Tipperary have recorded their first victory in the Munster Championship since 2016 with a 2-28 to 1-24 win in Cork
Here are the major talking points from the entertaining game in Pairc Ui Chaoimh.
1. Tipperary’s Frantic Start
Liam Sheedy’s side enjoyed a blistering start to this game with a goal after two minutes from captain, Seamus Callanan. Cork’s defence were caught at sixes and sevens as the lethal full-forward line of John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer, Jason Forde and John McGrath repeatedly went on the attack. However, Tipp were guilty of attempting to force goal chances with McGrath, O’Dwyer and Patrick Maher all turning up opportunities for points in the first half. Forde also missed a penalty during those early stages after Niall O’Meara was fouled in the square.
2. Free Count
Seán Cleere from Kilkenny was a busy man throughout the first half as Tipperary were constantly pulled up for ill-discipline. By half-time, the free count was 10-5 against the Premier County and it was Patrick Horgan’s frees that kept Cork in the game throughout that early period. The Glen Rovers man scored 0-7 from placed balls in the first-half while Anthony Nash added another on the stroke of the break.
3. Old Guard Prove You Can’t Beat Experience
It was the wiser and more experienced heads that stood up for both sides when needed. Horgan and Seamus Harnedy kept Cork within touching distance during the first period of the game and their contribution was cemented in the 23rd minute when they brilliantly combined to level the game for the second time. Harnedy was also the scorer of Cork’s goal in the second-half which revived their chances. For Tipperary, it was the old guard from 2010 who kept the ship steady when the waters looked rocky – Noel McGrath, Brendan Maher, Seamus Callanan and Padraic Maher.
4. Tipperary Mean Business
Make no mistake, to come away from the home of the Munster champions with a win is no mean feat. For Tipperary and Liam Sheedy, the manner in which they won is a major monkey off their back. Time and again throughout the league, we saw this side switch off late on in games, coughing up their lead. At parts during today’s game, it looked a case of same old, same old. Yet, Tipperary showed a steeliness that we haven’t seen from them in years. It was a far from a perfect performance, they conceded that Harnedy goal in the 64th minute, but crucially, they scored three points without reply to cancel out the score. Even when Cork lobbed continuous ball into the square in the final minutes, it was a Tipperary player emerging with the ball. It was the Premier County’s first win in Munster since 2016 and a strong show of intent from Sheedy and Co.
5. The Munster Championship – Can You Beat It?
Between Clare’s nervy one-point win against Waterford in Walsh Park and this afternoon’s exhibition in Cork, it was another lively beginning to the Munster Hurling Championship. It will be hard to live up to the heights and excitement of the 2018 competition but this was definitely a good start. Walsh Park was packed to the rafters while 30,274 turned up in Cork. The round-robin series seems to have dulled the atmosphere at matches slightly given that teams have a chance to redeem themselves the following week should they lose. Yet today’s games proved that there the appetite is as big as ever. And to think we haven’t even seen