Cussen bags a brace as Cork come good in second half

Cork 5-14 Tipperary 0-24

The game was arranged to coincide with the official opening of the local club’s magnificent complex and the huge crowd got plenty value for money.

Both team managements expressed satisfaction at the outcome, albeit for different reasons. Cork’s selector Sean McGrath said it was an excellent workout for his side with a number of players staking a claim for inclusion for the upcoming championship semi-final at the end of next month.

“To be fair we were rubbish in the first half and coach Jimmy Barry- Murphy let the players know that in no uncertain manner at half time”, the Glen Rovers man said.

“Thankfully the players responded in the second half and coupled with a few positional switches we got through for five excellent goals which was very encouraging.”

“It’s pleasing from the selectors’ point of view that we have bounced back from being relegated in the league recently, but we have a lot of work ahead of us to be ready for the championship.”

While Tipperary coach Eamon O’Shea wasn’t as forthcoming he did agree that the game was hugely beneficial to his side who are also in the throes of championship preparation.

“I’m not disappointing at losing the game. It was an excellent one to get in terms of preparation and we have another one next week against Waterford which should have us in good fettle for the Limerick championship game in a couple of weeks.”

Tipperary took the game to Cork from the throw in. Hurling with far more conviction they scorched into an 0-6 to 0-1 lead after 15 minutes and such was Cork’s lethargic effort, they looked to be heading for a thrashing.

Only the excellence of Brian Murphy at full back and Shane O’Neill on his right prevented the home side from falling further behind. It took Cork 28 minutes to score from play – a Cian McCarthy point — but with John O’Dwyer and Jason Forde excelling in attack for Tipp, the Premier County were full value for their 0-12 to 0-6 half time lead. Cork arranged their attack for the second half and the most significant switch was the placing of Michael Cussen at corner forward where he used his height to great effect. The goals began to come soon after.

Peter O’Brien began the rush with the first after great work by Cussen. Tipp switched full back Tomas Stapleton over on Cussen but to no effect as the towering Sars man grabbed a brace, Pat Horgan lashed a 20 metre free to the net, and the busy Stephen Moylan helped himself to the other as Cork took a grip on proceedings.

The fact that netminder Anthony Nash didn’t have a save to make was testament to the excellence of the Cork defence which restricted the Tipp forwards to a couple of late points which only served to make the final scoreline a bit more respectable.

Scorers for Cork: M. Cussen 2-1; P. Horgan 1-4 (1-0 pen., 0-4 frees); P. O’Brien 1-2; S. Moylan 1-1; C. Naughton 0-3; C. McCarthy 0-2 (0-1 free); R. O’Shea 0-1.

Scorers for Tipperary: J. O’Dwyer 0-7; J. Forde, E. Kelly (frees) 0-4 each; N. McGrath (0-1 free), S. Bourke 0-3 each; T. Hammersley, B. Maher, C. O’Brien 0-1 each.

CORK: A. Nash; S. O’Neill, B. Murphy, C. Murphy; M. Ellis, C. Joyce, S. McDonnell; R. O’Shea, M. Walsh; M. Cussen, C. McCarthy, C. Naughton; S Moylan, P. O’Brien, P. Horgan.

Subs: S. White for C. Murphy (half time); M. O’Sullivan for M. Walsh (45); B. Cooper for P. Horgan (48).

TIPPERARY: B. Cummins; J. O’Keeffe, T. Stapleton, D. Maher; T. Hamill, C. O’Mahony, J. Barry; B. Maher, K. Bergin; J. Forde, N. McGrath, J. O’Dwyer; S. Bourke, E. Kelly, T. Hammersley.

Subs: C. O’Brien for Bergin (half time); P. O’Dwyer for McGrath (half time); N. McGrath for B. Maher (50).

Referee, M. Wadding (Waterford).

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