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Munster SHC Quarter-Final – Tipperary v Cork

May 31, 2009 @ 4:00 pm - 5:25 pm

Tipperary defeated Cork by 1-19 to 0-19 in the quarter-final of the Munster Senior Hurling Championship at Semple Stadium Thurles.

Tipp forced to sweat in sizzling Semple clash

Tipperary 1-19 Cork 0-19

By Diarmuid O’Flynn for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Monday, June 01, 2009

WHAT a cracking opening to the 2009 Munster senior hurling championship!

The multitudes from both counties gathered in Semple Stadium yesterday, over 35,000 of them, shorts and short-sleeve tops the couture-du-jour, no-one knowing what was in store.

Would Tipperary again put up the kind of barnstorming display to which they treated the home fans just four weeks ago, on this same ground, in the extra-time league final loss to Kilkenny? Have they really added that bit of extra steel so necessary at this level of competition, or was that just a one-off?

These were the questions in the minds of the thousands of Tipperary supporters, and they were nervous questions.

Among the Cork faithful the questions were even more nervous: having had less than seven weeks in which to prepare his team, would Denis Walsh’s first championship 15 be up to the task ahead of them? Would Eoin Cadogan be able to replace Diarmuid O’Sullivan in the critical full-back position?

Would the likes of John Gardiner, Ronan Curran, Seán Óg O hAilpín, Tom Kenny, the O’Connor twins Ben and Jerry, the McCarthys Tim and Niall, so often the linchpin around which Cork had built in the middle area, be able to deliver one more time, or would time in fact catch up with them, would they fall victim to the power and pace of a more youthful Tipperary?

Would Aisake O hAilpín do what his brother Setanta did in that one glorious season of 2003, and set Thurles alight on the edge of the square? Would it be close, or would it be a blow-out, and signal the end of the road for this Cork team? So much uncertainty, an awful lot more than would usually be associated with two top teams at this stage of the season.

In the event, everyone got their answers, and anyone who left the stadium unhappy… well, there’s just no pleasing some folk.

From the throw-in it was evident that whatever else was going to happen, this wasn’t going to be a mismatch. Blow for blow they went for the first 21 minutes, at the end of which it was tied at 0-5 apiece, Tipp with a brace each from Eoin Kelly (looked sharp, despite his long injury layoff) and Seamus Callanan, teenager Noel McGrath with their fifth, while Ben O’Connor had all but one of the Cork scores, Niall McCarthy chipping in with a point.

In the second quarter, however, Tipp did get on top, and with their forwards leading the Cork defence a merry dance, they streaked into a six-point lead as the half went into injury time. Two late Ben O’Connor pointed frees, however, allowed Cork a lifeline, and they headed for the dressing-room just four behind, 0-13 to 0-9.

Very noticeable in that first half was the ease with which Tipp were winning their own puck-outs, Lar Corbett with two tremendous catches of massive Brendan Cummins’ deliveries, both ending as points, John O’Brien also doing well. Cork, meanwhile, were having major problems down the left, yet persisted in sending ball after ball down that channel.

There was much head-shaking among the Rebel following when Cork emerged for the second half with the same half forward line intact, even more when, less than a minute after the restart, Seamus Callanan had the ball in the Cork net, courtesy first of a defensive slip, then a deflected shot that deceived Cusack (who, those errant puck-outs apart in that first half, had a magnificent 70 minutes) in the Cork goal.

This should have been the signal for Tipperary to drive on, hammer home the advantage they were obviously enjoying; instead it was Cork, now with wind at their backs, who stepped it up a level, and for the next half an hour it was the visitors very much on top.

Changes were made, positional and personnel, and with the O’Connor twins combining superbly, John Gardiner magnificent in a new midfield role, substitute Pa Cronin impressing on the 40, Eoin Cadogan outstanding at full-back, they took the fight to Tipperary. Point by point they whittled down the lead, Ben O’Connor still doing most of the scoring, until, in the 57th minute, they had it back to just a single point, 1-15 to 0-17.

Crucially, however, they could never get their noses in front, and crucially also, this was primarily because they could not breach the Tipperary rearguard. Oh, they came close, and on three occasions; 40th minute, corner-forward Pat Horgan went for position, tried to place the ball past Brendan Cummins in the Tipperary goals, shot just outside the post; a minute later, Timmy McCarthy actually had the ball in the net but the whistle had already sounded, called back for a Cork penalty (something similar had happened to Tipp’s Eoin Kelly in the first half, so that cancelled that one out!) which was then saved by the aforementioned Mr Cummins; 59th minute, Aisake O hAilpín finally got inside Paul Curran but over-hit the handpass to the in-rushing Horgan, went too close to – yes, Brendan Cummins, who saved, was fouled, danger averted. During this period of dominance also, the Cork shooting was off; nine wides they notched in the second half to just one for Tipperary – inefficiency on the one hand, efficiency on the other, and ultimately it made a difference.

Ultimately also, however, it all came down to the last 15 minutes. Tipp had had their period of dominance in the latter part of the first half, Cork had been on top for much of the second half, and each had missed opportunities. With quarter of an hour remaining, however, just that single point between them, it was still there for either side, and credit to Tipp, they were the ones who came through.

Some brave calls were made on the sideline, guys like Noel McGrath – who had scored three fine points on his senior championship debut – and team captain Conor O’Mahony taken off, but with the game on the line their replacements all stepped up to the mark. Benny Dunne especially, two fine points from play, but even as Cork continued to misfire in those closing minutes, four bad wides, it was Tipperary keeping the heads cool, doing the business.

Worthy winners, but they got one hell of a test, one which is sure to benefit both sides. Tipp now have just three weeks to prepare for their next challenge, against Clare in the Munster semi-final; Denis Walsh and Cork have two weeks extra, time that will surely be profitably spent.

Scorers for Tipperary: S Callanan 1-3; E Kelly 0-5 (4f); N McGrath, L Corbett 0-3 each; B Dunne, S McGrath (1s/l) 0-2 each; J O’Brien 0-1.

Scorers for Cork: B O’Connor 0-11 (8f); J Gardiner 0-3 (1f, 1 ‘65′); P Cronin 0-2; A O hAilpín, N McCarthy, T Kenny, 0-1 each.

Subs for Tipperary: P Kerwick for Webster, 51; B Maher for O’Mahony, 54; D Gleeson for Cummins, 61; G Ryan for N McGrath, 63; B Dunne fro Woodlock, 65; P Kelly for Callanan, 67.

Subs for Cork: S Murphy for O’Neill, 18; P Cronin for N McCarthy, 44; C Naughton for T McCarthy, 49; P O’Sullivan for K Murphy, 58; F O’Leary for Horgan, 63.

Referee: B Kelly (Westmeath).

Tipperary survive crisis of confidence

By SEÁN MORAN At Semple Stadium for the Irish Times newspaper

MUNSTER SHC QUARTER-FINAL Tipperary 1-19 Cork 0-19 : SUMMER ANNOUNCED itself in Thurles yesterday with a first-round match from the Munster hurling championship brochure. The sun beat down on Semple Stadium, raising the temperature for the latest instalment of the game’s most enduring rivalry in front of 35,103 spectators.

Everything was in place. Cork emerged into the light after a year torn ragged by controversy, their new manager Denis Walsh with only a few weeks to prepare his team to take on the defending champions. Tipperary were the tightest price they’ve been in this fixture for two decades. In rivalries like this, such an imbalance of expectations generally means trouble for the favourites.

If there was a twist in the end it was that Tipperary survived. Having frozen on the verge of putting away the match after a good start to the second half, the champions somehow rallied in the dying minutes with their lead down to the very minimum and put some crucial further distance between themselves and their fast-closing opponents.

Cork will take some encouragement from a performance that so nearly overturned the pre-match consensus – to the extent they could feel genuine frustration at losing. They had to ride out the loss through injury of the most experienced of their full-back line, Shane O’Neill, and line out there with two championship rookies and a panel player for the best part of an hour.

Full back Eoin Cadogan, having put a nervous start behind him, confounded the reservations about his prospects on the edge of the square with a display that became more assured as it progressed even if the contest with Micheál Webster descended a little too frequently into brawling.

At the far end of the field Aisake Ó hAilpín survived a painfully clumsy and unproductive first half at full forward to start causing real problems once the supply line – which his brother Seán had almost single-handedly been trying to establish – began to flow.

He managed to gather one of these deliveries and score a point at the start of the second half and created a couple of goal chances for Pat Horgan later on, one of which was sent badly wide and the other which forced the withdrawal of Brendan Cummins – unusually nervy at times yesterday – after making a brave interception and sustaining a gash to his head.

Ben O’Connor delivered another big contribution, scoring 0-11 even if his dead-ball striking wasn’t flawless, and constituted his team’s main attacking threat.

Tipperary should have had Cork as good as buried at half-time. When they hit their best spells they looked comfortably superior. Teenager Noel McGrath struggled for a while on Seán Ó hAilpín but got into the match in the second quarter to hit three points and contribute an array of dextrous flicks which disrupted the Cork defence and kept Tipp going forward.

But they wasted a succession of good chances and even after finding some rhythm, saw a mildly satisfactory six-point lead whittled back to four after gifting two daft frees – and picking up yellow cards in the process for Pádraig Maher and Paddy Stapleton.

The third quarter started well for the home side. Séamus Callanan confidently rifled home a goal after good pressure from Webster created a loose ball that Lar Corbett flicked into his centre forward, who within two minutes had added a point.

Rather than go up the gears and squeeze the life out of Cork, Tipperary didn’t score again for a quarter of an hour. In that time the balance of advantage and confidence was inverted and the outsiders took a grip on the game that threatened to choke the champions.

Walsh had performed an effective switch in the first half, placing Tom Kenny at wing back and moving team captain John Gardiner to centrefield where his performance levels revived. The amended half-back line raised its game and their direct opponents, generally the most questioned line in the Tipp team, disintegrated.

Even Callanan, who by that stage had 1-3 to his name, plunged into a bleak and anxious phase during which errors abounded, including a mistake that led directly to Ben O’Connor reducing a margin that had stood at seven to a single score by the 49th minute.

Tipp’s centre forward wasn’t alone in his crisis of confidence, as John O’Brien and Lar Corbett also fumbled ball and failed to break the stranglehold of the Cork half backs.

Before the match, Tipperary supporters had cheekily chanted, “We’re on strike, we’re on strike” as their team left Cork alone on the field to run through their pre-match routines for quite a while before appearing. By the third quarter, any talk of a strike didn’t seem funny any more.

Two goal chances for Cork came to nothing. Horgan’s miss in the 40th minute was followed by another wide, this time from a point attempt, from the same player shortly afterwards so it was a surprise to see him addressing a penalty in the 42nd minute after referee Barry Kelly called back play despite Cork unhappiness over the disallowing of Timmy McCarthy’s goal in the same move.

That unhappiness was compounded when Cummins’s head blocked Horgan’s shot and Ben O’Connor missed the consolation 65 but they continued to press and by the start of the final quarter the margin was down to two, 1-14 to 0-15.

Eoin Kelly – who survived the full 70 minutes on his return for the first time in nine months but who was starved of ball for much of the second half – chipped in two critical frees in the 54th and 66th minutes. They kept Tipperary’s heads just above water.

The second one was won by Shane McGrath’s determined run down the left wing, which drew a foul. McGrath was in and out of the match yesterday but he was there when it counted.

Sheedy finally made some changes to his under-achieving attack and it was the experienced Benny Dunne, who did most to lift the siege, sweeping over two points in the closing minutes to wrestle back the initiative.

Tipperary may have been more thankful for the win than they might have expected but there’s nothing wrong with relief at the end of a fast and furious championship match.

TIPPERARY : 1. B Cummins; 2. P Stapleton, 3. P Curran, 4. C O’Brien; 5. D Fanning, 7. C O’Mahony (capt), 6. P Maher; 8. J Woodlock, 9. S McGrath (0-2, one sideline); 13. N McGrath (0-3), 11. S Callanan (1-3), 12. J O’Brien (0-1); 15. E Kelly (0-5, four frees), 10. L Corbett (0-3) , 14. M Webster. Subs : 23. P Kerwick for Webster (51 mins), 24. B Maher for O’Mahony (54 mins), 26. G Ryan for N McGrath (63 mins), 19. B Dunne (0-2) for Woodlock (65 mins), 22. P Kelly for Callanan (67 mins).

CORK : 1. D Cusack; 4. C O’Sullivan, 3. E Cadogan, 2. S O’Neill; 5. J Gardiner (capt; 0-3, one free, one 65) , 6. R Curran, 7. S Ó hAilpín; 8. T Kenny (0-1) , 9. J O’Connor; 10 . B O’Connor (0-11, eight frees), 11. N McCarthy (0-1) , 12. T McCarthy; 13. K Murphy, 14. A Ó hAilpín (0-1) , 15. P Horgan. Subs : 18. S Murphy for O’Neill (18 mins), 22. P Cronin (0-2) for N McCarthy (44 mins), 21. C Naughton for T McCarthy (50 mins), 24. P O’Sullivan for K Murphy (59 mins), 23. F O’Leary for Horgan (64 mins).

YELLOW CARDS: Tipperary : C O’Brien (35 mins), P Maher (37 mins), Stapleton (42 mins), Webster (47 mins), Corbett (70 mins). Cork : Curran (65 mins), P O’Sullivan (67 mins). RED CARDS : None.

Referee: B Kelly (Westmeath).
Premier survive stern Cork test

Tipperary 1-19 Cork 0-19

From the Irish Independent newspaper

Monday June 01 2009

WHEN Cork hurlers pressed the nuclear button and declared themselves on strike last winter they knew that, if and when the dispute was resolved, there would come a time when their physical and psychological fibre was tested like never before.

It arrived a minute into the second half of yesterday’s Munster quarter-final tie in Thurles when Seamus Callanan sent the ball whizzing to the Cork net to send Tipperary seven points clear and looking very much like a side who were not only poised to win comfortably but who might even indulge in summer humiliation of their struggling rivals.

Tipperary had turned over leading by 0-13 to 0-9, but should have been further ahead after a first half which they dominated for the final 15 minutes. Cork had matched them point for point up to then but, as Tipperary grew increasingly assertive, the points return clicked along merrily, leaving them leading by six before two unforced errors enabled Ben O’Connor to pare back two before the break.


Callanan’s goal set Cork a challenge that would prove, once and for all, whether they were a spent force with little more to give or a driven outfit with no fears of the pain barrier which any attempt at a revival would attract. The answer couldn’t have been more emphatic.

Cork hurled with wonderful spirit and a relentless zeal to take Tipperary on with fire and brimstone at every point of conflict. It was as if Cork appealed to their inner emotions and were rewarded with a burst of energy which, given their late arrival to the training ground last spring, was quite remarkable.

All the more so in the searing heat which placed demands on both sets of players that they wouldn’t have experienced for a few years. Tipperary’s carefully-crafted training regime looked likely to hand them a major advantage in the demanding conditions but it didn’t develop that way.

Methodically and meticulously, Cork dug their way back into contention, all the time sensing that if they could power up to full momentum they had the craft and experience to overpower Tipperary. Switching John Gardiner to midfield was part of the recovery strategy which made a significant impact, as did the growing influence of half-backs Sean Og O hAilpin and Ronan Curran, the consistent probings of top-scorer Ben O’Connor, the defiance of new full-back Eoin Cadogan and the substantial improvement in Aisake O hAilpin’s contribution.

He made little impact on Paul Curran in the first half but adapted better to the pace and flow of the game after that, which led to more openings appearing in front of Brendan Cummins’s goal. The first significant one led to a Cork goal scored by Timmy McCarthy in the 42nd minute but referee Barry Kelly whistled back and awarded a penalty to Cork.

A goal would have pared the margin to three points but Pat Horgan’s drive was turned out for a ’65 by Cummins. Ben O’Connor, who also missed a few other long-range efforts, drove it wide, leaving Cork with nothing to show from a minute of golden opportunity.

If might have dispirited less resolute souls but Cork’s response was to fire over four points in seven minutes to send them heading into the final quarter with only two more points to make up to draw level.

With the Cork defence — where Cadogan was outstanding in his first championship outing since being handed the No 3 jersey following the retirement of Diarmuid O’Sullivan — having finally figured out how to cope with Callanan, Lar Corbett and Noel McGrath, the momentum was very much with the challengers.

Eoin Kelly ended a 17-minute spell without a Tipperary score with a pointed free but Cork responded with two points to reduce the gap to the minimum before a dramatic turning point arrived on the hour mark. Aisake O hAilpin slipped the ball through to Horgan but just as he seemed poised to whip the ball to the net, Cummins arrived to make the bravest of saves.

He had to leave the action with a facial injury (Darren Gleeson replaced him as a blood sub) but his courage had prevented a goal and, quite possibly, won the game for Tipperary. That save, coupled with the arrival of Benny Dunne as a sub with five minutes to go, provided Tipp with a double uplift.

Dunne clipped over two precious points and, while Cork continued to press forward with as much menace as they could muster, Tipperary held their nerve to edge home by three points and set up a Munster semi-final clash with Clare in Limerick on June 21.

They will take it on with a real sense of confidence, for while manager Liam Sheedy will no doubt unload an extensive list of ‘things to do better’ at this week’s debrief, he also knows that his side have negotiated an extremely tricky fence.

Losing to Cork would have seriously undermined Tipperary’s confidence as their season had gone quite satisfactorily, whereas Cork had only emerged from a lengthy period of turbulence in March.

However, given Cork’s stature, pedigree and history — not to mention the imperative that the squad be seen to remain competitive after the strike — they were always going to be doggedly defiant. And so they were, never more so than after they fell 1-13 to 0-9 behind early in the second half.

Having invested so much in the comeback, it was disappointing for Cork that they didn’t at least open up a lead which would have raised very serious questions of Tipperary.

It wasn’t that Cork didn’t create the chances but the shooting let them down quite often as the second-half wides tally of 10-1 in their favour clearly illustrates.

Nevertheless, Cork left Semple Stadium convinced that their championship ambitions are still very much intact. They will now go into a first-round qualifier draw with Laois, Offaly and the losers of Dublin v Antrim, so their prospects of getting back in among the main contenders look extremely bright.

They appear to have solved the full-back dilemma with their first experiment, while the rest of the defence will benefit greatly from this outing. Also, they lost right full-back Shane O’Neill with a head injury after 17 minutes so his return to the scene will further add to their security.

He had some tricky moments early against Eoin Kelly but seemed to be playing his way into the game at the time of his injury.

Kelly, who missed the entire League, faded after an excellent start but is certain to improve considerably after this high-intensity outing. His free-taking was up to his usual high standard, unlike Ben O’Connor who was uncharacteristically wayward with a few attempts.

He was still Cork’s top scorer by a distance, landing 0-11, 0-8 of which came from frees while he also showed that his appetite and awareness of what’s going on around him are as sharp as ever.

A good day all round then as Tipp eventually lived up to their odds as favourites while Cork proved that the early-season problems really are well behind them. The story of Championship 2009 is only just beginning.

Scorers — Tipperary: S Callanan 1-3, E Kelly 0-5 (4f), N McGrath, L Corbett 0-3 each, B Dunne, S McGrath (1 line ball) 0-2 each, J O’Brien 0-1. Cork: B O’Connor 0-11 (8f), J Gardiner 0-3 (1f, 1’65’), P Cronin 0-2, N McCarthy, T Kenny, A O hAilpin 0-1 each.

Tipperary — B Cummins; P Stapleton, P Curran, C O’Brien; D Fanning, C O’Mahony, P Maher; J Woodlock, S McGrath; N McGrath, S Callanan, J O’Brien; E Kelly, L Corbett, M Webster.

Subs: P Kerwick for Webster (51), B Maher for O’Mahony (55), D Gleeson for Cummins (blood-sub 60), G Ryan for N McGrath (63), B Dunne for Woodlock (65), P Kelly for Callanan (68).

Cork — D Og Cusack; S O’Neill, E Cadogan, C O’Sullivan; J Gardiner, R Curran, S Og O hAilpin; T Kenny, J O’Connor; B O’Connor, N McCarthy, T McCarthy; K Murphy, A O hAilpin, P Horgan.

Subs: S Murphy for O’Neill (18), P Cronin for N McCarthy (44), C Naughton for T McCarthy (50), P O’Sullivan for Murphy (59), F O’Leary for Horgan (63).

REF — B Kelly (Westmeath).
Sheedy’s Tipp survive Semple scare

From the web site

Tipperary have advanced to a Munster SHC semi-final meeting with Clare on June 21 after a hard-fought victory over a gallant Cork side at sundrenched Semple Stadium on Sunday.

Munster SHC Quarter-final

Tipperary 1-19 Cork 0-19

In the end, the reigning Munster champions and recent league finalists had three points to spare over Denis Walsh’s side but they had to pull out all the stops towards the end of a pulsating encounter after losing their way somewhat in the second-half.

The Premier County held a 0-13 to 0-9 advantage at the break with the returning Eoin Kelly, Shane McGrath, Seamus Callanan and Loughmore-Castleiney protege, Noel McGrath, catching the eye while Thurles Sarsfields clubman, Lar Corbett dangerous at all times.

It was Corbett who struck over the sweetest score of the opening half when he split the posts under the shadow of the Old Stand on 31 minutes.

For their part, Cork were limited to frees in the opening 35 minutes with Ben O’Connor extremely accurate from placed balls and frees while Niall McCarthy and Tom Kenny also got on the scoresheet.

The game appeared to be over a minute into the second-half when Seamus Callanan slammed home the first goal of the day after a sublime flick from Corbett, preceded by trojan work by Michael Webster.

Aisake O hAilpin put over his first championship point a minute later but Callanan, impressive all day, replied again to push Liam Sheedy’s men seven points ahead.

The next few minutes saw the game turn on its head as Pat Horgan missed a clear-cut goal chance for the Rebels before also missing a controversial penalty.

That passage of play seemed to wake Cork up and subsitute Pa Cronin slotted over two points as the men from Leeside began to get on top.

On 55 minutes a Ben O’Connor free brought Cork to within two points of their great rivals and a John Gardiner 65 two minutes later put the bare minimum in it.

However, with three minutes to go, sub Benny Dunne put over his first point of the day before following it up with another great point heading into added time.

In the third minute of added time Corbett sealed the win for Tipperary with his third point of the day.

= =

Tipperary: B Cummins; P Stapleton, P Curran, C O’Brien; D Fanning, P Maher, C O’Mahony; J Woodlock, S McGrath; L Corbett, S Callanan, J O’Brien; N McGrath, M Webster, E Kelly

Cork: D Óg Cusack; S O’Neill, E Cadogan, C O’Sullivan; J Gardiner, R Curran, S Óg Ó hAilpín; T Kenny, J O’Connor; B O’Connor, N McCarthy, T McCarthy; P Horgan, A Ó hAilpín, K Murphy [Sarsfields].

Fixture Details

SUNDAY MAY 31st. 2009

Munster GAA Senior Hurling Championship
Tiobraid Arann v Corcaigh at 4.00p.m.
Note: Extra Time in the event of a Draw.
Reiteoir: Barry Kelly (Iar Mhí)
Match will be shown Live on RTE2

Munster GAA Intermediate Hurling Championship
Tiobraid Arann v Corcaigh at 2.00p.m.
Note: Extra Time in the event of a Draw.
Reiteoir: Denis Richardson (Luimneach)

Team News

CORK (SH v Tipperary): D Óg Cusack; S O’Neill, E Cadogan, C O’Sullivan; J Gardiner, R Curran, S Óg Ó hAilpín; T Kenny, J O’Connor; B O’Connor, N McCarthy, T McCarthy; P Horgan, A Ó hAilpín, K Murphy (Sarsfields).

TIPPERARY (SH v Cork): B. Cummins; P. Stapleton, P. Curran, C. O’Brien; D. Fanning, P. Maher, C. O’Mahony; J. Woodlock, S. McGrath; L. Corbett, S. Callanan, J. O’Brien; N. McGrath, M. Webster, L. Corbett.

Match Previews

Munster SHC Preview

From the web site

Friday, May 29.

Thousands of patrons in blue and gold and thousands more in red may have to ward off the sun at Thurles on Sunday, but it is on the field where the real heat will be.

Munster SHC Quarter-final:
Semple Stadium: Tipperary v Cork, 16.00

Timeless foes Tipperary and Cork face off in yet another Munster SHC clash of the province’s perennial gladiators – this year in a quarter-final – long before they often go ash-to ash.

Tipp, the Munster holders, start as strong favourites against a Rebels side who are looking to put their winter behind them, but these encounters are rarely cut and dried.

Liam Sheedy’s side have been put forward by many seemingly in the know as the team most likely – if any team really is – to knock Kilkenny off their perch. Even they will have to play out of their Premier skin to do that, but all that will be worrying them at the moment is the matter at hand and dispatching of Denis Walsh’s Rebels.

To aid that cause they are boosted by the first competitive start of the year for Eoin Kelly, the man whose super goal against the same opposition in the Munster SFC last year paved the way for a comeback win for Sheedy’s charges. The Mullinahone man is Tipp’s ace in the pack and will provide the biggest threat for a new-look Cork full-back line from top of the left.

Padraic Maher and Noel McGrath make their debuts, while Paddy Stapleton gets his first championship start and Conor O’Mahony – very impressive last year – is named after overcoming illness. O’Mahony, Shane McGrath and Seamus Callinan all made great strides in 2008 and just how they have grown as players since is likely to be telling on Sunday.

Tipp led Kilkenny for most of the National League Division One final before succumbing to Brian Cody’s felines in extra-time. Micháel Webster, a goalscorer that day, will hope to use his frame to put pressure on Eoin Cadogan – the man charged with replacing Diarmuid O’Sullivan at full back for the Rebels. To Cadogan’s left, ‘09′ panel member Conor O’Sullivan is handed his Championship debut behind Cork’s more regular and highly-regarded half back line.

The man all eyes will be on is the other debutant in red – Aisake O hAilpín. The brother of Sean Óg and Setanta plays at full forward having returned from his AFL effort and has looked promising as Walsh has rushed to get a host of challenge games in following his first-choice side’s curtailed league campaign. The 23-year-old will need to be a real presence in the Tipp defensive zone as Cork start a campaign without the retired Joe Deane and in search of a new forward hero.

The Rebels have at least put a good run together, taking good wins over Dublin, Limerick and Wexford in that challenge spree, but the level of both opposition and intensity will rise hugely on Sunday and every man will have to be up for it and up to it.

This Cork team is still full of experience. Their heart was not lacking when it was questioned last summer and should not be questioned this time.

Tipperary: B Cummins; P Stapleton, P Curran, C O’Brien; D Fanning, P Maher, C O’Mahony; J Woodlock, S McGrath; L Corbett, S Callanan, J O’Brien; N McGrath, M Webster, E Kelly

Cork: D Óg Cusack; S O’Neill, E Cadogan, C O’Sullivan; J Gardiner, R Curran, S Óg Ó hAilpín; T Kenny, J O’Connor; B O’Connor, N McCarthy, T McCarthy; P Horgan, A Ó hAilpín, K Murphy (Sarsfields).

Verdict: Tipperary
Sunday (4.0pm): Munster SHC first round: Tipperary v Cork, Semple Stadium, Thurles.
Ref: B Kelly (Westmeath)

One of hurling’s most historic rivalries resumes for the 78th time in the championship in what promises to be another wonderful occasion. It’s fitting that Thurles, birthplace of the GAA, should host this clash between Munster’s most successful hurling counties in the 125th anniversary year of the Association.

Cork v Tipperary is a rivalry which stretches back to 1888, one which has remained remarkably close in terms of head-to-head clashes. Cork lead 36-34 while there have been seven draws. It will be the seventh championship meeting between them this decade with Cork having won four to Tipperary’s two of the previous six. Cork reeled off four wins over Tipperary in 2000-2004-2005-2006 before Tipperary turned the tables in the 2007 All-Ireland qualifiers. They won again last year, beating Cork in the Munster semi-final in Páirc Uí Chaoimh en route to winning the provincial title.

Cork are chasing their fifth Munster title this decade, having previously won in 2000-2003-2005-2006 while Tipperary are pursuing their third having triumphed in 2001 and 2008. The last time Tipperary won successive Munster titles was in 1987-88-89.

Tipperary easily won this year’s National League clash with Cork (2-15 to 0-9) in February at a time when Cork were fielding a weakened side due to the players’ strike.

The winners of Sunday’s game will play Clare in the Munster semi-final on June 21.

Last Five Championship Clashes

2008 – Tipperary 1-19 Cork 1-13 (Munster semi-final)
2007 – Tipperary 2-16 Cork 1-18 (All-Ireland qualifier)
2006 – Cork 2-14 Tipperary 1-14 (Munster final)
2005 – Cork 1-21 Tipperary 1-16 (Munster final)
2004 – Cork 2-19 Tipperary 1-16 (All-Ireland qualifier)
Cork 3, Tipperary 2

Last Championship Clash

Tipperary 1-19 Cork 1-13, Munster semi-final, Páirc Uí Chaoimh (8 June 2008) Cork led by 1-5 to 0-2 after 16 minutes but Tipperary rallied and won the remainder of the game by 1-17 to 0-8. Eoin Kelly scored 1-7 for Tipperary while Ben O’Connor was Cork’s top scorer with 1-3.

More information

Tipperary Senior Hurlers Press Pack

Cork GAA web site


May 31, 2009
4:00 pm - 5:25 pm

GAA Units