Allianz Hurling League Division 1A: Cork 0-26 Tippeary 1-11
Twelve points separated the sides as Cork got off to a winning start in Division 1A of the Allianz Hurling League against Tipperary at Páirc Uí Rinn tonight.
In front of 6,381 people, Jimmy Barry-Murphy’s side produced a performance that their Munster rivals found difficult to live with for long periods, with Tipp restricted to just two points in the first half, Noel McGrath scoring inside a minute and Johnny O’Dywer then registering in injury time.
In between, the hosts put 14 unanswered scores together, their all-round play outstanding, and while the second half was not as much of a procession, Cork still ended with 26 points and 11 different scorers, Patrick Horgan top-scoring with 13 points.
Cork’s success was built on the endless effort of midfielders Daniel Kearney and Lorcán McLoughlin, both of whom were excellent, while the defensive performance was epitomised by Conor O’Sullivan and William Egan.
If Cork were to have any quibbles, it would be that they didn’t get a goal while Tipp did and that Stephen Moylan was the only starting forward apart from Horgan to get more than a point, but overall they will be delighted with the outcome.
Some of the first-half play was wonderful, with the ball usage of the highest order and extremely hard work shown to win back possession and frustrate Tipp’s efforts.
The visitors couldn’t get going at all, as evidenced by their usage of three substitutes by the start of the second half, though when Horgan (two) and Kearney extended Cork’s advantage to 0-17 to 0-2 soon after the restart, things looked very ominous.
To give Tipp credit, subs Jason Forde, Lar Corbett and Adrian Ryan all did well, and Forde’s second point cut the gap to a comparatively-small 11 points, 0-20 to 0-9 as Cork tired following their first-half exertions.
A full-blown comeback was never a prospect, though, and Horgan continued to convert frees for Cork to ensure they kept the scoreboard ticking over. Eoin Kelly, another Tipp sub, got a late goal but it was nothing more than window-dressing on the scoreboard.
CORK: A Nash; S O’Neill, S McDonnell, C O’Sullivan; S White, C Joyce (0-1), W Egan (0-1); D Kearney (0-3), L McLoughlin (0-1); C McCarthy (0-1), P O’Sullivan (0-1), C Lehane (0-1); S Moylan (0-2), L O’Farrell (0-1), P Horgan (0-13, 0-9f).
Subs: T Kenny for Kearney (60), M Walsh (0-1) for McLoughlin (63), A Mannix for O’Farrell (67).
TIPPERARY: B Cummins; P Stapleton, P Curran, C O’Brien; D Maher, Pádraic Maher, B Maher; S McGrath, J Ryan; N McGrath (0-3f), J O’Dwyer (0-3), Patrick Maher; S Bourke, B O’Meara, S Callanan.
Subs: A Ryan (0-1) for J Ryan (26), L Corbett (0-2) for Callanan (32), J Forde (0-2) for Patrick Maher (half-time), E Kelly (1-0) for O’Meara (45), M Cahill for Stapleton (60).
Referee: B Kelly (Westmeath).