Brian Cuthbert welcomes Cork game time

Cork 1-14 Tipperary 0-12: Some may question the wisdom of these early season inter-county competitions but Cork boss Brian Cuthbert yesterday welcomed the opportunity for "game-time" for his extended squad as they continue their run through the McGrath Cup.

Donncha O’Connor notched 1-4 in the first half, a converted penalty and four superb points from play, and that laid the foundations for an interval lead which was rarely threatened by the home team in a game which proved relatively high-scoring for the time of year.

“I said last week, if we could get four games in this [competition], then great,” Cuthbert said in Clonmel as Cork look towards a semi-final next weekend. “We gave guys game-time who didn’t get game-time last week, just getting guys ready for the National League”.

“Players need to play games and this is an ideal opportunity to prepare for the league in a couple of weeks’ time. It was a tough game. Tipp are a good physical team, they could have beaten us in the championship in Cork last year. Maybe they should have beaten us. Certainly they didn’t hold back today but sure you wouldn’t expect them to hold back. It was a case of a tough game and that’s what you want.”

After a brief flurry at the start, when George Hannigan scored after 40 seconds before a Cork player had touched the ball, Tipp quickly found themselves on the back foot. O’Connor fired over a couple of quick-fire points, added to by Colm O’Neill, before O’Connor stroked home a 18th-minute penalty after Jamie O’Sullivan was brought down.

That gave Cork a three-point lead and Tipp never got any closer.

“A great workout at this time of year, considering we’re not back that long,” was how Tipperary manager Peter Creedon described it. Tipp’s protracted senior club championship only ended on St Stephen’s Day.

“It was a good competitive workout, we’re happy. Obviously we’d like to win these things and we didn’t but we got 12 points and on a winter’s day we’d be quite okay with that.” Colm O’Neill got all four of Cork’s points after the break and they led by eight with 10 minutes on the clock.

However, a late burst of scoring by Tipp — two frees by Conor Sweeney and a Robbie Kiely point — gave the scoreboard a respectable look.

Scorers for Cork: D O’Connor 1-4 (pen), C O’Neill 0-7 (five frees, one), M Collins, D McEoin, J Hayes (0-1 each)

Scorers for Tipperary: C Sweeney 0-5 (three frees), G Hannigan 0-2, B Grogan 0-2, R Kiely 0-1, S Kennedy 0-1, M Quinlivan 0-1.

CORK: K O’Halloran, S O’Donoghue, T Clancy, J Loughrey, J O’Sullivan, E Cadogan, D Hazel, M Cussen, M Collins, C O’Driscoll, D O’Connor, J O’Rourke, D McEoin, C O’Neill, B Hurley.

Subs: J Hayes (23) for B Hurley, K O’Driscoll (35) for M Cussen, F O Deasuinaigh (49) for J O’Rourke, G Durrant (56) for D O’Connor, P Hodnett (62) for C O’Driscoll, L Jennings (65) for T Clancy.

TIPPERARY: C Nugent, A Campbell, P Codd, A Morrissey, G Hally, R Kiely, S Kennedy, G Hannigan, P Acheson, I Fahy, B Grogan, B Fox, C Sweeney, C O’Riordan, M Quinlivan.

Subs: J Feehan (23) for G Hally, L Casey (54) for I Fahy, D Kearney (57) for P Acheson, L Boland (58) for G Hannigan, P Shanahan (68) for B Grogan, J Keane (69) for C Sweeney.

Referee: R Moloney (Limerick).

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