Kennedy, Conor Bowe, Conor Stakelum, Cian O’Dwyer 0-1 each.

How did we let this one slip! Memories of the 1984 Munster final sprung to mind when Tipperary were four points in front as full time approached but yet lost by four by the final whistle.

Last Sunday’s Munster Senior Hurling League final might not have had the same intensity of a championship final but Liam Cahill and his management must have been generally pleased as his team hod overcome a slow start to outscore the hosts 1-17 to 0-5 between the 11th and 55th minutes.

Tipperary led by eight, 1-16 to 1-8 at that stage and were very good for it but Cork were incredibly poor, but somehow they found energy and in the last twenty minutes as they outscored Tipp 2-6 to 0-3 to win by a point.

Tipperary manager Liam Cahill made nine changes from the win over Clare but Cork, with nine changes from their win over Limerick, started the brighter and were 1-1 to 0-1 in front after Patrick Horgan reacted quickest to goal from a Rhys Shelly save from Declan Dalton. When Patrick Collins fired over his second free after seven minutes Cork were five in front and looked the more settled.

Up to then the Tipp attack failed to get a stranglehold of any amount of possession that came their way. Afterall there was plenty to share with Rhys Shelly’s lengthy puckouts reaching the Cork forty and beyond.

In keeping the Cork attack limited to just 1-1 from play, Liam Cahill must have been very happy with his defence, especially the half backline of Enda Heffernan, Pauric Campion and Brian McGrath. McGrath was excellent and he earned the official man of the match award and he scored the game’s opening score from half way after sixteen seconds.

Elsewhere, Conor Stakelum was Tipp’s best midfielder while up front Patrick Maher led the charge on the forty, leaving Sean Ryan and Conor Bowe to man a two-man full forward line.

Ryan scored Tipp’s only goal in the 25th minute, finishing a one-two move with Conor Stakelum close to goal before Ryan found the net to make 1-6 each.

Jason Forde, who missed two frees in the opening half, but after that he gave Tipp the lead with his fourth free there was no looking back as the visitors were much too good for a disappointing Cork side

Indeed, the lead might have been greater had Conor Bowe’s rocket dipped under Patrick’s Collin’s crossbar. After Forde posted his sixth point, Tipp were 1-9 to 1-6 in front at the changeover.

In the fifteen minutes after half time, Tipp increased their lead to eight, 1-16 to 1-8 with Jason Forde scoring five, including three from play in a man of the match performance. Conor Stakelum and Cian O’Dwyer scored the remainder. O’Dwyer did nicely over the hour.

Tipp were dominant in almost every position, but Cork found a chink in the defence when substitute Brian Hayes scored a goal. There was no panic and Liam Cahill looked to the bench with John & Noel McGrath plus Jerry Kelly called on to steer the ship home as Tipp went six in front thanks to two Jason Forde frees in the 57th & 66th minutes to lead by six, 1-18 to 2-9.

Cork did likewise with Conor Lehane and Jack O’Connor entering the fray. Suddenly Cork found a new gear and encouraged by the huge vocal support they began to work the ball with much more speed and accuracy with Lehane linking up with Jack O’Connor who found space and the net from close range. O’Connor then added a point leaving the minimum between the teams before midfielder Brian Roche levelled matters at 3-12 to 1-18, forty seconds shy of full time.

There was time for more. Rob Downey won a free on halfway and Patrick Horgan had Cork in front but with the game in the melting pot, Jason Forde pointed a free to level.

Cork’s bench had worked. They scored 2-2 from play and Jack O’Connor was busy as a bee as he won a soft free leaving Horgan to grab the lead once more.

Extra time came to mind as Tipp came in search of an equaliser and a chance fell to Ger Browne but his effort from the wing was just of target. Cork had survived.

TEAM - Cork: Patrick Collins (7); Sean O’Donoghue (Capt, 7), Rob Downey (7), Sean O’Leary-Hayes (7); Cathal McCormack (6), Niall O’Leary (6), Damien Cahalane (7); Tommy O’Connell (7), Brian Roche (7); Sean Twomey (6), Robbie O’Flynn (6), Luke Meade (6); Colin Walsh (6), Declan Dalton (6), Patrick Horgan (6).

Subs: Brian O’Sullivan (6) for O’Connell (48); Brian Hayes (7) for Walsh (48); Jack O’Connor (7) for Twomey (51); Conor Lehane (7) for Flynn (57); Shane Barrett (6) for Meade (64).

Tipperary: Rhys Shelley (Moycarkey/Borris 7); Cathal Barrett (Holycross/Ballycahill 6), Michael Breen (Ballina 6), Conor McCarthy (Nenagh Eire Og 7); Enda Heffernan (Clonoulty/Rossmore 7), Pauric Campion (Drom & Inch 7), Brian McGrath (Loughmore/Castleiney 7); Dan McCormack (Borris-Ileigh 6), Conor Stakelum (Thurles Sarsfields 7); Seamus Kennedy (St Mary’s, Capt, 6), Jason Forde (Silvermines 8), Cian O’Dwyer (Clonakenny 6); Conor Bowe (Moyne-Templetuohy 7), Patrick Maher (Lorrha 7), Sean Ryan (Templederry Kenyons 6).

Subs: Gavin Ryan (Upperchurch/Drombane 6) for McCarthy (32 inj); Ger Browne (Cashel King Cormacs 6) for Bowe (51); John McGrath (Loughmore/Castleiney 6) for Kennedy (56); Gearoid O’Connor (Moyne-Templetuohy 6) for Maher (56); Noel McGrath (Loughmore/Castleiney 6) for O’Dwyer (64); Jerry Kelly (Borris-Ileigh 6) for Ryan (64); Johnny Ryan (Arravale Rovers NR) for Stakelum (67).

Referee: Eamon Stapleton (Limerick).