It may be Tipperary’s home and Cork’s second as such but the recent championship records of both counties in FBD Semple Stadium leaves plenty to be desired.
Tipperary’s last SHC win there came in June 2019 when they beat an understrength Limerick team by four points in a provincial round game before Limerick fielded a more familiar outfit for the counties’ Munster final and inflicted a 16-point turnaround on their neighbours in TUS Gaelic Grounds.
As Tipperary’s 2020 and ‘22 championship fixtures were played at neutral venues, last month’s defeat to Clare has been their only SHC appearance in Thurles since then. Since then, their league form there has been patchy with Dublin and Limerick coming away with wins and spoils shared with Cork and Waterford.
For a team who traditionally adore playing there, Cork’s most recent displays there of late haven’t exactly been inspiring. Designated as their home venue for the Munster SHC Round 3 against Clare, they too lost to the Banner there earlier this month having been taught a lesson by Waterford in Tom Semple’s hallowed turf in April’s Division 1 final.
With five reverses in a row, this Tipperary team have already broken the county’s record for the longest string of championship losses. Bow out of the competition on Sunday and it will be their earliest exit since Limerick defeated them in a Munster first round game in Thurles on May 21, 1939. They last fell in May in 1994 as Clare surprised them and ‘82 when Cork beat them handsomely.
Fail to beat Tipperary and Cork run the risk of their quickest SHC goodbye since May 19, 1974 when they came a cropper at the hands of Waterford. Their previous May departure came in 2001 when they lost the provincial opener to Limerick on May 27. In 1996, Limerick dumped them out on May 26.