Cork and Tipperary played out a Munster hurling championship classic in Thurles on Sunday, with the Rebels coming out on top in one of the upsets of the summer already.
The All Ireland champions now head for the back door qualifiers with Cork marching on to a Munster semi-final encounter with Waterford on June 18th.
While Tipp planned on rebounding from their league final trimming at the hands of Galway yesterday afternoon, Kieran Kingston’s men had other ideas.
The revamped Rebels romped into town with zero expectation dragging them back and such showed in their performance. A fearless, youthful looking Cork team gave the Leeside public something to be proud of with a commanding display from start to finish when no one really gave them a chance heading into the clash.
The championship debutants, namely Luke Meade, Darragh Fitzgibbon, Mark Coleman and Colm Spillane as well as Shane Kingston making his first start and Mikey Cahalane coming off the bench hugely impressed and look to have given Cork a new lease of life. Going forward, these young hurlers will continue to march on with no baggage attached and certainly give Cork a reasonable opportunity to drive on to bigger and better things in 2017.
As rank outsiders before a ball was pucked yesterday, the Leesiders shocked everyone with what they brought to the table with such a solid performance throughout, granted their abysmal form over the last couple of seasons since winning a Munster championship in 2014 and their desperately inconsistent league form this spring. Nobody could foresee their triumph over the Liam McCarthy Cup favourites on their home patch.
John Mullane was on commentary for the epic clash between the old rivals and the Waterford legend captured the emotion of all hurling fanatics perfectly yesterday afternoon. In typical Mullane fashion, just as he wore his heart on his sleeve on the playing field, the De La Salle clubman passionately brought radio listeners right to fever pitch with his description of the occasion which made for enthralling listening.
Check out the super highlights of the RTÉ Radio One Sunday Sport show, where Mullane showed us all he was just as ecstatic as anyone to see the Munster championship back in full flow.