First-half goals set up Cork for hard-fought win

Cork 2-12 Tipperary 1-10: Relief was the chief emotion in the Cork camp in Ardfinnan at 3.30pm on Saturday after two first-half goals sent them on their way to a battling win over Tipperary.

“Brilliant,” Cork captain Ciara O’Sullivan said of the win.

“It’s a long build-up and a lot of nerves and anticipation, so it’s more of a relief I suppose than anything. We let ourselves down big-time last year in Munster so we’re just trying to right a few wrongs in terms of that this year.”

Tipperary proved that they’re not at senior level in this year’s TG4 All-Ireland championship just to make up the numbers, pushing their more experienced opponents all the way in this Munster semi-final.

“Very disappointed,” was how Tipp captain Samantha Lambert described her squad’s reaction afterwards.

“The win was there for the taking and I suppose we’re a little bit heartbroken really.

“We’re not used to losing, I’ll put it to you like that, we’re used to winning.”

Tipperary came into this Munster semi-final on the back of an all-conquering intermediate campaign last year and a successful division two challenge in spring, but some feared they were in for a disheartening reality check against Cork.

Those fears looked justified at the beginning as the favourites had a goal on the scoreboard before the first minute was played, Bríd O’Sullivan handpassing to the net to finish off a flowing move started by herself and involving Shauna Kelly, Libby Coppinger, and Orla Finn.

However, Tipp responded in perfect style as Orla O’Dwyer latched onto the resulting kick-out, sent a long ball forward where Mairead Morrissey did well to control the ball and find Aishling Moloney, who in turn sent an unstoppable shot to the net.

Cork kept the pressure on for the remainder of the first half, with O’Sullivan, Orlagh Farmer, and Coppinger all causing problems and taking scores.

Hannah Looney converted a penalty awarded when Lauren Fitzpatrick brought down Libby Coppinger when a goal looked certain.

By the interval it was 2-6 to 1-5 in the visitors’ favour.

The pace slackened somewhat after the break but Cork did enough to keep the scoreboard moving in their favour. Team captain Ciara O’Sullivan, along with sub Eimear Scally and centre-forward Doireann O’Sullivan, kept their boots on Tipp throats, while Orla Finn was as reliable as ever with the frees.

It was midway into the second half when Tipp got their first score of that period, Mairead Morrissey’s goal effort from a long ball bravely tipped over the bar by Cork goalkeeper Lauren Fitzpatrick.

Scorers for Cork:

- O Finn 0-4 (3f), B O’Sullivan 1-0, H Looney 1-0 (p), C O’Sullivan 0-2, D O’Sullivan 0-2, E Scally 0-2, O Farmer 0-1, L Coppinger 0-1.

Tipperary:

A Moloney 1-2, A McCarthy 0-4 (3f), M Morrissey 0-2, R Howard 0-1, O O’Dwyer 0-1 Cork: M O’Brien, C Collins, E Meaney, E Spillane, M O’Callaghan, M Duggan, S Kelly, B O’Sullivan, A Hutchings, C O’Sullivan, D O’Sullivan, O Farmer, E Scally, L Coppinger, O Finn. Subs: E Scally for B O’Sullivan (HT), A Kelleher for M Duggan (60).

Tipperary:

L Fitzpatrick, B Condon, M Curley, E Buckley, E Cronin, S Lambert, J Grant, C Condon, O O’Dwyer, A Moloney, A McCarthy, AR Kennedy, M Morrissey, N Lonergan, R Howard. Subs: L Dillon for E Buckley (13), G O’Brien for C Condon (42), K Davey for N Lonergan (51) Ref: S Mulvihill (Kerry)


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