That first day they hit 18 wides but yesterday it was just seven and that element pleased manager Raymie Ryan.
“That was better,” he said.
“It’s a result. I don’t think the performance was that much better than against Waterford but we took our scores.”
That they did, none more impressively than corner-forward Cathal Horan, who finished with 2-2 from play, could have doubled it but for a combination of good goalkeeping by the outstanding Gary Minihane for Cork and a couple of golden opportunities missed.
Also impressive for Tipperary up front were the McGrath cousins Liam and John (brother of senior star Noel), along with Conor Hammersley.
In truth, however, this was a poor display by Cork. Beaten by Limerick first time out, they struggled for a long period against Kerry in the first playoff before eventually pulling away. This game, then, proved a bridge too far.
“Very disappointing,” said crestfallen manager John Considine.
“I was hoping we were after getting it together for this one. We didn’t, obviously, ten points in it at the end, that says it all. I was expecting a bigger performance but we faded big-time in the last 20 minutes.
“I thought after 35 minutes, when we got the goal, created another chance, we were back in it but Tipperary just upped a gear and we were gone. We weren’t able to stay with them.”
Aided by the strong breeze, Cork began very well and led by two after eight minutes (0-3 to 0-1), midfielder Killian McIntyre with two points. An opportunist Tipp goal by Horan in the ninth minute, getting on the end of a Dan McCormack centre, didn’t faze them and they cancelled that out with three unanswered points.
Then came the first ominous signs.
Even into the wind the next 10 minutes were dominated by Tipp, Horan especially, and 1-2 from the Mullinahone youngster put Tipp firmly in the driving seat by half-time, 2-5 to 0-8.
Free-taker Liam McGrath quickly extended the Tipp lead on the resumption, a pointed free from inside his own half, but when 16-year-old corner-forward Pa O’Callaghan got on the end of a fine Dillon Cahill centre to goal for Cork in the 35th minute, it looked like it was game on.
A minute later Rob O’Shea in the other corner was almost in again for Cork, but was denied by the alert Shane Hassett. From there to the end, however, it was all Tipp.
Not the best of preparation for Tipp as they face into a semi-final meeting with highly-rated Clare on June 24, albeit in Thurles, a game for which Raymie Ryan is already starting the mind-games.
“Clare seem to be beating everyone at the moment, we’re playing catch-up,” he claimed.
“They were in the stands today, they’ll be able to analyse us in person rather than on DVD. This won’t be like a home fixture in a few weeks’ time, they’ll know everything about us.”
Scorers for Tipperary: L McGrath 0-9 (7f, 2 65s), C Horan 2-2, J McGrath, C Hammersley 0-2 each, D McCormack 0-1.
Scorers for Cork: R O’Shea 0-5 (4f), P O’Callaghan 1-0, K McIntyre 0-2, D Cahill, D Sweetman 0-1 each.
TIPPERARY: S Hassett; J Bourke, J Meagher, J Peters; T Hamill, J Forde, C Barrett; B Maher, E Fennelly; C Hammersley, D McCormack, J McGrath; P Ralph, L McGrath, C Horan.
Subs: S Kennedy for Barrett (57), B Heffernan for J McGrath (inj. 59).
CORK: G Minihane; Alan Dennehy, C Barry, Anthony Dennehy; C Walsh, C Spillane (c), K Burke; S O’Keeffe, K McIntyre; A Cadogan, D Cahill, C Murphy; P O’Callaghan, D Sweetman, R O’Shea.
Subs: C Buckley for Meagher (inj. 6), T Conlan for Alan Dennehy (30), D Morrissey for Anthony Dennehy (30), C Cullinane for Cadogan (48), J Fitzgerald for O’Keeffe (51).
Referee: P Casey (Clare).