Tipperary 2-18 Cork 1-17
BY GERARD BROWNE
Tipperary are through to the All-Ireland SHC quarter-finals after seeing off age-old rivals Cork 2-18 to 1-17 at the LIT Gaelic Grounds yesterday.
In a tight and tense contest, played in horrible weather conditions, it looked as if Cork were on course for victory when Patrick Horgan’s ’65 put them a point up with ten minutes to play.
However, the reigning All-Ireland champions came good and outscored their opponents 1-4 to 0-2 with Jake Morris striking the all-important goal.
Tipperary played with the wind in the first-half but they would have been disappointed with their return.
The Premier only led 0-9 to 1-4 at the break, with the feeling that two points was not enough of a lead playing against the elements.
Liam Sheedy’s side didn’t help themselves, shooting 12 wides. Jason Forde missed frees, you would normally expect him to slot over.
After a loose hand pass by Michael Breen went straight to Horgan in the 22nd minute, the Tipperary defence was wide open and the Glen Rovers man ran through to fire the sliotar past Brian Hogan.
That left the score line level at 1-2 to 0-5, with Forde (all frees) accounting for four of his side’s tally.
Further points from Forde, Breen and Dan McCormack gave the blue and gold a two points advantage after the opening 35 minutes.
Nine minutes into the second-half and it looked as if Tipperary were pulling clear as Forde registered their first green flag of the day.
The Slivermines player cut inside Colm Spillane before his shot has too much power for Anthony Nash, to leave the Premier 1-12 to 1-7 to the good.
Inspired by Seamus Harnedy, the Rebels never died, as the forward scored four points to help turn this game on its head.
Kieran Kingston’s charges had a purple patch from the 45th to the 60th minute, outscoring their Munster neighbours 0-8 to 0-2 to take the lead heading down the home stretch.
The All-Ireland champions are not short on experience but Sheedy’s decision to bring on younger players from the bench really told as the game reached its conclusion.
After midfielder Breen got his fourth point (he scored five in total) to tie the game, substitute Paul Flynn put the blue and gold back in front, 1-16 to 1-15.
Another replacement Willie Connors played a crucial part in the game winning score, gaining possession from Hogan’s puck out, before sending Morris away who made no mistake from close range.
That left the scoreboard reading 2-17 to 1-16 in the last minute of normal time.
Flynn and Bill Cooper traded scores in additional time, as the Rebels never looked like getting the goal they needed.
Tipperary march onto an All-Ireland quarter-final next weekend, while it’s the end of the road for Cork this year.
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