Tipp blitz Cork with early goals

Tipperary 4-15 Cork 1-14: Tipperary blitzed Cork for a crucial first win of the Munster MHC round-robin which keeps alive their hopes of progressing.

Much like last week against Clare, Cork’s leaky defence was exposed early on by a potent Tipperary attack.

Unlike last week, Tipp were able to rein in Cork at the other end to close out a comfortable ten-point victory.

They did it with a couple of saves from Aaron Browne, two of which were followed up by goal-line blocks from defenders Conor Whelan and Johnny Ryan, but they were always able to counterpunch whenever Cork caught them cold.

Having conceded three goals against Clare, Cork had conceded another two within eight minutes of the start in Thurles.

Plus, there was the matter of a 2nd-minute penalty, won and weakly struck by James Devanney, which Cian Long saved.

If that was a body-blow, it was briefly endured. Kevin Maher smartly bounced the ball to the net with their next shot and his Borris-Ileigh clubmate Devanney whipped the ball past Long a minute later.

The excellent Sean Hayes, who assisted the latter goal, was taking Cork full-back Padraic Cullinane on a tour of Thurles, and he followed both goals with a point. 2-2 to 0-1 after 10 minutes.

Fintan Purcell manned the centre of the Tipp defence with distinction and had Cork captain Shane Barrett well held apart from one break towards goal. However, Browne half-saved his effort with the impressive Conor Whelan pulling the ball off the line as it dribbled towards the net.

Padraig Power, Cork’s most reliable shelter amid the storm, had scored three points and was fouled for another by the time his marker, Frank Hanafin, was subbed off in the 23rd minute.

However, the lead grew to nine with Hayes’ stunning goal. He drove along the end line and dispatched a batted lob over Long and into the top-corner.

Tipp’s first wide followed in the 29th minute – a lone error from the irrepressible Max Hackett – by which time they already had 3-6 on the board. Some improvement for a team that struck 14 wides in last week’s loss to Limerick.

Trailing 3-7 to 0-8 at the break, John Considine made a triple substitution. Removing his full-back and corner-forwards, he reunited Blarney duo Power and Barrett in the full-forward line.

The former set-up one of those replacements, Aaron Mulcahy, for a well-finished 42nd-minute goal.

The gap was ever so briefly five points.

Hackett immediately pointed and within two minutes, Tommy Dunne’s half-time sub, Devon Ryan, blasted to the net – a finish as good as the pass from Devanney.

Power had a driven free saved by Tipp captain Ryan and Browne bravely blocked from Barrett, but Tipp never looked like letting their lead slip an inch.

Scorers for Tipperary: J Devanney (1-5, 4 frees); S Hayes (1-2); K Maher, D Ryan (1-1 each); M Hackett (0-3); J Morrissey (0-2); J Campion (0-1).

Scorers for Cork: P Power (0-4); A Mulcahy (1-0); C O’Brien (3 frees), D Hogan (1 free) (0-3 each); E Murphy (2 frees), S Barrett (0-2 each).

TIPPERARY: A Browne; K Hayes, C Whelan, C O’Dwyer; J Ryan, F Purcell, F Hanafin; M Hackett, J Campion; C O’Farrell, J Morrissey, K O’Kelly; K Maher, S Hayes, J Devanney.

Subs: S Phelan for Hanafin (23), D Ryan for O’Farrell (ht), K Ryan for Campion (51), M O’Shea for Morrissey (57), R Renehan for O’Kelly (61).

CORK: C Long; C Murphy, P Cullinane, N O’Riordan; L Horgan, Cormac O’Brien, Cillian O’Donovan; P Cooney, O Broderick; P Power, S Barrett, D Hogan; A Connolly, P O’Flynn, E Murphy.

Subs: Cian O’Donovan for Cullinane (ht), C Hickey for Connolly (ht), A Mulcahy for E Murphy (ht), E Twomey for Broderick (34-36, blood), C McCarthy for O’Donovan (49), Ciaran O’Brien for Horgan (50).

Referee: T Walsh (Waterford).

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