No question, the Cork Institute, with earlier victories over Clare and UCC under their belts, will now face Limerick next Sunday confident they can upset the holders, and selector Liam Hodnett, who was full of praise for his charges, is looking forward to the final.
Said Hodnett: “yes, Limerick will be a tough test, but we proved today we can play nice football. Fitness-wise, we are probably at our peak, with the Sigerson fast approaching. In fairness, Tipp are only just back into the swing of things, so I suppose we had the legs on them. But I still thought the lads excelled today and the way they played for each other was a treat. If we do the same next week, who knows.”
Certainly Tipperary looked ragged, wasting a lot of possession, particularly up front where only Paul Cahill stood out. Four of their forwards were substituted and to say Declan Browne was missed would be an understatement. Coach Séamus McCarthy has a lot of work to do, but on a day when there were only 24 fouls, 11 in the opening half and 13 in the second, football was the winner, both sides playing their part in making it a flowing contest.
Some terrific movement in a lively opening half, with the pick-up definitely improving the tempo of the game. Tipp were first on the scoreboard with a fine point from Damien O’Brien and in the opening seven minutes they had enough of the ball to worry CIT. However, they lacked the killer touch.
And once CIT struck for a terrific goal, after a swift raid from one end of the pitch to the other culminating in Paul Flynn making Eamonn O’Connor’s task simple, the pacy and smart moving students took firm control. Daniel Goulding and Donncha O’Connor with a free followed with quick points and suddenly it was Tipp who were on the back pedal.
Fergal O’Callaghan had a second Tipp point, but with Michael Prout and Pádraig Sheehan rock-solid in defence, CIT were full value for their 1-2 to 0-2 first quarter lead. A terrific point from big midfielder Eamonn Hanrahan did reduce the leeway, but for the rest of the half it was all CIT as they continued to run the Tipp defence ragged with some strong incisive runs. With Niall Hennessey, who scored a fine point, and Alan Morgan putting in some real hard graft, CIT finished the half in style to lead 1-6 to 0-3 at the break and in total control.
The pace of the game dropped somewhat in the second-half and although Cahill got Tipp’s fourth point in the 35th minute, it was the speedy CIT men, with Damien Breen excellent at midfield, who ran the show. A couple of frees from Goulding and a point from play by Breen gave CIT a comfortable 1-9 to 0-4 lead entering the final quarter and with Tipp continuing to miss a plethora of chances the game was as good as over.
Aidan Fitzgerald with a Tipp free and Morgan did exchange points in the final quarter and CIT keeper Kevin Murphy had to make a good save to deny Hanrahan late on, but on the day Tipp proved no match for the students who now go to Limerick in the right kind of mood.
Scorers for CIT: E. O’Connor 1-0, D. Goulding (0-2 frees), D. O’Connor (0-2 frees) 0-3 each, N. Hennessy, V. Hurley, D. Breen, A. Morgan 0-1 each.
Tipperary: D. O’Brien, F. O’Callaghan, E. Hanrahan, P. Cahill, A. Fitzgerald (free) 0-1 each.
CIT: K. Murphy (Cork); M. Prout (Cork), M. Vaughan (Cork) , P. Sheehan (Kerry); A. Sheehy (Cork), R. Mageean (Wexford), N. Hennessy (Waterford); E. O’Connor (Cork), D. Breen (Kerry); M. Milner (Cork), A. Morgan (Cork), V. Hurley (Cork); D. Goulding (Cork), P. O’Flynn (Cork), D. O’Connor (Cork). Subs; M. Greene (Cork) for Milner, R. Honohan (Cork) for Hurley.
TIPPERARY: B. Enright; D. Byrne, N. Curran, P. King; P. Morrissey, R. Costigan, B. Hahessy; E. Hanrahan, K. Mulryan; A. Fitzgerald, L. England, P. Cahill; J. Shanahan, F .O’Callaghan, D. O’Brien, Subs; P. Foley for O’Brien, M. Webster for Shanahan, S. Collum for England, T. Doyle for O’Callaghan.
Referee: P. Sheehy (Kerry).