Cork defeated Tipperary by 0-13 to 0-6 in the McGrath Cup Senior Football Final on Sunday at Clonmel Sportsfield. Cork led by 0-6 to 0-3 at the interval before taking over in the second half to race in to a 0-12 to 0-4 lead. Tipperary had some late goal chances but Cork goalkeeper Ken O’Halloran pulled off some good saves to ensure a clean sheet. Afterwards, Munster Vice-Chairman Robert Frost presented the McGrath Cup to Cork captain Ray Carey.
O’Halloran stands tall for Cork
Tipperary 0-06 Cork 0-13
By Fintan O’Toole for the Irish Examiner newspaper
ONLY 29 days have elapsed in the first month of the 2012 season and the Cork senior footballers got their hands on silverware at the Clonmel Sportsfield yesterday. Yet the muted post-match reaction suggests they will not pause too long to reflect on this McGrath Cup final triumph. There were only 915 present to watch Cork trudge past Tipperary in testing underfoot conditions and much of the crowd had dispersed by the time Ray Carey, standing in for regular captain Graham Canty, lifted the trophy. The competition served its purpose for Cork, feeding them a diet of three games during January and allowing Conor Counihan put players under the microscope.
Having picked up a few minor knocks over the past week and putting another side together for a workout with Dublin last Friday night in Abbeyleix, Counihan was forced to shake things up before throw-in yesterday. Six names were scratched off the original teamsheet, with Sean Kiely, Micheal Ó Laoire and Paul Honohan amongst those pushed into action. “It’s a competition we decided to enter this year and, having entered it, we wanted to win it,” reflected Counihan. “We’ve had good ground up to this in our games but that pitch was very tough to play on there. We had a number of new players out there again today and it was an opportunity to have a look at them. It was pleasing.”
Tipperary’s efforts to land a first McGrath Cup crown in eight years were undone by their poor shooting. Points by Phillip Austin in the 32nd minute and Conor Sweeney in the 49th minute were the only occasions when they found solace from play as the Cork defence thwarted Tipperary. In the finale Tipperary managed to crack the codes to unlock the Cork rearguard but found it an impossible task to smuggle the ball past goalkeeper Ken O’Halloran. The Bishopstown man produced breathtaking saves to twice deny Barry Grogan before showing the agility to flick away a Peter Acheson shot en route to the bottom corner injury-time. After also watching Austin smack a left foot shoot narrowly wide in either half, Tipperary manager John Evans was entitled to wonder what would have transpired had his team found the net.
“From a Cork point of view, Ken O’Halloran was man of the match, as he made a few absolutely superb saves,” said Evans. “The shots were just inside the post but he still managed to tip the ball away. That doesn’t mean we’d have won the game but it does show we can create chances. I’m disappointed we didn’t put up a bigger score. There were a few chances we had from frees that you’ve got to put over the bar. But it was good preparation for the league and very honest commitment from both sets of teams in trying conditions.”
Cork’s experience and strength were key facets in their victory with both Michael Shields in defence and Pearse O’Neill commanding midfield. They led 0-6 to 0-3 at the break and looked capable of upping their game. It materialised early in the second-half. Wing-backs Kiely and Conor O’Driscoll showed up well with their range of foot-passing, and both Paul Kerrigan and Fintan Goold displayed the guile to create point-scoring chances as Cork raced 0-11 to 0-4 clear by the 50th minute.
Tipperary shored up their rearguard with Ciaran McDonald and Robbie Kiely to the fore while Austin and Acheson found greater joy weaving their way through the Cork defence. The closing stages saw Tipperary press forward incessantly yet they could not make further inroads on the scoreboard. Cork were indebted to the heroics of O’Halloran in goal and coped with the deteriorating surface to preserve their advantage. But Counihan has injury concerns over Colm O’Neill, Patrick Kelly, Donncha O’Connor and Eoin Cadogan ahead of next Sunday’s league trip to the Morgan Athletic Grounds to face Armagh. “It was tough going out there,” admitted Goold. “If it wasn’t for Ken in goal, it could have been hairy.”
Scorers for Cork: P Kerrigan 0-4 (1f), F Goold 0-3 (2fs), C O’Driscoll, P O’Neill, M Ó Laoire, F Lynch, L Shorten, S Cahalane 0-1 each.
Scorers for Tipperary: B Grogan 0-4fs, P Austin, C Sweeney 0-1 each.
CORK: K O’Halloran; M Shields, R Carey, K Harrington; S Kiely, P Kissane, C O’Driscoll; P O’Neill, M Ó Laoire; F Goold, F Lynch, L Shorten; S Cahalane, P Kerrigan, P Honohan.
Subs: L Connolly for Ó Laoire (ht), A O’Reilly for Harrington (51), J Fitzpatrick for Honohan (53), N O’Leary for Shields (63).
TIPPERARY: M O’Donnell; R Costigan, C McDonald, P Codd; R Kiely, T Ryan, L Egan; B Jones, E Ryan; H Coghlan, S Grogan, P Acheson; C Sweeney, P Austin, B Grogan.
Subs: B Fox for Egan (47), S Carey for S Grogan (47), D Heffernan for Jones (54), S Ryan for Coghlan (61).
Referee: Padraig O’Sullivan (Kerry)
O’Halloran states case for No 1 shirt
From the Irish Indepdendent newspaper
KEN O’Halloran threw down the gauntlet to Cork’s regular No 1 Alan Quirke with a fine display of goalkeeping as the Rebels claimed a sixth McGrath Cup success yesterday. O’Halloran was dependable throughout as his side claimed a deserved victory in Clonmel, excelling in the closing minutes with three superb saves. The former All-Ireland winning U-21 goalkeeper denied Tipperary hitman Barry Grogan with two fine stops in the space of three minutes before the end but the Bishopstown man left the best for last in stoppage-time. As Tipp chased what would have been a consolation goal, Peter Acheson unleashed a shot that looked destined for the bottom corner, only for 25-year-old O’Halloran to push the fiercely-struck effort away for a ’45’. O’Halloran’s late heroics were the brief highlights on a largely forgettable afternoon in Clonmel as persistent rain beforehand resulted in heavy underfoot conditions.
Good football was at a premium and while Cork boss Conor Counihan will have been pleased by the fighting qualities of his understrength team, he’ll have noticed how Tipp created no fewer than five clear-cut goalscoring opportunities. Apart from O’Halloran’s hat-trick of saves, Tipp also threatened twice through captain Philip Austin, who screwed wide on both occasions when presented with good openings. For Cork, this was merely a starter ahead of the start of the Allianz Football League next Sunday, when the Rebels travel to Armagh. The Leesiders are looking to successfully defend their league title, but Counihan is monitoring a cluster of injuries. Daniel Goulding and Ciaran Sheehan are long-term absentees but Paddy Kelly, Colm O’Neill, Donncha O’Connor and Eoin Cadogan are rated doubtful starters ahead of the trip to the Morgan Athletic Grounds.
Counihan vowed: “We’ll have a few issues but fellas there today performed well and hopefully that gives us a few more options.” By half-time yesterday, Cork had registered more wides than scores, seven to six, while Tipp had just one point from play on the board and trailed by 0-6 to 0-3. Tipp managed just a further point from play during the entire second half while Cork kept the scoreboard ticking over and led by eight points twice before winning by seven.
In front of 915 spectators, Grogan was held scoreless from play as Michael Shields put the shackles firmly on the Aherlow forward, and O’Halloran denied him when he did get free. Tipp boss John Evans reflected: “Ken O’Halloran made superb saves. He was Man of the Match from a Cork point of view. “It doesn’t mean we’d have won the game if we had got one or two (goals). It just goes to show that we can create chances. The breaks didn’t go our way. We need to be taking the points — there were a couple of chances from frees that you’ve got to be putting over. “But it was good preparation for the league — I’m disappointed that we didn’t put up a better score but it was really honest endeavour. Cork set themselves up defensively and we had to adapt to that as well.”
Scorers — Cork: P Kerrigan 0-4 (1f), F Goold 0-3 (2f), C O’Driscoll, F Lynch, S Cahalane, L Shorten, P O’Neill, M O’Leary 0-1 each. Tipperary: B Grogan 0-4f, C Sweeney, P Austin 0-1 each.
CORK — K O’Halloran; M Shields, R Carey, K Harrington; C O’Driscoll, P Kissane, S Kiely; P O’Neill, M O’Leary; F Goold, F Lynch, L Shorten; S Cahalane, P Kerrigan, P Honohan. Subs: L Connolly for M O’Leary (h-t), A O’Reilly for Harrington (50), J Fitzpatrick for Honohan (53), N O’Leary for Shields (62).
TIPPERARY — M O’Donnell; R Costigan, C McDonald, P Codd; R Kiely, T Ryan, L Egan; B Jones, E Ryan; H Coghlan, S Grogan, P Acheson; C Sweeney, P Austin, B Grogan. Subs: B Fox for Egan (48), S Carey for S Grogan (48), D Heffernan for Jones (57), S Ryan for Coghlan (61), J O’Callaghan for Kiely (67).
Ref — P O’Sullivan (Kerry)
For the Record
|Team Manager||John Evans||Conor Counihan|
|2011 McGrath Cup Performance||Defeated UL in the Preliminary Round before losing to Waterford in the Quarter-Final||Defeated WIT and Limerick before losing to Kerry in the semi-final by 2-11 to 1-11.|
|Number of McGrath Cup Senior Football titles||3||5|
|Last McGrath Cup Senior Football Title||2003||2009|
|McGrath Cup Senior Football Record since 2000||Played – 22
Won – 11
Lost – 11
Drawn – 0
|Played – 17
Won – 15
Lost – 2
Drawn – 0
Fixtures and Results
Sunday January 8th
@ WIT Sportsgrounds IT Tralee 2-14 Waterford 0-14
@ Doonbeg Clare 0-18 University of Limerick 1-8
@ Clonmel Sportsfield Tipperary 2-13 Limerick Institute of Technology 3-8
Sunday January 15th
@ CIT Sportsgrounds Cork Institute of Technology 2-16 IT Tralee 2-5
@ Pairc Ui Rinn Cork 2-14 Clare 0-7
@ Clonmel Sportsfield Tipperary 4-16 Waterford Institute of Technology 0-6
@ Michael Neville Park University College Cork 1-19 Limerick 0-10
Sunday January 22nd
@ Pairc Ui Rinn Cork 2-17 Cork Institute of Technology 0-7
@ Clonmel Sportsfield Tipperary 1-15 University College Cork 0-10
Final (Extra time)
Sunday January 29th
@ Clonmel Sportsfield Tipperary v Cork @ 2:00pm
McGrath Cup Senior Football – Odds and Ends
Since 2000, Cork’s McGrath Cup success rate is 88% (best of any county) with 15 wins out of 17 in the competition. In the same period, Tipperary have won half of their 22 matches, 11 wins, 11 defeats.
85 players have scored in the 9 matches to date in 2012 McGrath Senior Football competition to date with Tipperary’s Barry Grogan top of the charts with 4-13. Colm O’Neill (Cork) is second in the scoring charts with 2-6.
22 goals have been scored to date in the 2012 McGrath Cup competition (an average of 2.4 goals per match). This contrasts with 16 goals scored in the 2011 competition over 11 matches (an average of 1.4 goals per match).
Cork’s last won the McGrath Cup title in 2009 thanks to a 1-13 to 0-6 victory over the University of Limerick. The Cork team on that occasion lined out as follows – K Murphy; B Crowley, N O’Donovan, K Harrington; D Murphy, Eoin Sexton, R O’Sullivan; A O’Sullivan, Alan O’Connor; Conor McCarthy, Fintan Goold, P Kelly; M Harrington, C McManus, K O’Sullivan. Subs used: C Keane for Kelly (yellow card, 33 mins), Seamus Hayes for M Harrington (50), S O’Sullivan for C McManus (51), R Brosnan for Goold (56), P Gayer for Crowley (57).
Tipperary have not qualified for the final of the McGrath Cup since 2003 when they captured the title with a 1-9 to 1-8 victory over Clare at Miltown-Malbay. Fergal O’Callaghan was the winning captain for Tipperary. The Tipperary team on that occasion lined out as follows – Brian Enright; Benny Hahessy, Niall Kelly, Damien Byrne; Shane Maher, Declan Fanning, Niall Fitzgerald; Kevin Mulryan, Aidan Fitzgerald; Tony Doyle, Fergal O’Callaghan (Captain), Patrick Hally; Benny Hickey, Eamonn Hanrahan, David Byrne.
Subs: Declan Browne for Hally, John Paul Looby for David Byrne, Patrick Hally for Maher.
The record of the Third Level Colleges in the McGrath Cup since entering in 2005 (including the 2012 matches to date) is Won 21, Lost 44 (32% success rate)
McGrath Cup Senior Football Roll Of Honour
Clare (12) – 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2008
Limerick (5) – 1985, 1987, 2001, 2004, 2005
Cork (5) – 1998, 1999, 2006, 2007, 2009
Tipperary (3) – 1989, 1993, 2003
Kerry (3) – 1996, 2010, 2011
Waterford (1) – 1981
London (1) – 1988
Visit the Munster GAA web site History section to view the complete Roll of Honour since the competition began in 1981 – http://munster.gaa.ie/history/mcgrath-cup-football/
Presented by Joe McGrath on June 21st, 1981 for the promotion of Senior Football in Munster
McGrath Cup – 2012 Scorers
|Barry Grogan (Tipperary) – 4-13 (0-5 frees, 0-1 45)
Colm O’Neill (Cork) – 2-6
Barry O’Hare (IT Tralee) – 1-9 (0-4 frees, 0-1 45)
Philip Austin (Tipperary) – 1-8 (1-0 penalty, 0-1 free)
Gary Hurney (Waterford) – 0-10 (0-6 frees)
Donal Óg Hodnett (CIT) – 1-7 (0-4 frees)
Paul Kerrigan (Cork) – 1-6 (0-3 frees, 0-1 45)
Conor Sweeney (Tipperary) – 1-4
David Tubridy (Clare) – 0-7 (0-4 frees, 0-1 45)
Alan O’Donoghue (IT Tralee) – 1-4
Gary Brennan (Clare) – 0-7
Hugh Curran (CIT) – 0-7
Mark Collins (UCC) – 1-3 (0-1 free)
Michael Quinlivan (Tipperary) – 1-2
Hugh Coghlan (Tipperary) – 0-4
Peter Acheson (Tipperary) – 0-4
Brian Mulvihill (Tipperary) – 0-4
Liam Shorten (Cork) – 0-4
Paudie Kissane (Cork) – 1-1
Joe Dowling (LIT) – 1-1
K O’Grady (WIT) – 0-4 (0-4 frees)
Colin Dempsey (UL) – 0-4 (0-2 frees)
Paul Geaney (UCC) – 0-4
Ger Collins (Limerick) – 0-4 (0-1 free)
Mike Quilligan (Limerick) – 0-4 (0-3 frees)
Jerry O’Connor (CIT) – 1-1
Brian Fox (Tipperary) – 0-3
Fiachra Lynch (Cork) – 0-3
Seanie Cahalane (Cork) – 0-3
Mark Reen (UCC) – 0-3
Rory Donnelly (Clare) – 0-3
Ger Quinlan (Clare) – 0-3
Mikey Brennan (IT Tralee) – 1-0
Rory O’Sullivan (CIT) – 0-3
Eoghan O’Connor (LIT) – 1-0
Seamus Carroll (LIT) – 1-0
G O’Driscoll (IT Tralee) – 1-0
J Burke (LIT) – 0-3 (0-3 frees)
Edmund Walsh (UL) – 1-0
Pearse O’Neill (Cork) – 0-2
Brian Coughlan (UCC) – 0-2
Rory Deane (IT Tralee) – 0-2
M O’Shea (Clare) – 0-2 (0-2 frees)
Barry O’Driscoll (UCC) – 0-2 (0-1 free)
|Kevin O’Sullivan (Cork) – 0-1
Nicholas Murphy (Cork) – 0-1
Noel O’Leary (Cork) – 0-1
M Ó Laoire (Cork) – 0-1
Fintan Goold (Cork) – 0-1
Alan O’Connor (Cork) – 0-1
Sean Carey (Tipperary) – 0-1
S Ryan (Tipperary) – 0-1
S Murphy (WIT) – 0-1
C McDonnell (WIT) – 0-1
D Heffernan (LIT) – 0-1
S Malone (LIT) – 0-1
M Hallissey (LIT) – 0-1 (0-1 free)
K Larkin (LIT) – 0-1
Barry O’Grady (IT Tralee) – 0-1
Andrew Hegarty (IT Tralee) – 0-1
S O’Hehir (Waterford) – 0-1
S Briggs (Waterford) – 0-1
Liam Ó Lionáin (Waterford) – 0-1 (0-1 free)
G Nugent (Waterford) – 0-1
P Collins (Clare) – 0-1
Mark Cahalane (UL) – 0-1
J O’Donoghue (UL) – 0-1
Michael Geaney (UL) – 0-1
F Fitzgerald (UL) – 0-1
Steve O’Donoghue (CIT) – 0-1
Kevin Hallissey (CIT) – 0-1
Brian McGuire (CIT) – 0-1
P Daly (CIT) – 0-1
C Fleming (CIT) – 0-1
B Poff (IT Tralee) – 0-1
D Kelly (IT Tralee) – 0-1
D Russell (Clare) – 0-1
G Quinlan (Clare) – 0-1
Kevin O’Driscoll (UCC) – 0-1
JB Spillane (UCC) – 0-1
David Nation (UCC) – 0-1
James O’Sullivan (UCC) – 0-1
Adrian Greaney (UCC) – 0-1
John Riordan (Limerick) – 0-1
Graham O’Connell (Limerick) – 0-1