Cork keep survival hopes alive with crucial win over Tipp

Cork keep survival hopes alive with crucial win over Tipp


Cork resurrected their hopes of Division 2 survival as Ruairi Deane's late goal gave them a deserved three-point victory over Tipperary at Semple Stadium.

Their first win in over nine months came at the same venue and against the same opponents as last time, offering Ronan McCarthy some relief from the criticism he's faced for Cork's previously winless League start.

It was an error-strewn game in front of 1,179 spectators, but Cork's greater willingness to commit numbers to attack saw them prevail. They remain at the foot of the table, but are now level on points with fellow Munster strugglers Tipp and Clare, the latter of whom has a game in hand.


Tipperary have sorely struggled for scores in open play without Michael Quinlivan to knit it all together - joint-top-scorers Conor Sweeney and Liam McGrath have combined for 2-20, with all but two of those scores (both McGrath points) from placed balls. That trend continued as Sweeney converted a mark and close-range free for an early two-point lead.

Tipperary were overly wary of Cork's attacking threats, though, and once Cork pushed up, they got immediate change. Cork's two-man full-forward line of Michael Hurley (twice) and Mark Collins fired points, while Luke Connolly converted a free after Ian Maguire was fouled as he approached the Tipp goal.

Tipperary's Brian Fox had his red card rescinded midweek and the sweeper was their most incisive attacker at times. After a fine point from Jack Kennedy to end a flowing move, Fox came up to level the scores at 0-4 all.

Cork were invited back within scoring range, though, and after Connolly gave Cork the lead, last-minute introduction Eoghan McSweeney and Paul Kerrigan, playing in a roaming role, kicked points from outside the 45m line. 0-7 to 0-4 at the break.


Cork tried to draw Tipp out of their defensive shape, holding the ball for around three minutes before Connolly pointed, his second of the second half. They were soon added to by Cillian O'Hanlon, fizzing a rocket just over the bar, and a Collins free.

Seven behind, Tipp finally began to come to life. Sweeney created a fine point for himself, and added a free, before Kevin Fahey burst through the cover - a goal was on but Micheál Aodh Martin stretched to meet the rising shot and touch it over. 0-7 to 0-11 the deficit now.

Connolly hit back with a free, before Sweeney slotted two placed balls, the second from a fine attacking mark, to narrow the gap to three for the first time since the interval.

But Cork had the answer with Sean Powter's clever cut-out pass finding Deane rushing into space to blast past Michael O'Reilly for a 67th-minute goal.


Placed balls enabled Tipp to close within three again - Dan O'Meara, Sweeney (frees) and a Kennedy ('45) - the latter after Kevin Flahive threw himself upon a low shot, which the hosts claimed he picked off the ground.

Tipp dropped more hopeful balls into the danger area in a prolonged period of added time but each was claimed by red jerseys. After one last heart-stopping scramble, Cork emerged with that long-awaited, much-needed victory.

Scorers for Tipperary: C Sweeney (0-7, 4 frees, 2 marks); J Kennedy (0-2, 1 '45); K Fahey, D O'Meara (free), B Fox (0-1 each).

Scorers for Cork: L Connolly (0-5, 4 frees); R Deane (1-0); M Collins (1 free), M Hurley (0-2 each); C O'Hanlon, E McSweeney, P Kerrigan (0-1 each).

TIPPERARY: M O’Reilly; A Campbell, J Meagher, E Moloney; K Fahey, D Brennan, J Feehan; S O’Brien, L Casey; L Boland, L McGrath, B Fox; P Austin, C Sweeney, J Kennedy.

Subs: D O'Meara for Boland (54), B Hyland for McGrath (61), C Kennedy for Fahey (67), C O'Shaughnessy for Meagher (69).

CORK: MA Martin; S Ryan, K Flahive, C Dennehy; K Crowley, T Clancy (Clonakilty), M Taylor; I Maguire, C O’Hanlon; E McSweeney, L Connolly, R Deane; M Hurley, M Collins, P Kerrigan.

Subs: B Hurley for M Hurley (54), S Powter for Kerrigan (54), C Kiely for Taylor (54), D Gore for McSweeney (61), R O'Toole for Maguire (67).

Referee: F Smyth (Offaly).