Allianz NHL Division 1 – Cork 1-16 Tipperary 1-15

Cork defeated Tipperary by 1-16 to 1-15 in round 6 of the Allianz National Hurling League Division 1 on Sunday in Pairc Ui Chaoimh.

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Allianz National Hurling League

Cork 1-16 Tipperary 1-15

By Cathal Ryan

Cork emerged the narrowest of victors Sunday afternoon in the Allianz National Hurling League against their near neighbours and First Round Championship opponents Tipperary in the Pairc Ui Chaoimh. The pitch looked far from healthy in front of the stand and a strong breeze blew towards the Blackrock Terrace end of the ground making for tougher shooting conditions than both sides experienced last weekend.

The Rebels retreated to the changing room for half time with a four point advantage leading 0-11 to 0-7 after playing with the wind. But Tipperary began the second half with far more intent and they capitalised when Brendan Maher surged forward from the middle of the field and laid a pass to his left to Paul Kelly. The experienced Kelly skipped past two Cork challenges and powered a left hand side shot to the back of Martin Coleman’s net to put the Premier County in front in the 46th minute.

Denis Walsh’s side responded to the increased intensity promptly when Tadhg Og Murphy fizzed a ball from the left wing into Paudie O Sullivan’s hand. O Sullivan scurried away from would be challengers before firing at the target only for the ever agile Brendan Cummins to repel the effort up into the air. The sliotar seemed to hang for an eternity before Pat Horgan took two touches on the stick and fired once more to find the back of the Premier net leaving Cummins with no chance of further heroics.

The tide of proceedings had swung again back to Cork and with only four minutes remaining Cork edged ahead with a point from their Energiser bunny like centre forward Jerry O Connor. A soft free follow that was converted by Pat Horgan just two minutes later to leave Liam Sheedy’s troops with too much to do in order to retrieve the situation.

Cork manager Denis Walsh will be delighted with this win as it sends the Rebels into the league final and shows how far this side have come in a year having been on the back end of another player strike at this time last year. They showed great enthusiasm in regaining the lead after falling behind early in the second half against the strong breeze.

This dress rehearsal for the Munster Championship clash in June will leave Liam Sheedy with plenty to contemplate as his side have escaped with just one point from two tight finishes to matches in the last two weeks.

The opening score of the game came as Aisake O hAilpin claimed his third consecutive high ball at full forward. He was consequently fouled and Pat Horgan scored the resulting free in the third minute as the Rebels dominated the opening stages of the game.

Cork began the game at a rate of knots and had Tipperary on the back foot as they attempted to drive home the advantage of the strong breeze and Tom Kenny found himself in 15 yards of space in the fifth minute to add a second point for the home side.

Tipperary showed their dogged nature that kept them in the game through two Eoin Kelly frees, the second of which was a massive strike from the middle of the field five yards in from the touchline. This however merely covered the cracks as to who was the dominant force at this period of the game and Kenny scored his second of the half as he burst past two challenges before scoring on the run off his left hand side.

This was followed up moments later by Kenny’s midfield partner Lorcan McLoughlin scoring another after some strong play from Pat Horgan, the blindingly quick Cathal Naughton added with a left hand sided strike in the 13th minute and Horgan notched another from a tight angle after catching a John Gardiner free.

The men in blue and gold began to find their feet after 20 minutes and kept in touch with two classy points from the supreme finishing of Noel McGrath. However, as the break beckoned a second score from Naughton and a free from Horgan left the home side with a four point advantage at the break on a score of 0-11 to 0-7.

Whatever Tipp had in the half time tea defiantly worked as they came out rejuvenated and Shane McGrath clawed the first point back for the Premier men after a lovely pass from Lar Corbett. Eoin Kelly added another before his brother Paul took centre stage contributing 1-2 in a dazzling three minute spell.

Cork dug deep and the pride they possess came galloping to the fore as they claimed their first score of the half 16 minutes into the second period with that finish to the net from Horgan. The game ebbed and flowed from here on and both side never relented in their pursuit of victory but it was Cork who asked the questions on the scoreboard taking the lead twice with Tipperary responding to level before O Connor and Horgan erected the two point gap that a Darragh Egan point could only half before time ran out.

Teams:

Cork: Martin Coleman, Shane O Neill, Eoin Cadogan, Brian Murphy; John Gardiner(0-1,1f), Ronan Curran, Sean Og O hAilpin; Tom Kenny(0-2), Lorcan McLoughlin(0-1); Tadhg Og Murphy, Jerry O Connor(0-2), Cathal Naughton(0-3); Paudie O Sullivan, Aisake O hAilpin, Pat Horgan(1-7,6f). Subs: Kieran “Fraggy” Murphy for L. McLoughlin (52), Marc O Sullivan for T. Og Murphy (52).

Tipperary: Brendan Cummins; Paddy Stapleton, Padraic Maher, Michael Cahill; Declan Fanning, Conor O Mahony, Conor O Brien; Brendan Maher, Shane McGrath(0-1); Noel McGrath(0-3), Lar Corbett, Gearoid Ryan(0-2); Eoin Kelly(0-6,5f), Timmy Hammersley, Paul Kelly(1-2). Subs: John O Brien for T. Hammersley (49), Jody Brennan for B. Maher (53), David Young for D. Fanning (62), Hugh Maloney for G. Ryan (62), Darragh Egan(0-1) for P. Kelly (64).

Referee: James McGrath (Westmeath)

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Focused Cork fire out signal of intent

Cork 1-16 Tipperary 1-15

By Diarmuid O’Flynn for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Monday, April 05, 2010

ALL week leading into this match, the big question was which – if either – of these teams would be going all out for the win. A win for Tipp would have opened up the possibility of the teams meeting again in the final, just weeks ahead of their opening-round Munster championship match on May 30, while a win for Cork (or a draw), then a loss for them next week against Galway and a win for Tipp over Offaly, could still have resulted in the same scenario.

Well, shadow-boxing it certainly was not, especially after Patrick Horgan’s brilliant goal for Cork in the 53rd minute, the Leesiders’ first score of the second half. At that stage, Tipp had turned a four-point half-time disadvantage into a four-point lead and looking to be heading for a comprehensive win. Horgan’s goal changed all that, and from there to the finish it was hell-for-leather, Cork just about deserving the win, setting up a league final against Galway. Mind you, it could have been over at the break; three times in the opening five minutes Aisake O hAilpín caused chaos around the Tipp kitchen, three superb catches that could have resulted in goals.

For the first, he failed to spot the run of Paudie O’Sullivan, had his close-range shot blocked by the superb Michael Cahill; for the second he was fouled by an increasingly panicky Pádraic Maher, the free ! converted for a point by the excellent Patrick Horgan; for the third Aisake did lay off to Paudie, but the Cloyne youngster took a step too far towards the Tipperary goal, and Brendan Cummins duly body-blocked. Cork continued to dominate, however, led at the break 0-11 to 0-7, having conceded a few soft frees to the accurate Eoin Kelly, but a major talking point afterwards was the shifting of Aisake to centre-forward after about 10 minutes.

Why, when he was doing so well inside? A pre-planned move? From manager Denis Walsh, an enigmatic answer. “It was something we looked at,” he said, “It would have depended on whether we had the wind or not in the first half (they had). As it turned out Paudie (O’Sullivan, shifted to full-forward) probably played better against the wind, so that little test stood up today – will that do you?” It will have to do us, but it begs the question – in shifting Aisake from where he was causing serious damage and thus solving a problem for Tipp, were Cork simply being too rigid in sticking to that pre-game plan, or were they being clever, holding something back for the championship? Whatever, with Aisake now in the half-forward line – where he continued to cause problems – there was very definite relief inside for Tipperary.

The second half saw an almost total reversal of hurling fortunes, and it was Tipp’s turn to show profligacy in front of goal, two good chances gone a-begging in the opening minutes, Martin Coleman with a super save off Lar Corbett, Eoin Kelly then closed down by Brian Murphy. Five points on the trot saw Tipp lead for the first time in the game in the 46th minute; then came their goal, a beauty. Cork were having difficulty winning their own puckouts, far too predictable in putting everything down on top of Aisake, who was simply being spoiled, a Tipp man always on hand to pick up the break. On this occasion midfielder Brendan Maher picked up the pieces, taking off on a run, parting to Paul Kelly, who beat three defenders before blazing past Coleman.

It put Tipp in the driving seat, 1-12 to 0-11, signalled a real test for Cork – and how they responded. A low Tadhg Óg Murphy cross was superbly taken into the hand by Paudie O’Sullivan, whose shot was parried by Brendan Cummins, and broke to the lurking Pat Horgan. Showing superb control, Pat brought the ball down inside Michael Cahill, drilled past Cummins – game back on. That was the 55th minute, and from there to the end it was tremendous fare, a fired-up Cork edging ahead, then managing to hold out against a late Tipperary surge.

Scorers for Cork: P. Horgan 1-7 (0-6 frees); C. Naughton 0-3; J. O’Connor 0-2; T. Kenny 0-2; J. Gardiner (free), L. McLoughlin, 0-1 each.

Scorers for Tipperary: E. Kelly 0-6 (0-5 frees); P. Kelly 1-2; N. McGrath 0-3; G. Ryan 0-2; S. McGrath, D. Egan 0-1 each.

Subs for Cork: M. O’Sullivan (McLoughlin 53); K. Murphy (T. Óg Murphy 53).

Subs for Tipperary: J. O’Brien (Hammersley 50); J. Brennan (B. Maher inj. 55); D. Young (Fanning 62); H. Maloney (O’Brien 63); D. Egan (P. Kelly 65).

Referee: James McGrath (Westmeath).

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Team News

The Tipperary Senior Hurling team to play Cork on Sunday April 4th in the Allianz GAA Hurling National League shows 2 changes from the team which started against Waterford last Sunday. Michael Cahill of Thurles Sarsfields replaces Shane Maher at left wing back and captain, Eoin Kelly, who has recovered from injury, returns in place of John O’Brien.

1. Brendan Cummins (Ballybacon-Grange)

2. Paddy Stapleton (Borris-Ileigh)

3. Padraic Maher (Thurles Sarsfields)

4. Paul Curran (Mullinahone)

5. Declan Fanning (Killenaule)

6. Conor O’Mahony (Newport)

7. Michael Cahill (Thurles Sarsfields)

8. Brendan Maher (Borris–Ileigh)

9. Shane McGrath (Ballinahinch)

10. Noel McGrath (Loughmore Castleiney)

11. Lar Corbett (Thurles Sarsfields)

12. Gearóid Ryan (Templederry Kenyons)

13. Eoin Kelly (Mullinahone) Captain

14. Timmy Hammersley (Clonoulty Rossmore)

15. Paul Kelly (Mullinahone)

CORK : M Coleman; S O’Neill, E Cadogan, B Murphy; J Gardiner, R Curran, S Ó hAilpín; T Kenny, L McLoughlin; T Murphy, J O’Connor, C Naughton; P O’Sullivan, A Ó hAilpín, P Horgan. Subs: D Cusack,C O’Sullivan, R Ryan, M Walsh, W Egan, M O’Sullivan, K Murphy, M Cussen, L O’Farrell.

Allianz NHL Division 1 – Waterford 1-19 Offaly 1-16

Waterford defeated Offaly by 1-19 to 1-16 in round 6 of the Allianz National Hurling League Division 1 on Sunday in Fraher Field Dungarvan.

Déise deliver after tight battle

Waterford 1-19 Offaly 1-16

By Michael Moynihan for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Monday, April 05, 2010

A THREE-POINT win for Waterford over Offaly on a day when a third consecutive draw was a live possibility for the Déise. The first half of this NHL Division One clash won’t linger in the memory, but the fare warmed up after the break on this chilly afternoon in Walsh Park, and the hosts had just enough to get over the line. “Waterford dragged themselves into it in the last ten or 20 minutes, playing with the breeze probably wasn’t the advantage it appeared to be, there was a lot of crowding in the forward lines. We had chances, maybe if we’d taken our points we might have gotten a draw, but I’m pleased. We’re disappointed to lose but we put up a good performance.”

They did that. Waterford looked like they’d taken too much notice of Offaly’s struggles to beat Limerick last week, and in a first half of tit-for-tat scoring – and stop-start playing – Shane Dooley (0-6) and Eoin Kelly (0-7) swapped frees en route to a one-point lead for the home side at the break, (0-11 to 0-10). Neither side would have been pleased with their performance in a stuttering 35 minutes marred by wayward hand passes and poor control. Waterford boss Davy Fitzgerald was amongst those less than impressed. “I wasn’t happy with our lads at half-time,” said Fitzgerald. “I felt we weren’t winning the fifty-fifty balls, that Offaly were, and we told them a few home truths.”

The tie picked up in intensity in the second half. Richie Foley and Shane O’Sullivan came into the game for Waterford, but David Kenny was driving Offaly on from centre-back. Dooley and Kelly continued to swap frees until Waterford took the initiative on 44 minutes: a Kelly pull was taken on by Tomas Ryan, and when his shot rolled across the square, Dan Shanahan finished calmly to put his side ahead 1-12 to 0-14. At the same time, Fitzgerald withdrew Seamus Prendergast, who’d scored two points, and Eoin Kelly, who’d notched eight from frees. The manager expanded on his reasons afterwards. “Eoin has had a lot of good days and hopefully he’ll have a lot more. You won’t have a good day every day and if you don’t play well you won’t stay on the field, that’s the bottom line. That’s what we’re there to do, but I’d have no fear of Eoin, I’m sure he’ll bounce back.”

The move worked – John Mullane came on for Prendergast and energised the Waterford forwards, with Maurice Shanahan in particular coming into the game with two points. However, Dooley responded from placed balls to keep Offaly in touch, and with ten minutes left they surged upfield: Joe Bergin hit a ball across the Waterford square which caused the traditional affliction of full-back lines – consternation – and Dooley touched home an Offaly goal to leave it 1-16 to 1-15 with the visitors one ahead. “We got back into it with the goal,” said Dooley, “But we just weren’t picking up the breaks. One or two players seemed to tire a bit, we have lads coming back from injuries.”

Offaly hit some poor wides after their goal, but Waterford responded to the challenge, with Maurice Shanahan (three) and substitute Shane Walsh hitting the points that earned the victory. “I’m happy with the character, if not the performance,” said Fitzgerald. “Everyone was expecting Waterford to walk through this one – I didn’t think that would happen, but I’m glad that it turned into a battle. “It showed that we have the character to fight our way out of trouble.”

The Clare man had praise for Richie Foley but admitted ‘Brick’ Walsh will be Waterford’s championship centre-back, while the evergreen Tony Browne became the 32nd player the county used in the league when he came on yesterday. “We have fair fighting for places,” said Fitzgerald. “Let them fight away and the best horse will jump the ditch when it comes to the championship.”

Scorers for Waterford: E Kelly 0-8 (8f); M Shanahan 0-6 (4f); D Shanahan 1-0; S Prendergast 0-2; S Walsh, J Mullane, S O’Sullivan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Offaly: S Dooley 1-10 (10f); D Molloy, D Currams 0-2 each; B Carroll, R Hannify 0-1 each.

Subs for Waterford: J Mullane for Kelly, S Walsh for Prendergast, (both 44); A Kearney for Fives (52); T Browne for D Shanahan, (65); J Maher for Murphy (70).

Subs for Offaly: D Hayden for Rigney (ht); C Mahon for Healion, (54); S Egan for Franks, (63); J Brady for Wynne, (67); C Parlon for Berin (70).

Referee: J Sexton (Cork)

Allianz NHL Division 1 – Kilkenny 2-17 Limerick 0-16

Kilkenny defeated Limerick by 2-17 to 0-16 in Round 6 of the Allianz GAA Hurling National League Division 1 on Sunday in the Gaelic Grounds Limerick.

Cats cruise as Limerick teeter on the brink

http://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/gaa/cats-cruise-as-limerick-teeter-on-the-brink-116391.html

Limerick 0-16 Kilkenny 2-17

By Fintan O’Toole

Monday, April 05, 2010

THEY travel to Parnell Park in two weeks still bearing thoughts of survival in NHL Division 1, but after another emphatic defeat in the Gaelic Grounds yesterday, Limerick remain on course to drop to second tier hurling next spring. As has been the trait all season, Limerick were feisty and competitive against Kilkenny, with their persistent efforts in the second half ensuring this match never unfolded into a landslide victory for Brian Cody’s men.

The margin at the final whistle corresponded to the difference between the teams in the All-Ireland decider three years ago, yet the fact that only seven points separated the teams can be largely attributed to the fact that Kilkenny notably lowered the intensity of their performance in the second half. Essentially this match was wrapped up at half-time, with Kilkenny leading 2-12 to 0-7. Limerick ploughed on unbowed after the break but that persistence could not mask what a drab and lifeless encounter this was.

Despite the result, McCarthy remained upbeat at the prospect of facing Dublin in a winner-takes-all clash in a fortnight. “It’s hard to win a game in Parnell Park but we’ll give it a go. We’re making progress and we’ll keep at it. It is going to be good for us and the lads realise that. We’ll have a few lads back from injuries as well, so that’ll help. “We were up against Kilkenny, four-time champions, and going for a fifth in-a-row, so there’s no doubt lads will test themselves. But it’s all a learning process. This team is for the future basically. The main thing is with any team at half-time is not to lose heart, number one, not to lose concentration for it again. “We wanted them to keep going for the ball, take risks and take chances. It’s about confidence too when you’re playing a game of hurling at a high tempo and high pace. There’s a bit of life in the team too though and that’s great.”

It’s a curious situation Kilkenny find themselves entering the closing phase of the league, stuck in mid-table and out of the reckoning for final qualification on May Bank Holiday weekend. Still, Brian Cody has seen enough defeats this spring to be glad of the two points here. “We lost three matches ourselves so we just wanted to get back to win a game. We wanted to get back playing as we can play and also very importantly to win the match. That’s what we achieved. Obviously Limerick were short players but the ones that were out there were very decent hurlers. There’s a good spirit there.”

The primary source of optimism for Cody heading back to Noreside was that his full-back Noel Hickey emerged unscathed from 70 minutes of action. Hickey was back on the field after a ruinous streak of injuries and enjoyed a competitive battle with Limerick target man Paudie McNamara. McNamara’s laser accuracy from placed balls was one of the plus points for Limerick, who also welcomed Scottish-based student David Breen back into their ranks for the first time this year. Breen’s return was offset though by the loss of Nicky Quaid through injury, whose relentless energy drove Limerick on in the first half.

Kilkenny had an impressive freetaker of their own with TJ Reid competently assuming the role of the Ballyhale sharpshooter with nine first-half points. Reid’s excellent striking along with Aidan Fogarty’s lightning whip to the net in the second minute and Eoin Larkin’s wonderful individual goal in the 33rd minute, propelled Kilkenny into that sizeable interval advantage. McNamara’s pointscoring spree clawed back some of that lead for Limerick in the second half but with John Mulhall maintaining his consistent league form, and Jackie Tyrell and John Tennyson sound in defence, Kilkenny were never going to be overhauled. Limerick’s woes were compounded late on when centre-back Andrew Brennan was sent off for a second yellow card.

Scorers for Kilkenny: TJ Reid 0-9 (0-6f, 0-1 sideline), A Fogarty, E Larkin 1-1 each, J Mulhall 0-3, M Comerford 0-2, D Lyng 0-1.

Limerick scorers: P McNamara 0-11 (0-8f, 0-2 ‘65), R McKeogh 0-2, B O’Sullivan, G Mulcahy, S Herlihy 0-1 each.

Kilkenny subs: P Hogan for Walsh (half-time), S Cummins for Tennyson (60), R Hogan for A Fogarty (60).

Limerick subs: D Breen for Quaid (inj) (half-time), Tommy O’Brien for Herlihy (50), Thomas O’Brien for Mullane (52)

Referee: Alan Kelly (Galway).