Cork 1-17, Tipperary 0-9: Cork will meet either Clare or Kerry in next month’s Munster SFC final after comfortably overcoming Tipperary in this evening’s semi-final.
This was the counties fourth Munster semi-final meeting in five years and with the previous three having been decided by margins of one and two-points (twice), a tight contest was expected in front of the 3,339 supporters who opted against an evening on the couch watching the Champions League final.
But from once Colm O’Neill’s 31st minute goal put five (1-5 to 0-3) between the sides, only one outcome looked likely.
The Rebels were seven to the good turning around for the second-half, with two Luke Connolly frees either side of a Mark Collins minor taking the sting out of proceedings.
Tipperary did manage a mini-comeback, of sorts, thereafter, with Liam McGrath (0-3), Liam Boland and Philip Austin bringing the deficit back to five (1-11 to 0-9).
No closer would they come, though.
Cork boss Ronan McCarthy emptied the bench, with replacements Paul Kerrigan and Brian Hurley, the latter appearing in a Cork jersey for the first time since the summer of 2016, finding the target.
Fully deserving they were of their 11-point win. Top of the class was Luke Connolly who finished with 0-10 beside his name.
Ahead by 1-8 to 0-4 at the break, the Cork challenge took off following Colm O’Neill’s 31st-minute goal. It had been tit-for-tat early on, with Tipperary able to match whatever Cork produced at the other end.
Luke Connolly’s third from play on 24 minutes had Cork 0-4 to 0-3 in front, but, in truth, they were fortunate to be ahead at this juncture. Tipperary had two excellent goal opportunities but failed to take either. Championship debutant Mark White got down well to stop Michael Quinlivan’s shot and when Quinlivan sent Jack Kennedy clear of the last red shirt with a lovely ball over the top, White was again equal to the task.
Cork could have had a goal at the other end when Kevin Flahive and Ruairi Deane put through Connolly, the Nemo Rangers forward blasting over to leave the scoreline reading 0-5 to 0-3.
Connolly, a source of deep discomfort to the home side in the opening half, was central to Colm O’Neill’s green flag approaching the break. And the gap was further widened thanks to points from Mark Collins and Connolly (0-2, one free).
The Munster final is on June 23.
Scorers for Cork: L Connolly (0-10, 0-5 frees); M Collins (0-3); C O’Neill (1-0); P Kerrigan (0-2); S White, B Hurley (0-1 each).
Scorers for Tipperary: L McGrath (0-5, 0-3 frees); P Austin, J Kennedy (0-1 free), L Boland, M Quinlivan (0-1 each).
Cork: M White; K Crowley, J O’Sullivan, K Flahive; S White, S Cronin, T Clancy; I Maguire, A Walsh; K O’Driscoll, M Collins, R Deane; J O’Rourke, C O’Neill, L Connolly.
Subs: B Hurley for O’Neill (47 mins, inj); R O’Toole for O’Driscoll (56); P Kelleher for A Walsh, P Kerrigan for O’Rourke (60); J Loughrey for S White (64); M Taylor for Clancy (68)
Tipperary : E Comerford; S O’Connell, A Campbell, R Kiely; J Feehan, J Meagher, B Maher; S O’Brien, L Casey; J Keane, J Kennedy, B Fox; C Sweeney, M Quinlivan, L McGrath.
Subs: P Austin for Feehan (HT); K Fahey for Kiely (46); L Boland for Casey (49); J Lonergan for Keane (67); K O’Halloran for Sweeney (67).
Referee: A Nolan (Wicklow)