Following a highly polished display in the drawn game two weeks ago, Tipp were confident of landing the trophy for the first time. But there was no stopping Cork as they completed three titles in a row in a most stylish and convincing manner possible.
A superb goal from wing-forward Nicky Flanagan, set up by full-forward Dave Scannell after just two minutes, set the tone for a five-star Cork performance.
Tipperary, with three pointed frees from corner forward Paul Stone, managed to stay in touch during the first half, when aided by the chilling wind, but it was always obvious that Cork would come out on top.
David Lynch, Sean O’Ceileachair and Conor Hayes were towering figures in a splendid Cork defence. Sean O’Cuill was their dominant figure at midfield but it was the full-forward line of Colm O’Neill, Dave Scannell and Shane Dromey that stole the show with their skilful build-ups and accurate finishing.
Tipp were always fighting a rearguard action following Cork’s storming start and trailed 1-5 to 0-4 at the interval.
The outstanding Shane Dromey, from a free, had increased Cork’s lead to five points before Tipp broke through for a goal from midfielder Sean Fitzgerald in the 35th minute. Fitzgerald’s first attempt was brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Dan O’Leary but Fitzgerald slotted the rebound home.
Although Fitzgerald’s goal gave Tipp some hope, Cork never allowed their opponents to capitalise on the lifeline of that goal.
So resolute and focussed was the Cork defence that Tipp failed to score for the remainder of the game.
Cork’s attacking unit really came into its own and Dromey, O’Neill and Bart Daly, who did trojan work on the left wing in the second half, kicked a succession of delightful points as Cork opened up a six-point gap entering the final quarter.
Another goal of quality five minutes from the end, this time from Dromey, brought the curtain down on a most comprehensive triumph for Cork and left Tipperary reflecting on what might have been.
Scorers for Cork: S. Dromey 1-4 (0-1 from free); N. Flanagan 1-1; R. McCarthy 0-2 (0-1 from free); D. Scannell, C. O’Neill, B. Daly and S. O’Cuill 0-1 each.
Tipperary: S. Fitzgerald 1-0; P. Stone 0-3 (0-3 from frees); D. McCormack 0-1.
CORK: D. O’Leary; J. McLoughlin, D. Lynch, J. McCarthy; G. Holland, S. O’Ceileachair, C. Hayes; S. O’Cuill, C. O’Donovan; N. Flanagan, R. McCarthy, B. Daly; C. O’Neill, D. Scannell, S. Dromey.
Subs: D. O’Mahony for McCarthy; S. Calanan for Dromey; J. O’Callaghan for Holland; G. Sheehy for Flanagan.
TIPPERARY: G. Harding; L. MacCarra, A. Byrne, D. Buckley; B. Fox, S. Kelly, J. Fletcher; S. Fitzgerald, P. Codd; M. Hogan, K. McMahon, D. Burns; P. Stone, D. Darcy, D. McCormack.
Subs: C. Corby for Fletcher; T. Duggan for Byrne; N. Lowry for Corby.
Referee: K. Walsh (Clare).