Cork shock Tipp with ten-point victory

Cork 3-15 Tipperary 0-14

Cork 3-15 Tipperary 0-14

Tipperary surrendered their Munster SHC title in alarming fashion as Cork brilliantly signalled their Championship intent with a ten-point dismissal of their great rivals at Pairc Ui Chaoimh.

Pat Horgan (2-2) and Aisake O hAilpin (1-1) starred, along with the entire Rebels defence, as Denis Walsh's men comfortably qualified for a June 20 semi-final against Limerick.

Horgan found the net, from a penalty and open play, to leave Tipperary trailing by 2-05 to 0-09 at half-time.

Tipp captain Eoin Kelly tallied up 0-7 from placed balls but Cork had a stranglehold on proceedings and ran out easy winners in the end.

The Rebels, looking a different side to the one that lost to Galway in the National League final, rediscovered their roar with a display full of attitude, desire and slick stick work.

Their game-plan stopped Tipperary in their tracks, allowing players like target man Aisake O hAilpin, dual star Eoin Cadogan and goalkeeper Donal Og Cusack, who produced a stunning second half save, to rise to the occasion.

One win will not make Cork's summer but this result is a serious statement for the hurling world to mull over. Similarly for this young Tipp outfit, a poor first day out may be exactly what they need to rouse themselves for another committed challenge for the All-Ireland crown.

Whatever happens, today's explosive encounter has really set the 2010 Championship alight as the chasing pack align themselves to thwart Kilkenny's five in-a-row bid.

Winners over in Cork in the past two Munster Championships, Tipperary lined out as selected - giving SHC debuts to Michael Cahill and Brian O'Meara - and took a 0-2 to 0-0 lead after eight minutes.

Lar Corbett and Eoin Kelly split the Cork posts for those opening points, before Ben O'Connor got Cork off the mark. Seamus Callanan replied with a neat catch and point, and Tipp goalkeeper Brendan Cummins reacted well to deny O hAilpin a goal.

O'Connor doubled his and Cork's tally from a free, and the game's first real twist arrived in the 13th minute. The on fire O hAilpin collected possession on the edge of the square and booted the ball to the net, only for referee Barry Kelly to call play back for a penalty, awarded for a foul by Padraic Maher.

Corner forward Pat Horgan stepped up to fire the sliotar to the net and O'Connor's third point punished Maher, who was struggling to cope with the long-limbed O hAilpin, as Cork foraged ahead.

Corbett and Kelly closed the gap to 1-3 to 0-5 by the 21st minute, but O hAilpin was proving a real handful to deal with and the Na Piarsaigh clubman, with another stellar high fetch, created enough chaos for the alert Horgan to smack home his second goal into the roof of the net.

John Gardiner and John O'Brien traded points as the end-to-end nature of the contest continued and Tipp had the better of the half's closing stages as pointed efforts from Kelly, O'Brien and Brendan Maher sandwiched a lone score from Cork's excellent midfielder Cathal Naughton.

That left just two points between them at the break, and Tipp were poised to mount a serious challenge as another Kelly free made it a one-point game as the second half kickstarted into gear.

However, Liam Sheedy's charges could only score four more points - all but one from placed balls - as Cork, with no Championship newcomers in their starting line-up, used their experience, guile, power and pace to stretch away from the defending champions.

Full-forward O hAilpin added his name to the scoresheet, Niall McCarthy struck a quick brace of points, with Sean Og O hAilpin involved in the second, and Gardiner converted a '65' to edge Cork four points clear.

Tipp looked to be struggling as the younger O hAilpin threatened again in front of Cummins and a typically well-executed point from Ben O'Connor kept the Rebels on track, delighting the majority of the 36,827 attendance.

Two more Kelly scores reduced the arrears to four with 20 minutes remaining, but Cork's dominance in defence and midfield bore further fruit as they strung together 1-3 without reply to put the result beyond any doubt.

Ben O'Connor and Horgan (0-2) put their names to the points and right on the hour mark, Jerry O'Connor passed for the unmarked O hAilpin, who had missed with a ground shot minutes earlier, to round Cummins and slot home to an empty net.

Tipp were being overwhelmed and Cork stopper Cusack showed his class when flinging himself to the left to save a difficult, bouncing effort from Kelly. A sublime save, and a moment which perfectly summed up this unexpected display of strength from the men in red.

With Cadogan and his defensive colleagues sewing up the much-vaunted Tipp attack, late points from Kelly and substitute Timmy Hammersley mattered little as Cork, with Naughton and substitute Paudie O'Sullivan adding the clinching scores, sealed a runaway victory.

CORK: D Óg Cusack; S O'Neill, E Cadogan, B Murphy; J Gardiner (0-2, 0-1f, 0-1 '65'), R Curran, S Óg Ó hAilpín; T Kenny, C Naughton (0-2); B O'Connor (0-5, 0-3f), J O'Connor, N McCarthy (0-2); K Murphy, A Ó hAilpín (1-1), P Horgan (2-2).

Subs used: M Cussen for McCarthy (61 mins), P O'Sullivan (0-1) for Horgan (66), L McLoughlin for Kenny (70+2).

TIPPERARY: B Cummins; P Stapleton, P Maher, P Curran; D Fanning, C O’Mahony, M Cahill; B Maher (0-1), S McGrath; N McGrath, S Callanan (0-1), J O'Brien (0-2); E Kelly (0-7, 0-5f, 0-2 '65'), L Corbett (0-2).

Subs used: S Hennessy for O'Meara (44 mins), G Ryan for C O'Mahony (57), T Hammersley (0-1) for N McGrath (62), J Brennan for J O'Brien (66), C O'Brien for McGrath (69).

Referee: Barry Kelly (Westmeath).

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