Cork chasing four-in-row against experienced Premier side

CORK bid for their fourth consecutive Munster MHC title against All-Ireland champions, Tipperary, in tomorrow’s final at Semple Stadium (2pm).

Both sides enjoyed easy passage to the decider. Cork thrashed Waterford before beating Clare by nine points in the semi-final. Tipperary were comfortable winners over Clare in their opening game before inflicting an 18-point defeat on Limerick in the penultimate round.

Cork boss Don Cronin is impressed by the All-Ireland champions: “They are a very experienced team with some outstanding individuals. Noel McGrath and Shane Hennessy are two serious players who will move onto greater things. They are both going to cause a lot of problems. It’s a huge ask but we can take inspiration from what our footballers achieved against a highly-rated Kerry team last Sunday.

“We have four players looking for their second Munster medal in a week. Those kind of chances don’t come around too often, and I would be hoping lads realise that and make the most of the opportunity.

“There are a couple of very experienced players on our team who know from last year what victory over Tipp means. But they must rise to the challenge again, and bring their colleagues along with them.

“Potentially we have a very good team, but so far we have not produced that form. If they do so tomorrow, I would be quietly confident.”

Liam Sheehy stepped down after leading Tipperary to All-Ireland honours last year with two former senior stalwarts, Declan Ryan and Tommy Dunne, now at the helm.

Dunne concedes Cork are going to provide the acid test for his charges.

“If you look back on both counties’ games with Clare, the Banner side came close enough to upsetting the odds. They certainly left us off the hook and had Cork in lots of trouble particularly in the first half.

“But I was very impressed by the way Cork played in the second half. They introduced a couple of subs which made all the difference, and it’s going to take a massive game on our part to beat them.

“Cork came to Thurles this time last year and turned us over, and we are mindful of that. Unlike in our previous outings, we won’t get the same freedom off the Cork backs tomorrow, and I think it will be a very close affair.”

With both defences very strong, the respective forward divisions will earn their scores. In such circumstances midfield may decide the issue and here Tipp look to be marginally stronger.

Noel McGrath is one of the best under-age players to come out of the Premier County while Cork’s Ryan Clifford is one of those superb scoring forwards and the Tipp backs will have to keep a close eye on him.

A fascinating contest in prospect then, with Tipp’s greater experience likely to see them shade it, but if Cork take a leaf out of their footballers book, then the four in a row is a distinct possibility.

CORK (MHC v Tipperary): D. McCarthy (Sliabh Rua); J. Herlihy (Newtown). A. Kearney (Midleton), E. McCarthy (Na Piarsaigh); L. McLoughlin (Kanturk), C. O’Donovan (Valley Rovers), K. Murphy (Erins Own); S. McDonnell (Glen Rovers), D. O’Sullivan (Ballinascarthy); R. White (Carrigtwohill), M. Bowles (Newtown), P. Gould (Na Piarsaigh); L. O’Farrell (Midleton), D. Stack (Buttevant), R. Clifford (Newtown).

TIPPERARY (MHC v Cork): J. Logue (Ballingarry); K. O’Gorman (Thurles Sarsfields), Padraig Maher (Thurles Sarsfields), S, O’Brien (Newport); D. O’Connor (Roscrea), J. Coghlan (Moyne-Templetuohy), M. Cahill (Thurles Sarsfields); N. McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney), J. Gallagher (Kildangan); S. Hennessy (Kilruane MacDonaghs), C.n Lorrigan (Moyle Rovers), B. Maher (Borris-Ileigh — Captain) ; M. Heffernan (Nenagh Eire Óg), Patrick Maher (Lorrha-Dorrha), J. O’Neill (Clonoulty-Rossmore)

More in this section

GaaHurlingPlace: Semple StadiumPerson: Don CroninPerson: Noel McGrathPerson: Shane HennessyPerson: Liam SheehyPerson: Declan RyanPerson: Tommy DunnePerson: DunnePerson: Ryan CliffordPerson: D. McCarthyPerson: J. HerlihyPerson: A. KearneyPerson: E. McCarthyPerson: L. McLoughlinPerson: C. O’DonovanPerson: K. MurphyPerson: S. McDonnellPerson: D. O’SullivanPerson: R. WhitePerson: M. BowlesPerson: P. GouldPerson: L. O’FarrellPerson: D. StackPerson: R. CliffordPerson: TipperaryPerson: J. LoguePerson: K. O’GormanPerson: Padraig MaherPerson: S, O’BrienPerson: D. O’ConnorPerson: J. CoghlanPerson: Moyne-TempletuohyPerson: M. CahillPerson: N. McGrathPerson: J. GallagherPerson: S. HennessyPerson: Kilruane MacDonaghsPerson: C.n LorriganPerson: B. MaherPerson: -IleighPerson: M. HeffernanPerson: Nenagh Éire ÓgPerson: Patrick MaherPerson: Lorrha-Person: J. O’NeillPerson: RossmoreEvent: Munster MHCEvent: MunsterOrganisation: CorkOrganisation: All-Organisation: WaterfordOrganisation: ClareOrganisation: TipperaryOrganisation: LimerickOrganisation: KerryOrganisation: TippOrganisation: Premier CountyOrganisation: MHCOrganisation: Sliabh RuaOrganisation: NewtownOrganisation: MidletonOrganisation: Na PiarsaighOrganisation: KanturkOrganisation: Valley RoversOrganisation: Erins OwnOrganisation: Glen RoversOrganisation: CarrigtwohillOrganisation: BallingarryOrganisation: ThurlesOrganisation: Thurles SarsfieldsOrganisation: NewportOrganisation: KildanganOrganisation: Moyle RoversOrganisation: BorrisOrganisation: Clonoulty
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